The Truth Doesn't Matter
It is not a new story; in fact it's old. People screaming for a "livable wage." Often the wage they cite as being "livable" is $15 an hour. A few years ago I had a number of stories come up, many of which were targeting Seattle and Tacoma. The experiment failed miserably. Many of those workers it was designed to help lost their jobs because businesses, especially restaurants, could not pass the cost on to the customer. Those that did saw their business drop precipitously. Many businesses moved out of the metropolitan area. New York City and other municipalities tried the same thing and got the same results.
The general perception among those that push for a $15 an hour minimum wage is that those who are working in those jobs cannot support themselves. The reality is that many people working in those jobs such as the restaurant industry are those who are just entering the job market and do not need to support themselves or a family on that wage. Another interesting fact is that many people working as waiters or waitresses here in Grant County make upwards of $30,000 a year which is well over the $15 an hour minimum wage being pushed. I know several that make around $50,000 a year.
We are starting to see many businesses that traditionally pay minimum wage to entry level workers advertising jobs starting at $16-18 per hour. Yet they cannot find people to work. Why would someone work when they can stay home and collect unemployment and other benefits that are the equivalent of $26,000 to $30,000 a year? I think each of us has a dollar figure in mind that would entice us to stay home and not work.
New unemployment claim numbers were released yesterday and exceeded the anticipated amount of new claims. Over 355 thousand people applied for benefits for the first time. Why aren't they going somewhere else to work because there are a lot of businesses hiring? There's a myriad of reasons including the amount of money they can receive in benefits but also they might have to move somewhere to get a job and they're not willing. There are also the supply chain concerns which means many of these people were laid off because the businesses can't get what they need to provide the products or services they want to offer.
In a time when Joe Biden is touting the economic recovery and taking credit for it we are seeing so many underlying problems such as supply chain backlogs. The lack of available workers and inflation. Yet those that want a higher minimum wage continue to beat that tired drum because it is in their nature to get what they want regardless of who it will hurt or the truth. Kind of like taking the horses away from the Border Patrol when it was proven that that officer was not whipping an illegal immigrant.