A Response to Peter Dreier

Using false accusations and twisted logic, Professor Peter Dreier's post, "Why LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich Hired a Phony Corporate-Backed 'Research' Firm to Kill the Minimum Wage Plan," (7-8-15) attempted to indict the Employment Policies Institute (EPI), a 20-year-old old research organization of economists that is backed by well-respected research institutions including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Cornell University, the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia. Their academic advisory board includes scholars from Cornell University and the University of Chicago, as well as the former director of the Congressional Budget Office.

Professor Dreier unquestioningly accepted the work conducted by the Los Angeles County Employment Development Corporation (LAEDC) as unbiased. However, they have also been commissioned to produce research reports on behalf of organizations including Western States Petroleum Association and JP Morgan Chase. Non-profit research organizations, like LACEDC and EPI, are often hired by such clients to conduct research and obtain facts around which policy can be shaped.

The LAEDC report also failed to distinguish unincorporated communities from incorporated cities or acknowledge the impact of losing tax revenue from companies including Universal, Six Flags, and other businesses who may annex into cities without a $15 minimum wage.

A wealth of research on a proposal that will have far-reaching impacts on the economy of Los Angeles County is essential and responsible. An academic, not an ideologist, should welcome research from an array of diverse sources rather than restrict access to information. The people of Los Angeles County deserve an unbiased look at all the facts.