Could economy handle a $15 minimum wage?
In recent weeks, organized workers have protested outside various fast food restaurants demanding an increase to their hourly wages to $15. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 ($8.25 in Illinois). Protesters are demanding their hourly wages more than double so that they can better support themselves. They argue that their current pay is insufficient in coping with a meek, economic recovery. They don’t want to struggle to support their families.
I am not in support of such an increase. Supporters might deem my opinion insensitive to their plight but I will try to reason my stance. An increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour will subsequently raise the prices of commodities and foods; thus creating the same predicament for these workers. The reason McDonald’s is consistently competitive in terms of pricing is because they pay their workers low wages. I doubt many of these supporters will consent and be content with such an increase. If these restaurants are forced to raise their wages then I expect them to lower the weekly hours of their workers and essentially create more part-time positions. This would enable them to cut benefits. These businesses will not absorb these costs. The costs will trickle-down to the consumer.
Supporters of the wage increase state that the workers can’t support their families with only this job. The honest truth is that these restaurants don’t have to provide wages the workers deem appropriate. Arguing that it is difficult to strive in this economy again is not McDonald’s fault. McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast food restaurants are businesses. It is not their jobs to provide exorbitant wages to their workers.
Would I support a higher minimum wage than $7.25?
Yes. My only caveat is that wage increases should be gradual. To more than double the minimum wage in a short time would only hamper economic growth.
The hard truth is that businesses are not responsible for providing wages you deem appropriate. Businesses provide wages they deem competitive. If you do not like your pay then you should find another job. If jobs are scarce, then that is a byproduct of our inept Congress, Senate and presidential administration. Why not protest in D.C.?
What do you think?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate