Democratic Party and the Minimum Wage

In response to the Democratic Party’s vote, Terrence Wise, a Kansas City, Mo. McDonald’s and Burger King Worker and member of the National Organizing Committee of the Fight for $15, issued the following statement.

The Democratic Party’s move shows a growing understanding that $15 an hour is what American workers everywhere need to survive and support their families. When fast-food workers first went on strike three years ago in New York City, most people gave them no shot to win. But the movement caught on in every corner of the country and big wage increases are now spreading from coast to coast. By joining together, speaking out and going on strike, we’re changing the politics of the country. And we’re going to keep on fighting until every underpaid worker in this country wins $15 and a union.

The eventual outcome will be:

  • Profitability of fast food restaurants will go down or become negative, making them go out of business.
  • Services will become worse, since restaurants will not be able to afford the help they need.
  • Mom and pop businesses, like local pizza shops and diners will no longer be feasible.
  • Top-tier restaurants will start installing more kiosks so customers purchase electronically and there will be fewer staff members.

All those outcomes will result in fewer minimum wage jobs in the country, and more unemployment. Those that are benefiting from the extra pay that the new minimum wage offers them are doing it on the backs of those that lose their jobs and the students that can no longer get jobs after school and on vacations.

Overall, our country will be less competitive and less prosperous. Sorry, everyone does not “deserve” some minimum wage. Those that have the education, skills, energy and willingness to contribute something to society that society is willing to pay them for will get paid. Imposing minimum wages just slows us all down more and undermines our long-term viability as a competitive nation in the world.

Previous thoughts of mine of this subject here.

One thought on “Democratic Party and the Minimum Wage

  1. I know that Economists of both the classical and liberal schools of thought all feel this way and if you do the math this would in fact support your conclusion. However there hasn’t been any studies in the wild that support this. I am anxious to see if these effects actually take place in Washington state which instituted the $15 minimum wage statewide last year. While it may have the predictive negative effect you describe, I am hopeful that the good might just outweigh the bad. Fingers crossed. In any event we will always need fast food workers, janitors and dumpster divers but it would be really nice if everyone could get a living wage for doing this type of work. I don’t think this will demotivate people to aspire to these types of jobs but I may be wrong. Time will tell how much economic theory matches human nature.

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