A Jason’s Deli location in Florida absolutely destroyed the sometimes popular minimum wage argument with one very controversial sign. The idea is that businesses, both large and small, should pay their employees a “living wage” (whatever that means). If businesses cannot afford to pay whatever a “living wage” is, then some people think they should not be in business. The “Fight for 15” movement argued that $15 an hour is sufficient enough for a living wage. The problem with assigning a random number as a mandatory “living wage” is that the logic behind wage creation is totally ignored.
Wages are created from a variety of factors. Any business that actually cares about making money counts every single red cent that comes into and leaves their coffers. Some businesses don’t care about their expenses as much as others but that’s another topic. The overwhelming majority of businesses watch their finances like a hawk in the sky. Wages are crafted extremely carefully as a result of strict financial planning and observation. The Federal Government of the United States sets arbitrary minimums that don’t have much of a connection to on-the-ground business expenses.
In defense of the US Government, the current $7.25 minimum wage is somewhat realistic. It is closer to the reality of what some businesses are able to pay than the extraordinary $15 per hour. A minimum wage that high is simply unaffordable for scores of small businesses to pay their employees. And the reality is that even if a business is able to pay a high wage, the very people who desire a pay raise from the current minimum won’t be the ones working for the higher wage. Why pay the same inexperienced and unskilled person $15 an hour when that business now has the ability to hire a better worker? The 16-year-old minority from Chicago just trying to get his foot in the door will be shut out in favor of the 24-year-old college graduate who moved to Chicago from a far-away suburb.
The facts of life can be a tough pill for an ignorant person to swallow. Feelings, however strong, do not change the reality of the world. And the reality is that some people are not capable of enough productivity to justify a high wage. The Federal Government should not force small businesses to pay higher amounts arbitrarily. Job-seekers simply need to acquire better skills and contribute more to society. The United States used to be a nation of inventors and skilled tradesmen. Those days are being replaced with uneducated and entitled people. A nation built upon the shoulders of hordes of these people is destined to fail.
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