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"Therefore, since the world has still
Much good, but much less good than ill,
And while the sun and moon endure
Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
I'd face it as a wise man would,
And train for ill and not for good."
The debate over raising the minimum wage bubbled over my radio this morning, via the local college station. I've always wondered why anyone would be against raising the lowest common denominator so I listened for as long as I could stand it. The conservative contingent on the show said "You can't PROVE raising the minimum wage helps anyone but we KNOW it hurts businesses." I've been a minimum wage slave for many of my years, the majority of my working years, now that I think about it. When it was raised from $3 to $3.35, this guy on the radio would have been right. I didn't notice much of a difference. But when it went up to $4 not long after, I could have proven it helped me. Standing in line at the local burrito joint today, I considered his argument that it hurts businesses.
If ALL businesses in the U.S. are forced to raise their minimum wage, who is hurt? The few businesses that have minimum wage slaves are forced to raise their prices to keep their profit levels at their desired percentage. Competition rushes in and cuts their prices so that our example business plunges into bankruptcy, forcing hordes of $4.25/hour workers to lose their huge paychecks, right? Um... WHO rushes in and takes their business? The competition has also been forced to raise their prices, as they're required by law to raise their minimum wage as well. Competition from outside the U.S.? Imports are generally hard goods and I don't know any auto assembly line workers making minimum wage. I do, however, know a lot of burrito and McOthers making minimum wage. I doubt there's going to be a huge sucking sound as fast food addicts head south of the border for tacos when the McWhop goes up 22 cents.
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