Burgers and minimum wage.

“They forgot your burger, that’s why they need to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour!” This was said by my husband in a hunger-induced rage after discovering my pretzel bacon cheeseburger was missing from our order last weekend. Frankly, I agree with him. The three reasons I don’t support an across the board minimum wage increase are 1) the cost of everything else will also increase, 2) jobs will be lost, and 3) minimum wage is low for a reason.

It’s really just common sense that when a company needs to pay employees more, whatever they are selling will also increase in price. Really, everything will just balance out in the end for those making minimum. They’ll make a little more, prices of what they are buying go up a little more…it’s almost like the raise never happened. However, for the rest of those in the work force making more than minimum wage but aren’t rolling in the dough, this will be tough. My husband makes more than minimum wage, he makes slightly more than $15 an hour. If suddenly instead of him making over double minimum wage, he is making only a few dollars more, yet everything we have to buy also increases in price, this poses a problem for our family. It’s a problem that will be faced by millions of workers who have climbed up the ladder over the years, then suddenly find themselves yet again on one of the bottom rungs.

Some people who make minimum wage will lose their jobs.  Of course the big CEOs could cut their paychecks to a reasonable size and balance it out so they wouldn’t have to cut anyone, in fantasy land that would be a great solution. In reality, the love of money is the root of all evil. Most of those at the top will just fire the nameless burger flippers and fry fryers. Extended hours and increased responsibilities will accompany increased pay. Though I guess that’s what comes with increased pay, normally, more work.

With my last thought, I’m not at all saying those who work minimum wage jobs do not work hard or that some do not deserve a wage increase. That said, minimum wage jobs are minimum wage for a reason. They are the base. They are a starting point to either work yourself up or to quit after a certain amount of time to pursue other things. They are jobs that most anyone can do, they are jobs that reflect smaller pay. My husband has worked hard to be earning his current wage. He hasn’t always earned above what the minimum wage increase would be, he has worked hard and learned a lot. He worked for his parents in middle and high school. Upon high school graduation, he went into the same field with the knowledge gained from his family’s shop. Over almost 20 years since, working and learning, his income has increased. That’s how employment works.

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