Keep minimum wage down

I’m sure most of you know by now that the Democrat controlled House recently passed a bill to raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 within the next few years. You’ve probably also heard nothing but high praise for this initiative, which, according to Democrats, would lift the income of 13 million American workers – 5.6 million of which earn the current minimum wage and 7.4 million just above that level – and help reduce the poverty situation in this country.

Well I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but you have all been deceived.

Increasing the minimum wage will do absolutely nothing to fix poverty in this country and is a completely unnecessary economic aberration for a number of reasons.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor: The majority of people earning minimum wage or less tend to be young, single workers between the ages of 16 and 25. In fact, only about two percent of workers over 25 years of age earn minimum wages.

But that’s not all.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: 63 percent of minimum wage workers receive raises within one year of employment, and only 5.3 percent are from households below the poverty lines.

That’s right, only 5.3 percent.

And even more surprising is that 40 percent of minimum wage earners aren’t homeless and living on the streets, nor are they McDonald’s workers who sleep in shacks like the politicians claim. Instead these individuals live in households with incomes of $60,000 or higher!

Now any rational thinker would realize these facts prove pretty conclusively that low wages aren’t as big a problem as we have been led to believe.

But apparently the Democrats and a few rogue Republicans have chosen to ignore reality in passing this ridiculous bill. The term “minimum wage increase,” while seemingly noble on the surface, is nothing more than a manipulative deception created by politicians who use the unemployed and underprivileged as ammunition to leverage their insatiable, sycophantic belief that the current $5.15 minimum wage is to blame for poverty.

The fact is, poor people are not poor because of low wages. In actuality, they are poor because of low productivity, and wages are directly connected to productivity. Wages are determined (unless your name is Howard Stern) by how much a worker contributes to society and overall economic growth. Essentially, this means people should only get paid what they are worth, period. So if someone is only worth $5.15 economically, then that’s all they should get paid.

Why should an employer have to pay $7.10 an hour plus required benefits that could potentially bring worker cost to $9 an hour if that worker’s productivity and skills only permit him to produce $5 worth of value per hour?

Answer: He shouldn’t, and any rational entrepreneur would view the above scenario as a losing economic proposition. .

But now that the government has obtruded on the economic picture yet again, we can expect even more situations like this, resulting in a substantial hike in the unemployment rate.

If you can’t see how this is possible, you needn’t look any further than at small businesses, who will be crippled the most by this minimum wage increase. These owners — many of whom pay a higher tax bracket than large corporations – may have to offset their losses by laying off some of their personnel, culminating in a net loss of jobs around the country.

This is a shame when you consider that, according to the Small Business Administration, small businesses account for two out of every three new jobs and represent nearly half of America’s overall employment.

Well, they probably won’t anymore.

In two surveys conducted by the American Economic Review, roughly 85 percent of economists state that jacking up the minimum wage also increases the problem of unemployment among youth and low-skilled employees working for small businesses.

But with this new wage increase, you can expect these numbers to further dwindle along with a portion of our national economic picture.

Luckily the Senate can still shoot this bill down, so write your Senators and ask them to help put a stop to this lunacy, or at the very least push for an attachment of tax breaks to businesses so that losses can be offset.

There’s no question we have a poverty problem in this country which must be addressed, and as humans we are called to help our fellow man. But aside from working in a shelter and giving money or food, if you really want to help the poor and the homeless, advocating for a raise in the federal minimum wage is probably not the best course of action.

If you do support the increase, I hope you’re prepared, because the poor and the homeless are about to have more company.

Send comments to Dan Lipian at [email protected]