Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour may benefit a few workers. However, many economists agree it will hurt most Americans, especially the poor. How you may ask? The minimum wage is also tied to union contracts. Therefore, union workers salary automatically increases causing all salaries to increase. While some may think this is good, there are consequences.
Minimum wage jobs were meant for entry level workers, such as young workers seeking jobs for spending and gas money while gaining work experience. When the minimum wage becomes a living wage, many entry level jobs that benefit the poor and young workers are eliminated. Instead workers, who are fortunate to get the higher wage, hold the position as a permanent job.
With the minimum wage and union wage increase, as well as higher health care costs, the business costs also increase forcing businesses to raise their prices, cut hours, or eliminate jobs. Some businesses may close while larger companies may transplant their business to another business friendly country. Some businesses have already begun eliminating jobs with computer technology. Ordering an airline ticket or a Happy Meal from a computer screen eliminates jobs. Economists estimate 10% of entry level jobs will be eliminated while the price of goods and services increase, causing Americans to pay billions in more cost. The result will be fewer jobs for young people, less hours for workers, an increase in crime, and an increase in homelessness.
With fewer jobs available, one may think that we should take care of our own people. Instead, our government has compounded the problem by allowing 700 Syrian refugees to come to America daily. There are 10-20 million people here illegally and an overburdened criminal system has begun releasing criminals with no jobs available. As a result, there will be more unemployed people who seek government assistance. Therefore, government agencies will be overwhelmed as many more will struggle to get assistance. This makes the minimum wage debate a win-win for Democrats. Young workers see them as compassionate for increasing the minimum wage. Unions, who donate to Democrats, receive more union dues. More people would be on government aid while the Democrats use class envy, blaming businesses and Wall Street rather than blaming themselves. The gap between the rich and the poor just got larger.
Thirty years ago, the minimum wage was $3.35 an hour. At this rate, the minimum wage will be $75 an hour in another 30 years. Imagine the cost increase in the family budget. That will hurt America, especially the poor. Those who struggle are looking for government to provide solutions not realizing that government has created the problem.