Minimum Wage, Corporate Disenfranchisement, and Small Business
The Independent Project. Redding, CA
Currently the issue of the minimum wage is a popular topic in the United States of America, Many want to raise the minimum wage at the federal level to eleven or fifteen dollars an hour stating that if we did so the economy would improve because people would have more money to spend. This point cannot be argued against; people of course will have more money if you pay them more money. However, this money is coming from other people and those people could simply raise prices to cover the losses. Also another argument against the raise is that it would harm small businesses because many are struggling to stay afloat as it is now and if you cut their profits further they may cease to be profitable.
The other side wants to eliminate the minimum wage saying it is discouraging business and impeding growth, this is also true because if there is no minimum wage potentially a business owner could hire more people for fewer wages and or cut costs, which would make goods more available and thus improve the economy. However if there is no minimum wage you have to pay there is a greater risk for disenfranchisement in poorer communities. The point brought against this is “If a company is not paying a competitive wage simply do not give them your labor.” This point makes sense if you are someone who has that financial security cushion, but in a community that is gripped by poverty this is simply not an option. True real poverty is a day after day struggle for sustenance, one afflicted with such a degree of poverty cannot reject a wage simply because it is too low. These facts stated shows the danger for a culture of disenfranchisement of poor areas is extreme and must be prevented at all costs.
What if we could somehow create a compromise between the two sides? A pay rise, yet at the same time and minimum wage decrease or keep it as it is now? It is indeed possible and indeed helpful to the economy. What I would propose is a raise in the minimum wage for interstate domestic corporations such as Wal-Mart or McDonalds, but place reasonable and fair price controls on products they sell that allow them to still make profits and grow but not simply just cover their losses by hurting the consumer. Also place simple benefits for hiring more workers like small tax breaks or allowances so the companies could not simply jettison workers to avoid paying more. Furthermore as to not harm small businesses set requirements and levels of businesses at which the rates apply for example a company like Wal-Mart that generates Billions in profit would have a higher minimum wage than say In-and-Out Burger or Black Bear Diner which are successful and bring in large amounts of revenue and are interstate cooperation, however they hardly bring in anything comparable to Wal-Mart. This stipulation ensures that large companies pay decent wages and smaller companies are able to generate capital and grow competitively. As with all things in government even this suggested system balance and correct management must be its cardinal rules. If administered properly the effects of this system are that small businesses will have more room to grow and hire while larger corporations will pay a fair wage and be able to actually increase profits in the long run because of the increased wages people will be earning more good will be purchased thus increasing revenue, Disenfranchisement is limited without hurting small business.