Lately, around town I’ve seen many free-lance organizers waving petitions to increase the federal minimum wage to 10-15$ dollars an hour. With election season right around the corner and a diversifying political landscape, many view the petitions as a means to correct income disparity and economic inequality. Regardless, despite these petitions grass roots support, the issue itself is receiving massive political “turbulence,” with fair reasoning.
This is because 1; increasing the minimum wage is a broad approach to the economic use of government power, but also because increasing the minimum wage is a short term approach, to a long term problem.
Broadening the minimum wage to 10-15$ an hour, will only yield the smallest of gains, when it comes to closing the long term economic inequality gap. This is because markets will in turn fluctuate to make up for the differences over time, particularly in the long term.
In this way, a minimum wage hike will increase workers salaries in the short term, but then those same markets will adjust, making things just as they were before and often times worsening income inequality, in the long run.
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From a grass roots stand point, increasing the minimum wage might also offset raises employees who have already been working, have already accrued. Yet again, one of the many reasons increasing the minimum wage may not be the best solution to inequality, even among workers currently making 10-15$ an hour.
Increasing the minimum wage may lead to increased inflation of the dollar bill later, which would in turn create a higher cost of living in the long term. This could actually work adversely in combating income inequality because often times prices go up, while then wages often remain stagnant, post minimum wage increase. For all of these reasons, it is my belief that increasing the minimum wage IS NOT THE BEST SOLUTION, in the fight against economic inequality.
Is it true that pay gaps are increasing in America today?
The gap between the very rich and everyone else is wider than at any time since the 1920s. pic.twitter.com/f6pf3CYLxO
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 27, 2015
In an ideal world, businesses and business owners……. SHOULD WANT TO PAY WORKERS A FAIR SALARY, OR A LIVING WAGE! It shouldn’t be a matter of legislation to determine what full time workers deserve, the answer is in the employees themselves….. When corporation’s drive employees into the ground, businesses are doing nothing but hurting themselves and the American economy as a whole; so campaigning for increasing the minimum wage doesn’t necessarily attack the heart of the issue, whereby the issue in itself is really revolving door employment and American greed.
In many ways, this issue in itself, is about hearts and minds. If civilians, like myself, stopped idealizing excess and started focusing more on small business, perhaps economic hostilities would grow more favorably during my generation’s economic tenure. Basically, I believe, people need to police themselves on the issue of greed, not ask Washington for a minimum wage hike. It’s my opinion that If people stopped applauding excess and started socially recognizing people in our society, at our jobs, at our family functions, who are abusing their minimum wage employees, THEN Americans could police themselves economically through cultural changes, without the need for Washington politics or increasing taxes and minimum wage salaries.
Not raising the minimum wage doesn’t mean Washington can’t do anything, it simply means increasing the minimum wage might not be the “best approach,” to this dilemma. The “Laissez Faire” approach to minimum wage economics, has been abused over past decades and changes could be made socially, not just legislatively, to combat income inequality without increasing the federal minimum wage.
For example, in Portland, Oregon, it is required that gas stations hire a “fuel attendant” to pump gasoline, at all gas stations, in Oregon. This law requires refueling stations to take on an additional employee, triggering reductions in unemployment and strengthening the states economy. Simple legislation like this, might represent a better, grass roots solution, to attacking the issue of American inequality today, as opposed to risking further inflation down the line, through minimum wage increases.
For those reasons; I believe increasing the minimum wage does NOT represent, “the best long term approach,” to combating income disparity in America and around the world today.
By: William Larsen
Civilians News “News For All Views”