Minimum wage laws are a necessity for two reasons:
1) Without a minimum wage, labor would be treated as a commodity and supply and demand would determine your worth. That’s all well and good if you are talking about the price of oil, lettuce, cattle, etc. But we are dealing with human beings. Since people need a place to live and food to eat, they should not be considered a commodity. Some people don’t compete as well as others. In fact, some people aren’t that smart, but they do deserve to live in something other than a cardboard box - provided they work.
2) Capitalism promotes competition, which is good most of the time but not all the time. A business which pays low wages will have an advantage over another business that pays better wages. The business paying less per hour will be able to undercut their competition. This is why a minimum wage is needed, so no business can get a labor cost advantage - unless they hire illegal aliens.
3) We need minimum wage laws because there are too many people competing for low end jobs.
Now the issue is what should the minimum wage be?
If the minimum wage is too high:
• provide more incentive for unethical businesses to hire illegal aliens due to their low labor costs.
• The higher the minimum wage goes, the larger the number of workers it will cover and the more likely its harmful effects will outweigh its good effects. It will cause higher wage earners to demand an even higher wage, resulting in increased labor costs, higher prices for products and inflation.
• Will result in less incentive for a worker to improve his/her skills and get a better job. The point in a free market is to improve your job qualifications and get a better paying job. Minimum wage was never intended to be your life wage. It is a startup wage until you become experienced and educated enough to get a better paying job.
• We can not distribute more wealth than is created. We cannot pay a wage rate that is higher than the wealth it creates.
• If labor costs pass a certain threshold for a business, they will invest capital in automation that will eliminate low end jobs for that business.
•A reasonably higher minimum wage can result in labor cost savings for employers by reducing recruitment, re-training and re-staffing costs, which are significant even in low-wage job sectors.
If the minimum wage is too low:
•There is no point in working, because you can’t make enough to live. There are lots of people to fill minimum wage jobs and therefore no incentive to offer higher wages.
• Will cause people to seek government assistance, such as food stamps, section 8 housing and so on.
So what should the minimum wage be?
Studies have been done to determine how much a person would need to make to get off public assistance and stop playing the system. This number is usually higher then the minimum wage. Logic says we should increase the minimum wage to a comparable level, which would lead to a drastic reduction in public assistance and great savings for the taxpayers.
We believe the minimum wage should be a two tier system. The rate should be raised in increments to $9 an hour except for people in banking and food preparation. Their minimum wage should be $10 per hour. At the federal level, the minimum wage was last increased in 2009, when it went from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour, the last step of a three-step increase approved by Congress in 2007. Before 2007, the minimum wage had been stuck at $5.15 per hour for ten years.
While the government can help, ultimately, the poor need to help themselves. That’s what freedom is all about. Working people should not be held liable for people who are lazy and unemployable. People who refuse to work should not be helped. Only people who work should be helped!!!!! The traditional way for poor Americans to become middle class has been by doing a good job at work which opens new opportunities and continueing education.
In attacking poverty, the minimum wage can NOT be the only method used to improve peoples lives - It would have to be raised too much. It is part of a combined attack. Other ways for the Federal government to help is the Earned Income Tax Credit, a graduated income tax that increases in one percentage increments and higher deductions for dependents.