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The push to raise the minimum wage

Updated on September 6, 2014



The current efforts to raise the minimum way both by Congress and some unions does not seem to get the point of the impact it will create. I am all for individuals making a good wage but what happens when the cost of doing business goes up and the jobs that are in place. The answer is higher prices for the products or services being provided.

The involvement of the unions at this point brings a new aspect into the mix. Unions by pushing for the minimum wage to increase are in hopes of getting new union members but what good is it if the members lose their jobs as a result of the minimum wage being raised. Today businesses are being hit with all kinds of price increases some direct and some indirect. The new healthcare law has forced changes in the way businesses operate. It is a known fact that as it has been reported in the news that the number of full time jobs have decreased while the number of part time jobs (less than 30 hours per week) have increased.

The need for a fair wage for the work individuals are doing cannot be denied. Each individual needs to make enough money consistent with the job they are doing and the responsibilities assigned to them. While the Fair Labor Standards Act addresses the topic of minimum wage raising it in these economic times will have a greater negative impact overall than when it was raised in previous years.

In addition it must be made clear that the requirement for a minimum wage does not address every job in America and under the proposal different minimum wage requirements are identified for different job categories. The focus on the amount of the minimum wage to be increased to over $15.00 per hour is not telling the whole story. Some position categories raise the wage requirement but not to the level of $15.00. It is less. Unions and politicians need to be honest with the American public on this push to affect wages individuals are now receiving.

We the consumers always or most always bear the costs of the rising cost of doing business regardless of the type or which laws impact them. The impact of changes to the minimum wage as generated in the past need to be reviewed as to the impact not only to businesses but whether there was an increase or decrease in the funds received by the government. Consumers are the ones who will see the increase in the costs of doing business in the price they pay for products and services. Some businesses affected may actually become less in number as the price of fast food becomes so high that consumers may decide if they are going to pay the increased price they may go to other restaurants. It is never a good idea to cause a rise in the cost of doing business so much to cause a shift in where consumers spend their money.

One question which needs to be addressed is whether individuals making more than the proposed minimum wage today will be affected by an increase. If they are not it basically results in a reduction in pay. Making more than the minimum wage may be one reason why some individuals have chosen certain jobs but if the minimum wage goes up to the proposed levels workers may choose to look for other job opportunities and in effect some businesses may lose some corporate knowledge.

Each employee pays taxes and the more individuals working the more tax revenue being funneled to the government. If the change being proposed to the minimum wage will reduce the amount of revenue to the government then the method and changes along with the impact need to be considered. New laws regardless of the type generated have consequences, sometimes unrealized by those who generate them. We have seen this time and time again where unanticipated negative impact of laws were realized and laws had to be revised to eliminate or reduce the negative impact which impacts the original objective or objectives.

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    • Dennis AuBuchon profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis AuBuchon 

      5 years ago

      Laura,

      Thanks for stopping by and providing your perspective. I understand everything you said and agree.

    • Laura Knipp profile image

      Laura Knipp 

      5 years ago from Virginia Beach

      I do understand the Union's point of this push (although I am not pro-union by any means. The Unions simply have little to offer their paid constituents. At one time, health care and wages were their big push. The massive health care was what was the big draw to enter the unions in the first place. But after they pushed for Obamacare and found out it actually screwed them in the long run, they have to double down on the push for better wages.

      The sad fact is that the US is not making anything substantial for the majority of the people to be employed full time. If we were all at work, the Unions would flourish. But since we are not working, they are struggling to survive. If the economy was better, and there was no increased business taxes or Obamacare, it would be possibly reasonable for this wage increase (although not to $15 per hour). And all other wages should be increased as well. People with BS degrees are making $14/15 an hour working in state/county/city jobs. Why would we pay a fast food worker with barely a HS diploma more than we would a cop, firefighter, or a forester job that has a degree? We would have to raise their incomes as well. Which would mean using tax dollars to pay for that increase. And if you are raising taxes to pay for the increase, then people need to have a little more take home pay which would be beneficial for us to have an economy in the positive direction where everyone that wants to work full time can.

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