This is going to cause a lot of controversy because the first thought that will enter anyone’s head will be that I don’t care if people are able to live off of the wage that they make. There is a half truth in that statement. I do not know if it is possible for every potential job to pay a living wage. What I mean by potential job is the difference between a small business owner surviving with a little help from a young kid and struggling to keep the store open by themselves. They can no longer afford to hire help if the wage goes up. This wasn’t a job designed to support a family. It was designed to give a kid some money for their first car. It was a job that was going to teach the kid about the value of hard work and saving more than you spend. A task that anyone would be willing to do for less than the minimum wage held ransom by government restriction.
It’s easier to say, “Well then get a new job,” than it is to risk everything to seek new employment. Some of us are accountable to not only ourselves but lives of our children. We struggle to find ways of feeding our family let alone think of ways to expand our education between second jobs. It feels like a downward spiral. A black hole. So the first thought is if every employer paid “a fair living wage”, then we could get out of the rut. If life worked linearly this might be the case. Unfortunately for us all, the math needed is usually not considered or taught at the levels of education most will achieve. Everything must find its balance in this universe. Taxes, Spending, Cost of Manufacturing, Distribution, Consumers, Rent, Cost of living… If you tug on one string the rest will react as well. If the market does not find it’s proper balance we enter recessions to depressions.
( wages cont.)
The job’s start to tighten up as employers are unable to pay for extra help. At the same time the areas you live in are growing. Population beginning to swell causes a housing shortage. The government steps in creating rules that will affect the entire state even though the majority of the population growth is happening in a single spot. The regulations were meant for two reasons. The first was meant to help and was supported by those with kind hearts and who spent little time considering the budget.
“Who cares about budget when it comes to life?”, you might ask. It is true that human life should never be weighed against the monetary cost. It can be weighed against another life. That is sad but it is a fact of life. Not in the form of eugenics and social engineering but, when forced to make decisions on the level of state government, left or right will lead to a set number of deaths in either direction. What then? Do we find the least lives lost or do we consider the quality of life for everyone? I am not an expert but in spending endless hours listening to scholars from the the entire spectrum of economic philosophy I continue to find valid reasoning behind an abolition of a minimum wage.
Ultimately the minimum wage does not set a standard of living it sets a minimum level of entry into the job market. While low skill workers may gain a higher hourly wage the lowest skilled workers are barred from finding employment at all. Either the jobs no longer exist or they have been outsourced to automation. This is like removing the bottom rung of a ladder. You may have moved the bottom up but you have prevented the lowest from reaching the ladder. Secondary effects involve a loss of hours so that while the wage goes up the net total is a lower income.
Without a minimum wage the youngest or least skilled able to enter the marketplace begin receiving income and training. Companies benefiting from higher productivity can afford more hours to their employees. Employers have a broader range of jobs at different pay rates to offer.
What’s stopping them from from creating slave labor? You and I. We determine what the pay we are willing to accept is. It is hard to switch jobs. I put my children to sleep, spent far too little time with my wife, and sat down to type this. I spent all day at work and I am tired too. I am not rich and I did not take any donations even if it was purely out of stubborness. I am not special but I want more from this life. Not to be given more but to do more. I want to provide to my family and I want to serve my country. I am led my my own discontent. No one should ever feel bound to the situation they are in now. This is America and what you can accomplish is limited only by your willingness to take it for yourself.
You do not need to take it from others. You decide if a job is not worth it and you ask for a raise or you spend that extra few hours fighting through exhaustion until you find the next. If they cannot afford it or do not believe in you then you need to move on. Not because you are not worth it, but your life is not worth spending feeling worth more. The person willing to work for that wage can take your spot and that is good for you. You are worth more, the job isn’t. I say this because I care. If I did not then I truly believe the result is that instead of paying you more they will assign you less hours. You cannot beat the system on that level. They have the stronger position as they can choose to have no job at all. Your power comes when you find the balance between what you believe you are worth and the employer who has that to offer.