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Should the Minimum Wage Be Raised?

Today is Hot Topic Tuesday. Let’s talk about raising the minimum wage.

There is a movement afoot to increase the minimum wage in this country. As a business owner, I have a vested interest in anything that increases my overhead. There must be a solid reason for that. If I am to continue delivering the superior service my clients have come to know and love, my business needs to keep growing. Excessive burdens can crush that growth.

In my opinion, an increase in the minimum wage would create such a burden. I say this for three reasons:

1. Financial.

It’s a lot of money, once you add it all up. Don’t forget payroll taxes are already high, and an increase in wage increases that tax. Then you have to figure in bonuses and other benefits set on the base wage. How can this all be justified?

2. Motivation.

I don’t want to employ people who think they are entitled to anything. When I worked a minimum wage job it was merely a stepping stone to something bigger. Nobody should expect to support a family at the ground level of employment. People need an incentive to pick themselves up and make something out of themselves.

3. Intrusion.

I don’t want the government of my country meddling with the workplace according to some misplaced ideology. Bureaucrats with cozy jobs at the public’s expense are not authorities on how to build an economy. Neither are social activists who seemed to think that private businesses are communal property.

The experience of the Seattle suburb of SeaTac illustrates the sad results of this policy. They were the first to raise the minimum wage to $15. In a nutshell, here is what has happened:

1. Managers have taken more responsibilities on themselves, instead of hiring more workers;

2. Businesses have laid off workers, or eliminated their plans to hire more;

3. Area parking now comes with an added “living wage surcharge;”

4. Hotels have cut employee benefits, free food, and overtime.

Well, what do you think? Does this look like economic growth to you?