The debate over minimum-wage laws has been a topic of discussion for the past several years, but it has surfaced as a prominent issue once again as Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles recently passed a $15 minimum wage law that will be phased in over several years.
These new regulations will do everything but ensure a robust economy, contrary to popular belief.
Simply, the minimum-wage hike would result in job loss, hurt low-skilled workers, have little effect on reducing poverty and result in higher prices for consumers.
Although the proponents of this law might have good intentions, raising the minimum wage would do more harm than good. In a speech delivered in Washington D.C., President Barack Obama said, “If you work hard, you should be able to support a family.”
So-called “minimum wage” jobs, though, are not meant to be careers by which one supports a family.
In the ’60s and ’70s, it was possible for parents to work jobs that required little, if any, higher education and provide for a family. That is no longer the case.
Today, these jobs instead are purposed as initial steps in the pursuit of advanced career aspirations, typically for teenagers and college students.
In saying this though, all honest work is honorable, but once we begin to examine the meaning behind “The American Dream,” we realize that it was never just about how much income you earned.
Having a job that pays $15 an hour is not “The American Dream.” Rather, it is defined as every parents’ desire to leave their children with a better world than the one in which they grew up.
Dan Springer of Fox News wrote, “Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise — in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.”
Our higher education system, current tax code and welfare system are not designed in such a way that empowers individuals to fulfill their God-given potential with the skills and abilities they have. It is imperative that as a country we incentivize work rather than punish it.
Jason Rantz,of the Jason Rantz Show further contributes, “If they cut down their hours to stay on those subsidies because the $15 per hour minimum wage didn’t actually help get them out of poverty, all you’ve done is put a burden on the business and given false hope to a lot of people.”
We should be striving to encourage people to enter the job market, not reassuring them in their efforts to stay home and collect a welfare check.
Thomas Sowell, an economist and current senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, opines, “The net economic effect of minimum wage laws is to make less-skilled, less-experienced or otherwise less-desired workers more expensive — thereby pricing many of them out of jobs.”
America is still the greatest nation in the world. Marco Rubio, a current U.S. senator and Republican presidential candidate argues, “This new era requires new ideas — still rooted in the principles of free enterprise, limited government and individual responsibly — but adjusted to meet the new challenges of a new day.”
The best approach to this argument of raising the minimum wage is to target education reform and tax cuts that give people the resources they need to boldly innovate and continue our legacy of leading the world by refusing to let other countries take our place.
Lauren Konkol is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.