Gubernatorial hopeful Mark Schauer is calling for a minimum wage increase. The democrat says he'll make a nearly $2 hike a top priority if elected.
Local political science and economics professors are weighing in. They say it's a smart political move but an increase in the minimum wage isn't likely. Thatâ??s because Michiganâ??s economy has not fully recovered from The Great Recession of 2008 just yet.
A $1.85 an hour minimum wage hike is music to Starrie Nevels' ears.
â??That would only be a miracle from God if that could happen,â?? says Nevels.
The Flint resident is all for Mark Schauer's proposed increase from $7.40 an hour to $9.25
â??Maybe it would help people that are so tight for money to help them not lose their homes, be able to have sufficient food and clothing,â?? adds Nevels.
But analysts say the proposed hike is unlikely.
â??I think even if Schauer gets elected, it's a long shot,â?? says Paul Rozycki, political science professor at Mott Community College.
Schaeur's push comes just months after fast food workers picketed in Flint, asking for $15 an hour.
â??$15 is probably a bit of a stretch,â?? adds Rozycki.
â??Itâ??s really hard to argue against giving minimum wage workers a raise. It's just one of those ideas that sound good in a 10-second sound bite,â?? says Dr. Chris Douglas, an economics professor at The University of Michigan-Flint.
Douglas adds a wage hike also a tough sell for small business owners because they would be forced to jack up prices to cover the increase.
â??It sounds good but it's a substantial hike in small business costs,â?? says Douglas.
Thatâ??s a cost Nevels agrees might be too much for Michigan right now.
â??I don't believe it will ever happen, no not with the economy,â?? adds Nevels.
A spokeswoman for Governor Rick Snyder says Snyder is not taking a position on the issue.