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Minimum Wage

We have been told that when the minimum wage has been raised, it was done out of “decency, humanity, and compas­sion.” But who wanted it raised?

– Unions, because the higher it was, the higher the wages unions could bargain for.

– Politicians, as it gained them votes.

– Liberals, who need to be reminded that :

– A lot of people are not worth minimum wage due to lack of skills. They don’t find work and the public doesn’t get their service.

– A person gets his first job to learn work habits. He should have the right to offer his services at a low wage.

– Minimum wage isn’t adjusted for tips, student and marital status, training, cost of living, piecework, etc. The government can’t make these adjustments as well as the free market.

– The higher the minimum, the less business has to spend on hiring; so there are fewer deliverymen, parking lot atten­dants, laundry attendants, movie ushers, gas station attendants, caddies, farm labor, dish­washers, elevator operators, baby sitters, cowboys, nannies, and domestics. One raise of the minimum wage caused 70% of the res­taurants to cut their hours, 48% to cut workers, 28% to auto­mate, and 90% to raise prices. Such matters are critical to small business, as they are more marginal and they are where most of the new jobs and companies are created.

Raising the minimum hurts the economy.

– For every 10% rise in the minimum, unemployment rises 3%, mostly among the handicapped, part time workers, minorities, and teens – especial­ly black teens. Their unemploy­ment rate was below that of white teens before the minimum wage was raised.

– When the minimum goes up, employers automate (which hurts the poor), other wages go up, prices go up (which hurts the poor), and produc­tion stays the same. This contributes to inflation, a less competitive posi­tion for the U.S., more companies moving out of state or abroad, and more support for the under­ground economy – like hiring people off the books.

– We’re told raising the minimum is to help the poor, but minimum wage workers that might be the heads of households are less than 1% of the work force. Most people making minimum wage are not poor.

– The minimum wage puts out of work those that need it most – runaways, drop­outs, substance abusers, refugees, the aged, the unskilled, and thousands of idle youth – some of whom dropout, runaway, and turn to crime. They need the esteem that comes from a job, no matter what the wage.

Lowering the minimum wage would cause training, service, and the number of jobs and hours of work to go up; and it would cause prices, infla­tion, unemployment, and welfare to go down. It would get many of the young involved in the real world at an earlier age, teach them work habits, the link between effort and reward, and keep them busy. This might do more to reduce juvenile delinquency than any measure, and it would give them every reason to make themselves more marketable thru training and education.

Lowering the minimum wage would help thrift shops, junkyards, and recyclers – low wage workers could fix much of what is thrown out. Some, especially immigrants, are ingenious at this.

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