Bernie Sanders is promoting a $15/hour minimum wage. It sounds great. Everyone should be making a living wage. He stresses how people making the minimum wage can’t survive. First off all, less than 4% of the population is making minimum wage. Secondly, maybe people should see what they are actually making. Most people either don’t realize or don’t care that their employer is paying a good 30% or so on top of their wage for additional ‘compensation’. Basically, someone who is making today’s minimum wage of about $7.50 an hour or so is really making a good ten bucks an hour. Of course, that doesn’t matter, right?
About 12 years ago, I had a part time job working as the secretary for our local parish. I was making $10/hour. That was a great part time salary for the town where I live. Unfortunately, it still is. If Bernie Sanders has his way, the minimum wage will basically double to $15/hour. What does that do to the person who is making $10/hour or even $15/hour? The only way to fairly compensate, and trust me, business owners are not going to do this is to literally double everyone’s wage.
If they double everyone’s wage, they’re going to cut back, by half. A heck of a lot of people are going to lose their jobs so that unskilled minimum wage workers can make what they truly are not qualified to make. Minimum wage workers are unskilled entry level workers, primarily. They are kids with their first jobs, or someone flipping burgers who basically is lucky to get that job with their personal histories. Yes, it sounds nasty but why should someone who never finished high school and can’t pass a pee test be paid the same as someone who has been a good and loyal employee for years?
If you double wages, and that is what is going to happen a business owner is going to do one of two things, or maybe both. First, if they sell a product they are going to be required to raise prices. A ten buck pizza is going to end up costing nearly $15. So, the person who was making minimum wage is still stuck right where they were. Secondly, in order to maintain a profit, and a business owner, unless they live in Bernie Sanders’ world, are allowed to make a profit, and a good one, will be required to start cutting jobs. You double wages and you must cut your staff by half or their hours by half.
The secret is not in raising wages, but controlling inflation. Inflation is when gas, which was once $1.50 a gallon rose to $3.00 a gallon. Everything went up, but the amount seniors received for their social security. Fuel costs are not considered part of inflation. Once prices go up, they never go down, even now that gas is close to $1.50 a gallon. But, where people were spending $15.00 a week for gas, were spending $30.00 a week for gas, they are now spending around $15.00 a week. They have $15.00 more to either save, pay down their bills, or spend on something else.
Bernie Sanders’ plan, while it sounds great, would literally wreck the economy.