I still can't comprehend the number of people in the US who think that raising the minimum wage to $15/hour will be a good and positive thing for American society.
Of course it will improve the lives of those currently making minimum wage of $7.25/hour, assuming they don't get fired because the business owner can't afford to pay $15/hour. Their lives will improve, of course. Doubling anybody's wage without asking anything in return, such as greater skills, and perhaps more commitment to the company will benefit that individual enormously.
BUT: and there's always a but in these kinds of policy decisions. The number of people making minimum wage in the U.S. currently are just a fraction of the total work force. Additionally, this minimum wage is only offered to those with minimum skills, and with perhaps little or no workplace experience. Minimum wages earned by people over the age of 21 are, to be frank and honest, are the going price for people who have so far failed in their lives to improve themselves. Additionally, if these minimum wages are paid to Americans over the age of 60, this is the price that is paid to people who have failed to plan and save for their Golden Years, and if these low end jobs are the best they can find, there is no sympathy to these folks from me, sorry to say. You oldsters on minimum wage had an entire working lifetime to improve your skills and to save your pennies for just this eventuality, 'as ye sow, so shall ye reap.' Or so they say.
But what most Americans do not understand is that by jacking up the minimum wage without requiring a commensurate increase in productivity, the only thing nationwide that we will see is increased unemployment at the bottom end of the wage scale. Lots of current $7.25/hour people will be simply sacked. Nothing personal, it's just that the business that employed them cannot afford to pay a low skilled worker anything more than what they produce.
Business owners will find ways to get the job done with fewer employees, such as fire unenthusiastic U.S. teenage citizens and slow poke Americans in favor of highly motivated undocumented
Businesses will invest in automation to accomplish the lower level tasks that were done by employees prior to the jack in the minimum wage. Resulting, of course, in higher unemployment.
Wages are nothing more than the price of labor. In pure economic terms, when the price of something goes up, the demand for that something goes down. When the minimum wage goes up, demand for people earning the minimum wage goes down. The lowest on the economic ladder always get hammered. Except for the few lucky jamokes who somehow keep their jobs, and these workers are truly the exception. Additionally, the employer will keep only the best of these remaining souls, and will actively seek replacements of these guys and gals, too, now that they are paying top dollar for their unskilled services. Take that to the bank.
I am always astounded at the average Joe who doesn't get this. It's as simple as 2 + 2 = 4. No more complicated.
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