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Does raising minimum wage really help anyone
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Does raising the minimum wage really help anyone?
There are hundreds of arguments regarding the minimum wage issue. In fact there are many good arguments on both sides. Thus, it would be foolish for me to even attempt to address the full controversy in the limited space I have.  
I can say I’m tired of hearing all of the “it’s not fair” issues about CEOs flying in their corporate jets and making millions each year while those same companies pay so poorly that some of their employees have trouble making ends meet. To be honest, I think I could easily handle a 7 figure salary...and a jet at my beckon call. Well that is if you cast aside the time these guys spend away from their families working. I don’t think I would be much a fan of that.
Whatever happened to the American Dream--a dream about a place where, with enough hard work and sacrifice, you too can be a millionaire or at least have a few bucks left over at the end of the month?
But what does the minimum wage actually do to the American Dream?
Currently President Obama is rallying support to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. That is a 39.3% increase over the current minimum wage. Beyond the inflation, lower earnings on our investments and cut backs, how does it affect you and me?
Currently if you earn $9 an hour you earn 24% more than the 4.7% of the workforce earning minimum wage. How much will you earn if minimum wage is bumped up to $10.10 an hour? Probably $10.10 an hour or exactly the same as other minimum wage earners. In other words, you lost the 24% of the more buying power you used to have (and worked hard for). Because let’s be realistic. When minimum wage goes up, everyone doesn’t get the same bump. At least you will most likely not be bumped up to $12.54 an hour to keep you at the same level. And that goes for anyone working hard trying to make ends meet, whether you make $9 an hour, $20 an hour or are on a fixed retirement. You will lose buying power. In other words, most of the rest of us will be taking a cut in buying power. And to what end? There will still be the same people (if not more people) making minimum wage. The government’s poverty threshold level will increase so that the “poor” will still be poor. Ultimately, this will not help our society; in fact, I think this is one of the factors contributing to the erosion of the middle class.
Instead of increasing minimum wage, why don’t we first solve the educational problem we have in the United States? Is 4.7% of workers earning minimum wage so bad when there are currently more than 12.5% of adults without a high school diploma; 29.5% with no post-secondary education and only 38% with a degree or certification in a higher education program of some sort (associates degree, automotive certification, etc.)?
Maybe if we could do something about our under-educated/under-trained workforce, we wouldn’t have to worry so much about wages. Maybe minimum wage could really be what it is supposed to be--an entry level/unskilled wage. Maybe earnings would do a better job keeping pace with inflation. And maybe we’d keep the American Dream a reality.