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Raising The Minimum Wage is a Terrible Idea, a Minimum Wage Increase Hurts Everyone

Updated on May 26, 2014

A Minimum Wage Increase:

  • Hurts Business
  • Will Cause Inflation
  • Will Destroy the Middle Class
  • Will Destroy Jobs

Raising the Minimum Wage Will Hurt Business

Imagine a company that has five full time minimum wage employees. At the current minimum wage, that business is paying out $1450 per week in wages to their employees. Raising the minimum wage to just $10.10 per hour would increase that businesses weekly output by $570. That is $2280 per month. Most small businesses can't afford that.

Some people think that fast food places like McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendys can surely afford this, as they are multi-million dollar corporations. These people don't understand the business model of these companies. The majority of fast food restaurants are franchises. The corporation makes money by selling franchises. Franchise owners tend to own one or two restaurants. They are not millionaires, they are struggling middle class Americans like you and I. They took a risk and invested a lot of money to own a franchise, and they can't afford an extra $2280 per month.

Businesses will have a few options. They can close down, cut jobs, or raise prices.

Raising the Minimum Wage Will Destroy Jobs

Raising the minimum wage would hurt the very people who are pushing for a minimum wage increase. Businesses will not want to pay unskilled workers the $15 per hour that protesters are pushing for, and they will not even want to pay the $10.10 an hour that the Federal Government is pushing for.

So if the minimum wage is increased, what will businesses do? Businesses will cut jobs. They will have waiters and waitresses perform hostess and and busboy jobs. They will have cashiers go to the parking lots to collect carts. They will have cooks take orders at the register. They will force their remaining employees to work harder and do the job of 3-4 employees. They will have no choice. They will have to make up the $2200 per month somehow.

This is not the only way they will cut jobs though. They will also automate. Many large retailers are already experimenting with self check-out. Many restaurants are also experimenting with utilizing I-Pads in place of servers. These machines are much cheaper and require less maintenance than real people.

Many of the people who are currently protesting, asking for a wage increase, don't realize that they will probably be the first to lose their jobs if what they are asking for is enacted.

Raising the Minimum Wage Will Raise Prices

Cutting jobs and forcing the remaining employees to work harder is just one way in which businesses will try to mitigate the loss they will take when forced to raise wages. Business will also mitigate their losses by raising prices.

It is not just one or two businesses that will raise prices, it will be businesses everywhere. When businesses everywhere raise prices, inflation results. This inflation will put all of the minimum wage employees who still have jobs right back into the same position that they are in now.

However, what is worse is that raising the minimum wage will put everyone who makes between the current minimum wage and the new minimum wage at minimum wage (unless you believe that businesses, out of the goodness of their hearts, will raise their wages as well. I doubt this will happen,but if it does, it will just raise prices even more)

This leads us to one of the least discussed but most important reason that raising the minimum wage is a terrible idea.

Raising the Minimum Wage Will Destroy the Middle Class

As I said above, raising the minimum wage will put all workers who make between the current minimum wage and whatever it is raised to at minimum wage. This will turn hundreds of thousands of people who currently earn livable wages into minimum wage workers.

Raising the minimum wage will also negatively affect every other middle class worker in the United States. Wages have been stagnant for years, and a minimum wage increase won't change that. However, what it will change is inflation. The cost of everything has been rising for years, and a minimum wage increase will only exacerbate this problem.

Americans who are currently living paycheck to paycheck will fall behind. Americans who are able to put a tiny bit of money away each month will soon find themselves living paycheck to paycheck. Millions of people will be negatively affected. Raising the minimum wage will effectively destroy the middle class, creating a two class society (the poor and the rich, the haves and the have nots) in America. Is this something that anyone really wants?

Minimum Wage Workers Don't Deserve More

I know this is a really harsh, non PC thing to say, but it is true. Minimum wage workers do not deserve $15 per hour. Burger flippers do not deserve to be paid the same wages as pipe fitters, medical assistants, security guards, zookeepers, daycare workers, and millions of other skilled professionals.

If people want to earn a better livable wage, they need to work for it. We, as a society, have become way too accustomed to hand outs. We need to learn a few things:

A. Life isn't Fair

B. Nobody Owes you Anything

C. The only person responsible for you is YOU

If you are working minimum wage and can't afford your children, it is YOUR fault. YOU made bad life decisions. You are the one who had children that you couldn't afford. You are the one who kept having more children when you couldn't afford the first. A business is not in business to provide a living wage to you. It is in business to make money. It will pay you what you deserve based on your skills, education, and experience. If you don't have those things, you don't deserve a higher wage.

If you are working minimum wage and don't like what you are getting paid, it is YOUR responsibility to better yourself. It isn't the companies responsibility to pay you more than you are worth. You have the ability to go to college or trade school. You had the ability to work hard when you first started your minimum wage job to become a shift leader or manager. It is nobody's fault that you didn't do any of those things but YOURS (if you can't because you have children, you chose to have children, that is still your fault). And now you want to destroy the United States because you think somebody else should support your lifestyle. This is ridiculous.

Do you Support a Minimum Wage Increase?

Do you Support a Minimum Wage Increase?

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Raising the Minimum Wage is a Bad Idea

Raising the minimum wage is a terrible idea. It will hurt businesses, minimum wage workers, and middle class americans. It will cause inflation and turn the United States into a 2-class society.

We as Americans need to realize how terrible this is, and learn to take responsibility for ourselves.


