I know I normally do not get political in my articles, but this talk of raising the minimum wage to $15.00/hour had to be addressed.
Firstly, the advocates for this cause seem to believe they will be sticking it to their employers by making them pay their employees more money. This is false. When there’s a will, there’s a way. CEOs are going to cut as much costs as they can. What will happen is businesses will invest in either automated services (such as self-ordering computers at McDonald’s as opposed to having a cashier) or they will outsource American jobs for cheaper labor. Likewise, they will also downsize their company and work with a skeleton crew. Those making $15/hour that got lucky enough to not get fired will now have to work twice as hard which will cause them to complain once again that they now work hard enough to deserve even more money! And the cycle will continue.
Secondly, right now the argument is that minimum wage employees need additional government assistance to make ends meet. While this is true, the government only needs to subsidize a small PORTION of their salaries. When the government has to subsidize ALL of an unemployed person’s salary, it’s substantially more money. So when a third of the workforce is laid off so companies can save money, that third will then require the full assistance of the government, costing taxpayers much more money. If you complain about the amount of people on full welfare CURRENTLY… just wait until it increases 33%!
Thirdly, it’s a socialist idea. It’s funny to me how some of my more right-wing-leaning friends who make less than $15/hour are supportive of this cause when it’s technically a socialist movement. Right now, it takes a few years of hard labor, college, and student loans to get a job that pays $15/hour. That person who worked hard for years will not see a similar increase in his salary if fast-food workers get bumped up to $15/hour. They will still be making $15/hour and have student loans to pay off while fast-food workers do not. So basically, we’re saying that some of the men and women in uniform who currently make $15/hour or less are EQUAL to the skills and importance of a person who flips burgers. Is that fair?
Fourthly, it’s counter-productive. On top of companies laying off employees, investing in automated services, and outsourcing American jobs to other countries, they are also going to increase the price of everything. This will cause a ripple effect throughout the country. Those making $40,000/year will then be demanding more money so they can pay all their bills because food costs and supplies have risen. Those making $15/hour as the minimum wage will also complain that the price of everything has gone up dramatically and now they STILL can’t make it without government assistance. EVERYONE will need a raise. And then of course, companies will AGAIN raise their prices and it will be out of control!
And lastly, from a non-financial point of view, minimum wage was never meant to be enough to support a family. Those who complain that it’s not enough to take care of their six-person household should have thought about birth control and working hard and going to school to get a sustainable job before trying to burden the rest of the country with their woes that they mistakenly made. Minimum wage jobs are a stepping stone. Most low to middle class people enter the workforce at minimum wage jobs and work their way up. That’s how capitalism works. That’s what’s great about America. The harder you work and strive to achieve, the more successful you will become. If you are currently unwilling to increase your earning potential, it is not the taxpayer’s responsibility to just GIVE you more money. Aside from the negative financial repercussions, it’s the principle of the matter: If you want more than minimum wage, don’t have minimum skills. It isn’t a debate on whether fast-food workers or grocery store employees work hard. We KNOW they do. MOST of us have done it ourselves. The difference is: we worked smarter, studied harder, and planned harder to move up in life. If the country just GIVES minimum skill workers what they want just because they asked, it creates an overall perception that you or your children don’t need to work hard in this life to move up because you can just complain and get what you want.
In short, raising the minimum wage to $15/hour will cost hard working people their jobs; outsourcing and automation will be more utilized causing a decrease in our economy; more people will require more government assistance; it’s unfair to those who’ve worked hard and EARNED $15/hour; and it’s completely counter-productive and will cause inflation rates that will make everyone’s lives more expensive which in turn will further shrink the middle-class.