President Barack Obama has called for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 from $7.25 an hour. Dozens of states have set minimum wages above the current federal level; Seattle and New York have passed laws that will raise the local minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Supporters of raising the federal minimum wage believe it is an issue of fairness and will help millions of low-skilled workers and families rise above the poverty level. Opponents argue raising the minimum wage will hurt minorities, businesses and low-skilled workers who inevitably will be replaced by technology. What do you think?
The value an individual brings to a business is the determinant of what he or she is paid.
The term minimum wage is arbitrary it should be termed “worth wage.”
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Raising the minimum wage is another form of forced inflation as it trickles up, resulting in increased overall payroll taxes.
It is a hidden way to raise tax revenues.
Let the free market work.
— Bill Merryman,
As a high school senior in 1964 I earned the minimum wage of $1.25/hour working at Baldridge Bakery in Lubbock.
My granddaughters began their work lives at minimum wage of $7.25/hour employed in the fast food industry.
In order for my granddaughters to have the same purchasing power I had in 1964, their starting wage would have to have been $9.62/hour.
So, I have to ask myself, is it OK with me to be living “the American Dream” at the expense of those who are serving me at 75 percent of the buying power I enjoyed at the same point in my career journey?
My answer is no, it is not all right in 2015.
Raise the minimum wage to $10/hour immediately and index the rate to inflation.
— Tom Smusz, Brock
To answer “yes” to this question requires a belief in the proposition that jobs and people are worth whatever Congress decrees.
Strictly speaking, employers do not determine wages based on what a person is worth, but on what the job is worth.
Being coerced into paying an artificially high wage for a job that requires little or no skill not only leaves the employer with less for hiring more similarly skilled workers, but also with fewer dollars for raises and promotions, thereby impeding the progress of employees with greater skills who would otherwise have earned moves up to higher rungs on the ladder.
In a genuinely free market, wages increase as productivity increases.
And productivity increases as skills and experience increase — a win-win for both employers and employees.
Raising wages by mandate subverts this process, resulting in losses for workers, employers and consumers.
Where exactly is the “fairness” in that?
— Lennie Martin,
It’s simple economics, aside from safety and environmental issues, no government imposed mandate on private business can be called fair.
What may work well for one company will cause another to drastically change their business model or shut down altogether.
That obviously impacts employees in a negative way.
Open competition and a truly free market system actually works to everyone’s benefit.
The only ones who lose with such a system are the ruling class and their layers upon layers of bureaucracy.
— Ralph M. Gill, Gruene
Does it really make sense that people working full time earn only $15,080 a year at the minimum wage which, after adjusting for inflation, is significantly lower than it was in the 1960s?
Contrary to what you might believe, the majority of small-business owners support increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
To begin with, the vast majority of small-business owners pay their employees more than the minimum and they believe that it will benefit their businesses because people will have a higher percentage of their income to spend on their goods and services and low-wage earners tend to spend money at local businesses.
In addition, many say that raising the minimum wage would help make their business more competitive because competitors won’t be able to undercut them on labor costs.
It just makes sense.
— Patrick Jenkins,
Minimum wage is entry level. Raising it to about $10 or $15 will not be fair to those currently earning that much who have skills and earned experience. Therefore, their wages will need to be adjusted to a higher pay level, and so forth up the scale, resulting in increased prices for products and services.
Ultimately, those on minimum wage remain in the same situation they were in before as the dollar will buy less.
When people complain that it is hard to support a family of five on minimum wage, I wonder why they stayed at the bottom over the years and didn’t gain experience, improved skills, and ambition to move on up the ladder.
— Eva Snapka, Arlington
While raising the federal minimum wage is needed and laudable there are several factors which will cause problems in the general labor force.
Many companies will reduce hours and employees to save money and expect more work from retained employees.
However, the main problem is that many companies will go to more automation to reduce employees and save money.
This includes more web-based access and changes in checkout and stocking procedures.
Technology today has advanced such that some of these processes are easily automated and have not been implemented without a driving force for change.
Increasing the minimum wage will provide the necessary impetus for this change.
There is a fixed upfront cost and some cost for maintaining and upgrading these systems but these are costs that will decrease significantly as more and more companies do this due to volume demands and more suppliers to assist in the process.
— Walter H. Delashmit, Justin
The government’s arbitrary elevation of the abilities and worth of an individual by dictating how much he or she should be paid over what the job is worth is falsifying the impact on marketing and its economics.
Not only are the costs of related products falsely raised to consumers, they comprise the forwarding economic facts involved in cause and effect.
Falsely raising the cost of labor has a circumlocutory effect. These false costs push their effects upwards through the economic system eventually raising the COL for all.
Then the raising of the minimum wage, thought to solve some “inequity” problem for “underpaid” workers, finds itself in the same situation as before in the form of “spiraling inflation.”
What this means economically, is that these false salary costs are not absorbed as they are passed forward to entrepreneurial decision makers. In effect they are returned in the form of a higher cost of living to the same employees whom raising the minimum wage was first thought to help.
— Richard M. Holbrook,
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