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    • markjayharris profile image

      Mark Jay Harris 3 years ago from Smithfield, Utah

      Great Hub! I just wrote a very similar one (not realizing you had already done something like it).

    • Coolpapa profile image

      Coolpapa 3 years ago from Florida

      Actually we agree on several points it seems. Thanks for the discussion!


    • Elani-Lee profile image

      Elani-Lee 3 years ago from Los Angeles


      I guess I don't think there should be a federal minimum wage increase, but I think maybe it should be raised in some states or counties. I think 7.50 per hour for minimum wage is fine for most of America. In places where the cost of living is a lot higher, maybe it should be a bit higher. They already raised it in some California cities, which is probably a good thing.

      Yeah, some people with college degrees or with a lot of experience in the industry got screwed over pretty badly in the collapse, but raising the minimum wage won't change that. I really think that it will only cause inflation and make things worse for pretty much everyone. A better way to solve the problem would be to stop subsidizes on oil and shipping, so it isn't more profitable for a company to ship raw materials to China, have them assembled there, then ship the assembled goods back. Maybe we should also cancel the "tariff free" program (or whatever it is) that we have with under-developed nations, that also make it more profitable for companies to do more business overseas.

      Basically I think we need to find ways to bring good jobs that require skilled labor back to the US, rather than just raising the wage for low skilled labor.

      I appreciate you being respectful. I am glad that we can disagree and still have a respectful discourse on a subject. That doesn't seem to be very common.

    • Coolpapa profile image

      Coolpapa 3 years ago from Florida

      I agree and we now are at the point where the only thisg we disagree about is what the minimum wage rate should be. I believe $7.50 is too low, I also think $15.00 is way to high. In my viewpoint the problem is that the economy's collapse in 2007/8 was not caused by the 35 year old carpenter who was putting up drywall making $16.oo and working overtime to reach for the American Dream. He lost his job and in many cases much more than his job. Is he to be blamed because his family was unable to end him to college or even help him. If everyone in the workforce was a college graduate what do you imagine we would have to pay someone to put up drywall?

      And thanks for the comment on being respectful, I certainly meant it that way!

    • Elani-Lee profile image

      Elani-Lee 3 years ago from Los Angeles


      I think that is a bad idea as well. A lot of wages would fall if that happened, and thousands of people that depend on the wage they are making now would be unable to pay their bills.

    • Coolpapa profile image

      Coolpapa 3 years ago from Florida

      Élani-Lee, I am curious to know your position on simply doing away with the minimum wage altogether. The ultimate free market approach?

    • Elani-Lee profile image

      Elani-Lee 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks Jason,

      I didn't even consider all the youth that will be hurt by this. That is an excellent point. There won't be any more starter jobs for youth to gain experience. How do you get a job when every job requires 2-3 years of experience??

    • Elani-Lee profile image

      Elani-Lee 3 years ago from Los Angeles


      Thanks for stopping by and reading. Also, thank you for disagreeing in a respectful manner. I would agree with you about the creation of tech jobs, but I highly doubt that the tech will be created in the US. Those jobs will be created overseas. Americans will not benefit.

      Also, in your first point you mention that the 2280 per month will be put back into the economy. You are correct, it would, if businesses would pay it. That 2280 will not go to the business that has to pay it out. It will go to purchasing I-Pads, tablets, and other commodities which are for the most part made in China. Even if people use that money solely for their needs and not their wants, a good portion will go overseas. And that is assuming that the business just pays it out, which I doubt they will. They will find every way imaginable to NOT pay it, which includes cutting jobs, cutting hours, and automation.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.


    • Jason R. Manning profile image

      Jason R. Manning 3 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Terrific hub and it is not an overly simplistic view of the minimum wage issue, it is reality. I work in the retail world and I see large corporations I work with already doing this to their current employees. Why do people think corporations will blindly pay out more money for health benefits and wages to unskilled workers? Look at what has happened to Olive Garden and Red Lobster as a result of cutting back to pay for healthcare – now most of their work force is part-time. No one looks at the grocery store industry and the problems this creates at Kroger and Safeway which are huge low wage employers. As you clearly and correctly state, minimum wage jobs ARE NOT designed to SUPPPORT FAMILIES! Minimum wage jobs are starter jobs for teens and college kids looking to make money on the side for a car and have spending money. Minimum wage earners do not stay at minimum wage for very long once they acquire a new skill and move up in experience!

      Those on the side of the minimum wage hike do not stop to think about all the 16-19 years olds who want a first job in the summer or to subsidize school. I am not going to hire a no skilled 17 year old for $15 dollars an hour for an entry level position, that is ridiculous. Look at all the young people who will get hurt by this measure, they will stay at home even longer, it will take them longer to acquire new skills and it will stunt the economy further…

    • Coolpapa profile image

      Coolpapa 3 years ago from Florida

      An overly simplistic view of a complex question. For instance, what about that $2,280 a month that goes into the economy is the same as adding a $27,000 a year job to our employment rolls. That means more purchasing power, more demand, more taxpayers, less unemployment and many other benefits. You say that:

      "They will also automate. Many large retailers are already experimenting with self check-out. Many restaurants are also experimenting with utilizing I-Pads in place of servers. These machines are much cheaper and require less maintenance than real people."

      That means more manufacturing jobs making this technology not to mention the mew engineering jobs, distribution jobs, training jobs, reoair and service jobs etc. Even Henry Ford realized that he had to have a aociety that could afford his products so he paid his employees well.