What is most troubling about this issue, is the simplistic way it is presented to the General Public. Many Americans are forming opinions based on rudimentary, and misleading data. Here are two statements that seem to be perfectly reasonable, yet represent polar opposite positions when discussing raising the MINIMUM WAGE.
1) "Raising it will cost jobs, especially among low skill workers.
Businesses who have such a work force will have to lay off
workers to remain profitable."
2) "Raising the minimum wage will create a need to expand the
work force. Families that are now just making it, will have a
sudden increase in discretionary spending. Necessities are
more easily met, and luxuries are now within reach."
What do they both have in common? They are both offering a solution to a problem that cannot be solved so easily. Further, neither addresses Moral or Ethical implications in either course of action.
In part 1, I cited the most frequent argument, (Repeated above), against raising the minimum wage. I then offered arguments against such reasoning at the end of pt 1 and above in pt 2. However, to find a solution that will be satisfactory to both ends of the political spectrum, certain guidelines must be met. This means that all sides must make clear the bottom line:
- What is the goal of Government Intervention in regulating wages, and whether it should be done at all?
- Should it be applied to both the Public and Private sector?
- Does the Private Sector have any Moral Obligation to its' employees,
apart from the profit margin affecting Stockholders and Investors?
Finally, and an area I consider most important, is the idea that anytime Private Business asks for Tax Breaks or Subsidies to rescue Poor Management, Faulty Judgment or Declining Profits, it be tied in with employee paychecks. If you want Public Money to save your Private Stock Portfolio, the Public should expect something in return. This should be a guarantee, not a desire to see them do "The Right Thing."
Look for PT 3.