By Michelle Seiler-Tucker, Special for USDR
A series of protests partially funded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) sought to highlight the difficulty of low-wage workers. Workers across the country gathered over Labor Day demanding that they be paid no less than $15 per hour. Mr. President Obama, the man whose job is to make America a competitive economy globally, publicly sided against business owners when he stated, “America deserves a raise.” Such a statement by the president of the United States shows that even he does not understand why the US economy is flawed or how economics works!
Truly, I have mixed emotions about whether or not the country should increase minimum wage. My perception of jobs that do pay minimum wage is that these positions are temporary. They are not supposed to be permanent positions a worker maintains or is dependent on for the rest of his or her life. Such jobs are ideal for teens or completely inexperienced individuals. For whatever reason though, minimum wage earning workers have concluded that they deserve $15 per hour for taking food orders or frying chicken strips. I get it, but not every job skill deserves $31,200 a year. Come on, I know college graduates who are struggling to even make that. Work is about bettering yourself and increasing your worth. The idea is to start out at minimum wage, master the operations at work, and then either move up or move beyond it if your employer does not appreciate you.
It is true that it is practically impossible to survive in the US on the current minimum wage, but like I said earlier, jobs offering minimum wage are not designed to be a person’s livelihood. However, if a loyal employee has established their worth with a company and is working full time, perhaps that employer should respect that and pay that person slightly more (since they are obviously trying to survive through that job). I understand the frustration of those who cannot seem to get ahead in life, but I am not okay with overlooking and disregarding the people who have fought to increase their self-worth and net-worth. I know people who have worked for free and who were willing to fight for their futures. People who complain about their hours being cut, and use that as an excuse for increasing minimum wage could use that off time towards other things that would push their futures in a more profitable direction.
What the SEIU and the minimum wage employees do not understand is that raising minimum wage could potentially wreck the businesses they are working for and fighting against at the same time. I know tons of small business owners who would not be able to afford a part-time employee at $15 per hour. It would drive their prices up or render them profitless. All three of these things I listed would decrease the value of their business. As a leading authority on buying and selling businesses, I know that propriety information surrounding every business varies exponentially in size and numbers, but no matter what all are vulnerable to economic influxes in inflation.
Increasing minimum wage will lead to another influx in inflation, which means that both individuals and businesses will be hindered in their attempts towards reaching their fullest potential. Inflation causes businesses to sell for less than their worth, and fewer buyers would be willing to pay for something with an artificial price tag that they find in a weak market. Increasing wages is an illusory fix. It would only weaken an economy already afflicted by long-term joblessness and obese debt. For each of us personally, it means we will be forced to suffer financially despite our educations and despite hard worth ethics.