Minimum wage intended as a starting point

I am concerned with statements made by the president in the State of the Union concerning minimum wage. His stance on raising the minimum wage echoes the sentiment of the “living wage” crowd. This stance is deeply disturbing.

Raising minimum wage will increase the money that low level employees take home. On the surface, this idea seems good because it makes all of us feel good. After all, we are putting more money in people’s pockets. Sadly, this is not the case. An across the board minimum wage increase does two things. First and foremost it adds more money to a bloated, spend crazy, government’s coffers. Second, prices will increase. If things are going to cost more, how is that a help to someone making minimum wage? The only thing that happens is the people in the middle slide down the ladder of success a little bit more.

Minimum wage is not intended to be anything else than a starting point. People can work their way up in a company and end up making significantly more. It just takes hard work. The value of trying to get ahead should be instilled in this country instead of the popular attitude of entitlement.

Another factor that many fail to have the foresight on is unemployment. Companies can find ways to automate much cheaper than pay a high wage for an unskilled worker. Think about this, do you need someone to take your order at a fast food company? It would be very easy to have a touch screen in front of you and a place to insert money. Suddenly, all those cashier positions are gone.

Let the free market determine wages. The old adage of, “You get what you pay for,” really does apply.

Jay Owens