An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
Movement at the state level to boost the minimum wage next year could give President Obama some much-needed juice in his stalled push to raise the federal minimum and peg it once and for all to inflation.
Seven states are set to raise their minimum wage on Jan. 1 in a move estimated to benefit hundreds of thousands of workers. Despite concerns that government-mandated wages will make skittish employers even more reluctant to hire workers, supporters say the changes are not drastic enough to dent the size of the payroll, and if anything it will help the economy by putting more money in the pockets of those most likely to spend it.
Just what does it take to get through to these people? Raising the minimum wage does NOTHING but increase the price of EVERYTHING!
Let’s say you are a single mother, working a minimum wage job because you dropped out of school and have no marketable skills. You are learning a skill through this entry level job, but have yet to move up. You take your small child to day care, because finding someone to watch your child for free is an impossibility. The workers at the day care center are also making minimum wage in their entry level jobs. You get an increase because the law says so. But so does that person watching your child. This, by necessity increases the cost of care of your child. That ‘raise’ you received through the ‘generosity’ of the government has done nothing to improve your circumstances. You do not get to keep that increase, as it is needed to pay for the increase in every other goods and services you use on a regular basis. EVERYTHING!
Now, you are struggling just as much, if not more so than you were before the government stepped in. Sadly, your employer can no longer pay for all the employees, so he must let one or two go, in order to make up for the increase in his/her costs. Since you are one of the last to be hired, you will be the first to be let go. Now what? Well, there is always welfare, right? A great dependency on the government for your sustenance. You can no longer afford that nice little one bedroom apartment you were so proud of getting into, paid for by the earnings you made yourself. The choice is a shelter, government housing, or the street. Or maybe your car? You know the old one that your dad gave you because he knew you needed one to go to work. But now, you can’t afford to put gas in it to look for another job because the government decided that drilling for oil was a bad thing, and the price of one single gallon has risen so much, you have a choice between milk for your child, or gas for the car.
I realize that there are so many in government that have never lived in the real world, had to struggle to make ends meet, but perhaps they should start listening to those who have actually lived through the increases, and find out just how much they do NOT help? Minimum wage was never meant to be a ‘living wage’. It was meant to be a starting point. You work hard, learn your skill, climb the ladder, and increase your earnings. Those ‘advocates’ for the increase can’t possibly be as ignorant as they appear.
Here’s an idea. How about letting people earn what they are worth? Just a thought.