The Minimum Wage War

The minimum wage war
Minimum wage (The Fair Labor Standards Act) was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 25, 1938 intending to make things “fair” for workers. This has been a contentious debate ever since. Proponents of minimum wage claim that it guarantees all workers a minimum standard of living, and it also ensures that workers are paid overtime. Opponents have the opposite view saying that it cuts workers hours and limits the number of people a company can afford to hire.
I believe that minimum wage should be set by the market, not the government, like any other commodity. Having a minimum wage creates a few problems; First like I previously stated, it limits employer’s ability to hire freely. If the minimum wage is $15 an hour and the employer can only afford to pay $45 an hour, he can afford three employees. Without minimum wage, he might have double or triple that number of employees. Some will say without minimum wage than its not fair. Why isn’t it fair? If I offer you $5 an hour to pick corn, and you agree to that price; what part is not fair? The part where I pay you what you agreed to for the work I need? If you didn’t like the amount I offered, you would either counter, which I may or may not accept, or you would decline the offer and go elsewhere. Here is where the market comes in. There are only so many people in the market able and willing to pick corn. So, if I am offering $5 an hour, and taking up some of those people, my competitor down the road might offer $6.50 to try to encourage those people to work for him. In response, I might raise my offer to $7 an hour, or throw in some fringe benefit that my competitor isn’t offering. This is how the free market works. Without government interference. The market always takes care of its self.
Now let’s discuss those that say minimum wage is not enough to live on. My response to that is it’s not meant to. Minimum wage is paid to non-skilled workers. Hence, the word non-skilled. As an employer why do I have to pay you more because you do not have the skills needed to make more money. When did I become responsible for your life? Your mortgage, your car payment, your grocery bill, your daughter’s wedding, your retirement, is irrelevant to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that employers shouldn’t care about the welfare of those that work for them, after all they are people. What I am saying is that my responsibility to an employee should stop at what I agreed to pay them for the job they are doing. If someone wants to make more money, if they need a bigger house, or they are concerned about their future, that should not be put on my shoulders. Go to school, learn a trade; a minimum wage job is and should be for minimum skilled workers.
I bet you don’t know any accountants, doctors, or mechanics that make minimum wage. That’s because they learned a skill. They are worth more. The market recognizes this and allows them to ask for more. Minimum wage should be an interim job for those people on their way to learning a skill. It should not be a career choice. McDonalds should not have to pay someone $15 an hour to flip burgers because they are not motivated to do more with their life or had too many kids before they could afford it or bought too big of a house.
It is my belief that people need to accept responsibility for their own life, their own destiny, and if they want more, than go out there and do what it takes to get it.
I do not believe in minimum wage. I think it’s a failed experiment and bad for the economy, bad for businesses, and demotivates those that benefit from it.

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About Joe Melle

Joe Melle has founded and ran several successful businesses, and has had an interesting career in direct contact media, call center operations, sales operations, customer service operations, customer retention, and quality assurance; he has written over 140 business articles, previously served as a part time adjunct professor for a university teaching business, marketing, and management courses to both graduate and post graduate students.Email Me