| Hi Taylor:
All this talk about hiking the minimum wage up to $15 an hour. On
the one hand, I see the need for a good wage. On the other, I'm not
sure about that being mandated. What are your thoughts?
Hi Jim: This has become one of the hotter topics of late. You
mention the two main talking points, which I feel could probably be
addressed if everyone would agree to a sensible conversation. At the
risk of oversimplifying the issue, here's one way to break it down.
need a decent wage. That's the argument in favor of hiking
the minimum wage, and I don't think you'll find anyone who opposes
that line of thinking. If someone is putting in a forty-hour workweek,
that person should be able to support themselves. As a business
owner, I consider it an important responsibility to support the
people I employ. For a great many of us, a change in the minimum
wage wouldn't have that much of an effect because we're already
paying well over $15/hour. I feel that any employer who underpays
his or her staff to cut costs is doing their company a disservice.
In that sense, I support a respectable minimum wage.
situation is different. In many cases, seasonal work is given
out to teenagers and part-time workers who just come in to help
with some simple tasks. Those people aren't looking to make a
ton of money and do fine on whatever wage they're given. If a
minimum wage increase killed off those jobs, that would be a huge
setback for both the employers and the workers. Small businesses
tend to get rolled over with these sweeping regulations. In an
effort to help some people make a little more money, we can't
just let other people's livelihood become collateral damage.
3. Solution? Fortunately, I'm not in charge of legislating
a fix. I can't imagine a perfect solution coming at the federal
level; it's even hard to think of a one-size-fits-all wage increase
at the state or local level that would keep everyone happy. I
will say it's a good conversation to be having. Maybe some employers
will realize they can afford to pay a little more, and some wage
increase advocates will see the smaller companies that can only
afford what they currently pay. If we can avoid hasty legislation
and still lift up the people in need, that sounds like a good
outcome to me.
| What works
for one company doesn't always work for another, which makes this
whole minimum wage thing a conundrum. This issue affects too many
people for there to be a quick fix, so it's safe to assume the debate
will carry on. Thanks for writing in, Jim!
© Taylor Kovar
July 20, 2022
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