Actually, you’re wrong about everything.
They’re called minimum wage jobs because it was conceived of as being the *minimum* a person could make and still support themselves… the bare minimum a person needs to live, hence the term minimum. If it was just “the minimum of what you can go out and make”, we wouldn’t need a law to set it… whatever the lowest paying job paid would be the minimum wage. Think about if for even thirty seconds and you’ll realize this is true.
We passed a minimum wage law because… and this is something so staggeringly obvious it should go without saying… jobs that require full-time work but don’t pay enough for a person to survive mean people who take them must have another means of support (like another full-time job) or else they will die. Either way, when people are trapped in minimum wage jobs that are not paying a living wage for a long period of time, they are literally working themselves to death, through some combination of overworking and skimping on the necessities of survival.
"Use your brain," you say. Well, here’s an exercise for your brain. A person works all their free time at every job they can get and doesn’t have enough to live. What more can they do?
"People living at home, people like teenagers or retirees who still want to work" are the sort of people who *could* live on sub-living wages, yes, but that’s not who minimum wage laws were made to protect and that’s not who works the majority of minimum wage jobs today. The idea that this is the case is a myth that exists to allow some of the most profitable corporations in the world to pay people who are working to support families a wage that can’t sustain them.
And who picks up the slack for these corporations? You. Me. Everybody else. The food stamps and other aid that the people who work sub-living wages at Wal-Mart and McDonalds make is subsidized by every employer who does pay reasonable wages. The profit margins of those companies are propped up by companies that do pay their employees enough to afford “luxuries” like prepared food and new clothing.
You clearly don’t understand how raising the minimum wage DAMAGES the economy, and every single time it’s raised it cracks the debt ceiling a little further.
You should really read this forbes article, because in all honesty, I don’t think you have a clue what you’re talking about.
If you keep raising the minimum wage you’re going to have to continue to raise it forever because big and small corporations alike will never be able to make up for it in profit.
Here’s the forbes article that you should read, ignorant swine:
Get educated beyond highschool level please. I see you’re at home right now. Why is that? Because you don’t have a job? Oh who’s fault is that? Definitely not mine, it’s yours.
If you want a higher paying job, learn a trade or skill that’s useful. Do you realize how much money garbage collectors make a year? Far more than the average McDonalds worker.
If you don’t like the way the minimum wage is, that’s fine, but don’t raise it just because you’re too stupid to make it into college/too ignorant to go out and learn a trade.
Unfortunately for your fairy tale view of the world, the following things are true:
- The places in the country that have raised the minimum wage on their own have also lowered their unemployment because raising the minimum wage stimulates the economy for reasons outlined in the post that inspired your fantasy-based response. Correlation isn’t causation, but there isn’t even correlation between higher unemployment and higher minimum wage.
- The minimum wage has actually *shrunk* compared to the prices customers pay, the profits corporations take in, and the value of the U.S. dollar. Doubling it wouldn’t be raising it in objective terms, it wouldn’t even be quite keeping pace with where it *should* be.
- Again, the idea that minimum wage jobs are held by teenagers who will grow out of them or retirees who don’t need anything more is a myth. Most of the people working minimum wage jobs (I’m not one of them, by the way, I’m self-employed and won’t be affected even if the minimum wage goes up to infinity dollars an hour) DO have degrees, trade skill certifications, and even in many cases job experience.
This is the reality (you know, reality? That big thing that exists just outside your ideology?) that you are not acknowledging.
Life isn’t a video game where if you level up, you get the reward. There are a finite number of jobs available in any field at any level, and corporations have no incentive to hire more people than they can get away with or pay them more than they have to. In any economy run the way that ours is currently ran, a huge amount of people are going to be stuck working minimum wage, no matter what.
You read Forbes? I’m sure you’ve heard the good news that employee productivity is at record levels and has been going up for years. You know what that means in real-world terms? It means that companies are expecting one person to do three jobs. Every time a company downsizes, that’s not just x people out of work. That’s x people out of work and the same number of jobs GONE. Not existing. Each time a company eliminates a position, there’s one more person competing for one fewer jobs, which creates negative pressure on wages and results in more people having to take “unskilled” positions, regardless of their qualifications.
Use your brain, again. If everybody goes to college and everybody tries hard, can we all get better jobs? No. The number of “good jobs” will remain the same. So all that does is increase the competition for non-minimum-wage jobs.The number of people stuck in minimum wage jobs remains the same, and all of those people HAVE to have their basic survival needs met… if not by their wages, then it will come in the form of public assistance. Since right now we’re swallowing the brother of your logic when it comes to public assistance and cutting social safety nets in the name of austerity, this creates an extremely inefficient and punitive state of affairs for people who are, again, necessary to our economy.
That is what causes our economy to enter the slow debt spiral that we’re in now. It decreases tax revenue for the government (because people who can barely make enough money to stay alive aren’t spending extra money) while making public spending less efficient (the number one thing that cures poverty is adequate public assistance, contrary to the fantasy that it just encourages people to “stay poor”)
On the other hand, raising minimum wage to keep pace with the cost of living and inflation stimulates the economy, which creates customers for companies, which creates jobs and tax revenue, which shrinks the deficit, which slows the increase of the debt ceiling.
History has proven this again and again. The thing that your fantasy-based economic positions say should happen never do, and the opposite always does. Reality itself says you’re wrong. Use your brain? Use your eyes!
It’s so funny how the “go to school” advice not only ends up with people trying to pay off student debt on minimum wage, but actually lowers the wages for skilled jobs, because there’s more competition for them and people are desperate. That’s not the way out, that’s how we got to here.