One of the things that the new Congress just had to get done in its first 100 hours (which weren’t literal, but non-procedural hours) was to pass an increase to the minimum wage. This had to be done, they reasoned, because of the people that work at minimum wage that have to support a family.
However, I find that it actually has more effect on teens and in job losses than what they believe it does.
My father’s church would really like someone to come in and answer the phone. Not a full time thing, it would only be half a day and the person they have in mind is the Associate Pastor’s daughter. However, if they were to actually hire her, they’d have to pay her the minimum wage to sit and do homework and answer the phone if it rings.
This is ludicrous. Because of the minimum wage being what it is, the church can’t afford to do this– and has an ethical alternative. They can have someone volunteer their time, and the church could give that person a gift– if the church so chose. They do not have to give the gift, and the person volunteering should not expect to get anything.
The new wage hike is hurting teens across Arizona. People that even voted for it are realizing the impact. Basically, they raised the wage, which raises the cost of employees, which causes managers to cut back. How does it work, observe this example:
Tom Kelly, owner of Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream Parlor in Phoenix, voted for the minimum-wage increase. But he said, “The new law has impacted us quite a bit.”
It added about $2,000 per month in expenses. The store, which employs mostly teen workers, has cut back on hours and has not replaced a couple of workers who quit.
Kelly raised the wages of workers who already made above minimum wage to ensure pay scales stayed even. As a result, “we have to be a lot more efficient” and must increase menu prices, he said.
So, the wage goes up. In order to remain profitable, the prices all go up. The wages of workers that are at the new minimum have to go up to see fair. And people had to be let go. And what really did this accomplish for the teens?
- Some learned that it was smarter to wait until after college to find a job.
- One place for a teen to learn responsibility was closed– since there are limited number of positions, and those that are less responsible (i.e. need to be trained) are the first to go.
- Inflation- prices go up, wages go up. “Hey, I’m now making $8.00 an hour. Boy, it still costs ‘a whole hour’ to eat at McDonalds!”
“Workers affected by the minimum-wage increase are less likely to be supporting a family than the typical Arizona worker,” it stated. “For example, 30.4 percent of the workers are living with their parent or parents, while only 7.6 percent of all Arizona workers are in this category.”
That’s why I’m for the market determining the wage. I don’t want to see any mother of five working minimum wage and trying to support her family. But just how typical is that? What’s the percentage compared to the percentage of teen employees? We want our kids off the streets and to learn responsibility, but we keep legislating them out of a job!