I Can’t Believe There are Still Fools Out There Who Oppose the Minimum Wage

bachmann-moneyThere are few arguments that will send me into a borderline rage quite like when I come across someone who says we should eliminate the minimum wage.  Someone who opposes the minimum wage really is a special kind of stupid.

How’s that bad but sadly true joke go?  When someone is paying you minimum wage, what they’re really saying is they would pay you less, but they’re legally prevented from doing so.

Every time a hike in the minimum wage is mentioned we get the same old propaganda from Republicans perpetuating the idea that somehow raising the minimum wage will kill millions of jobs.  And every time we raise the minimum wage, it has practically no negative impact on job creation.

The honest truth is most companies pay their employees the least amount possible.  If you removed the minimum wage, they’d simply pay them less.  And I promise you, prices wouldn’t suddenly go down.  Companies want to charge the most possible for their products and services while (usually) paying their employees as little as possible.  That “savings” would end up in the pockets of the executives that run these companies.

But, as always, demand creates jobs.  Even if you got rid of the minimum wage, a company like Walmart isn’t going to suddenly hire twice as many people unless demand dictated that they needed more employees – which it recently has.

Besides, what’s the point of “creating more jobs” if those jobs don’t pay Americans enough to survive?

It’s always ironic to me that the Republican party simultaneously opposes raising the minimum wage while attacking people who rely on welfare.  Considering that there are millions of people in this country who have jobs, yet still rely on welfare, because these jobs pay so poorly.

It’s sort of like how they oppose free access to contraceptives which help prevent unplanned pregnancies.  They’ll do this all while opposing abortions which are primarily the result of the lack of contraceptives.  They’re literally making one issue worse with their stance on another.

By opposing raising the minimum wage, or opposing the minimum wage altogether, all they’re doing is guaranteeing that more and more Americans will rely on government programs to survive.

Essentially forcing the taxpayers to subsidize the employees of these companies who refuse to pay their workers a living wage.

It’s these people who say, “Let the free market decide” who are the ones that don’t understand the free market did already decide – and that choice led to our government having to create the minimum wage.

See, that’s what these people fail to understand.  These laws weren’t created for nothing.  Once upon a time we had a country where there was no minimum wage.  And when we didn’t have one, a lot of businesses abused the fact that there was no legal minimum wage, paying their employees far below what their market value was worth.

But when someone tells me that they honestly believe we should eliminate the minimum wage, all I really hear is them admitting to me how completely clueless they actually are.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Phil the observer

    Yepper….I do not know of anyone, who could live decently on the minimum wage as it stands…I have worked at Min. Wage jobs myself, and moved out of them as soon as I could, because Living that way was not living. And for those who are going to say, “Well see, he got out of the min. wage and bettered himself;” I am fortunate enough to have a couple off college degrees, paid for by my Service during Viet Nam…but for the average person, getting out of the Min. Wage rut is harder than you know!

    • Pipercat

      Moreover, many of these minimum wage jobs are nightmares when it comes to working conditions and job description.

  • sherry06053

    Someone has to help these people. Either it’s the government or the private sector. If someone works and doesn’t make enough to pay rent, buy food and afford transportation, they need help. THAT is the government’s job.

    • Jen

      Why should the government have to subsidize employers who refuse to pay their employees enough to live, yet their CEO’s make massive amounts? It is the company’s job to pay their employees a living wage.

      • crabjack

        I think that’s sherry’s point.

    • Matthew Reece

      The best way to help the poor is to abolish fiat currency so that the purchasing power of their money cannot be stolen remotely by the actions of central bankers.

      • BobJThompson

        That sounds akin building a rocket ship to the moon because your neighbors are cooking something stinky in your apartment complex. Over-reach and fanciful thinking.

      • Matthew Reece

        It is not overreach or fanciful thinking to want to abolish slavery, and that is what debt-based currency is.

  • Derrick

    America has and always will want slaves you just don’t call it that anymore and their more than one color now, but the goal is to get something for nothing even if they have to go find it overseas even though different employers from Henry Ford to Costco have proven the point that paying your employees more puts more money in every ones pocket.

    • Clockp

      You’re a slave when you let someone run your life. Money has nothing to do with it, let alone a bogus “minimum wage”.

  • Matthew Reece

    What the author fails to understand is that if both the minimum wage and the welfare programs were abolished, companies would pay more because they would have to. Logic dictates that people cannot work over long periods for less than what will keep them alive.

