In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. He even made some quippy comment about it being easy to remember because it’s 10-10. I’m hyucking at you, speechwriters.
Anyway, that’s a terrible, horrible, rotten, no good, very bad idea. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25; so raising it to $10.10 is quite the substantial increase. I know, $7.25 isn’t really a living wage, yada yada, it’s not fair that people have to make that little amount of money, and so on and so forth.
But you know what’s worse than making $7.25 an hour? Making nothing. What exactly do you think will happen when employers can’t afford to keep around their low-level workers? They’ll let them go, that’s what.
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My parents are small business owners. I remember one time getting a lesson in real life from my dad, because I had heard in the news that the minimum wage was going up, and being a child and therefore naïve, I thought it was swell. My father, being much older and wiser, told me that because of that mandated raise, he had to let someone go.
He’d had an entry-level employee that he paid minimum wage to keep the factory floor tidied up. He swept and cleaned spills, ran errands, you know, just basic go-fer stuff. It was worth it for the cost of his wages. The guy was happy he had a job, coworkers were happy for the help, everybody was happy with the situation.
Small businesses generally run on a very tight budget. So when the government stepped in and decided that my dad wasn’t paying that guy enough, he didn’t have the financial wiggle room to pay him more. The employee said he didn’t care, he’d keep working for the lower wage, but being an upstanding citizen, my dad wouldn’t employ him illegally.
This happens a lot. And then these entry-level workers can’t find work, because the jobs aren’t there. So they go on welfare. Now business owners have even less money to hire new employees, because in addition to paying the people that do work for them, they’re now paying higher taxes to pay the people that don’t work for them.
Work is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Most everybody starts at the bottom. If you don’t want to make $7.25 for the rest of your life, then figure out how to get promoted. Take classes, acquire new skills, do the best darn job you can at what you do and ask for more responsibility.
That’s how you climb out of poverty. Not by raising the federal minimum wage.
Are you for or against a higher federal minimum wage?
I am against the increase to $10.10.
From my perspective as a federal contractor.
My dry cleaners won a contract for alterations/sewing patches on military uniforms. It shook out to be $3.25 per patch and $10.00 for a hem. The price for this will have to increase to $5.00 per patch and $15.00 for a hem to accommodate the increased wage and associated taxes/ins/comp that go with them. This contract is paid by the taxpayer....as will the increased amount.
I have done a good bit of contract work. The competition can be fierce. It is almost impossible for a textile producer to compete with China, India and Thailand for contracts. This new wage increase won't just affect those receiving the $10.10..everyone will have to get a raise. This means the bid has to be higher...making it even harder to win a contract.
Does the author understand what he really said?
Does the author understand that most states mandate a higher minumum wage than the federal?
When she figures it out, get back to me.
I am amazed by how many people don't really know what wages are actually are and what are actually being paid.
Here in Wyoming we have a legislator that has put forth a bill to raise the minimum wage to more than $9 an hour. He was actually on tv railing about people only making $5.25 an hour. Wyoming of course recognizes the federal minimum wage as the minimum...they just haven't bothered to change the state amount on paper. Most employers pay more than the fed min already...even McDonald's and Walmart. Honestly, I was embarrassed for him.