    Also, businesses cannot pay employees less than their market worth over the long term, because someone either someone else will hire them for their market worth or their market worth is less than previously assumed.

    Finally, note that if labor costs are reduced by abolishing minimum wage laws, then the largest expense of almost every business is reduced. This means that products can be sold for less, which raises the purchasing power of the money that workers get.

    • Alex

      While I agree with some of the points you made, the last part of your comment is grossly incorrect and misled. Do you really think that employers will sell their products for less (or at least ‘less’ enough for them to be in line with people on $2 an hour to be able to afford? Because that is what will start to happen if there is no minimum wage law… Because they can lower wages as much as they want.

      Yes, they risk losing employees to other companies if it was too low and yes, if they didn’t reduce the prices of products then no one would buy them because they simply couldn’t afford them. Which would obviously hurt the business.

      To think though, that employers would not see this new reduce in the “largest expense of almost every business” as an opportunity to pocket more cash for themselves is extremely naïve. Specially when you see the sizes of bonuses that executives are already giving themselves for the most part. It is more probable that products would be sold at a slightly lower cost, but wages would be paid at an even LOWER cost and the savings would be pocketed. Any objection to this notion is just seriously misguided. Unless I’ve missed something?

      • Matthew Reece

        Your second paragraph explains why the concerns you state in your third paragraph are nothing to worry about.

      • Alex

        Read again… In short, yes employers would have to lower prices of their products. To not do this would hurt their business. However, if you think that employers would lower the prices of their products in line with the lower wage then you have some very wishful thinking.

        For every $5 less a worker got paid, product prices would fall by about $2 (and that’s a stretch)

        Inflation is always going to happen, there’s no way around that and wages do need to keep up with that when it happens. Read my post above, I’m not entirely invested in the whole raising the minimum wage as I do see the issues that could occur in doing that. But removing it completely? That is certainly the LAST thing that you should want to happen! Unless you are in the top 1%. Are you? If not then I’m afraid you have somehow fallen victim to voting for/believing in things that go against your best interests which is something I’m noticing that people are doing more and more these days.

      • Matthew Reece

        My thinking is not wishful; it conforms to what is logically required. If wages are lowered then the price of goods must be lowered to keep businesses stable.

        Inflation is not always going to happen; in fact there was a 42% deflation in the United States from 1800 to 1913. This is because advances in knowledge and technology made goods cheaper and there was no Federal Reserve System to debase the currency.

        Abolishing the minimum wage is necessary but not sufficient to get to a free market from where we are now. Other things must be done, such as abolishing corporate personhood and the legal shield from civil and criminal liability that it provides.

      • Clockp

        Please explain abolishing corporate personhood, Bernie Madoff is spending the rest of his life in jail as I recall.

      • Matthew Reece

        What is to explain? A person should have a physical body and be capable of thought and action. A corporation meets none of these requirements.

      • Clockp

        Supreme court gave people in cooperative effort same rights and protections as individuals, what’s your problem with that? I don’t want to answer to the nanny-state if you and I form a partnership to do business, do you? Corporations under British monarchy existed only by charter granted by the king: he could stick his paw in anytime. Remember the FNMA debacle? FNMA’s charter gives it special privilege to request funds DIRECTLY from the taxpayer…I mean treasury; FNMA was treated by Barney Frank and pals as a political football, like a government agency, look what happened! No thanks, I like my corporations private and protected from Big Brother, and I bet you do, too, if you think it through.

      • Matthew Reece

        I like corporations to be non-existent so that everyone is fully responsible for their actions.

  • Alex

    What does everyone think about how raising the minimum wage will affect inflation? I’m a financial planner and recently there has been a massive increase in people mentioning the minimum wage increase when I present my inflation portion of their personal planning analysis. Obviously I always remain unbiased. Personally though, I have always stood by increasing minimum wages to keep up with cost of living and inflation but 50% of my clients are making a good point that once employers are forced to raise the minimum wage. Almost the next day they raise the price of most of their products to compensate for this.

    Again, I never really comment on this as to present both arguments. However, the opinion is so so split, really is about 50% of my clients that mention it are for it and 50% that mention it are against it. Whilst I’ve always been in favour of raises (who can really live off minimum wage these days?!?) it is a compelling argument as to which is the catalyst to inflation and acceleration of cost of living. Inflation is inevitable, but if guess it’s sort of like the chicken and the egg argument.

    Just interested to hear thoughts as even I am humble enough to concede that there may be a good reason not to raise it. Unless restrictions can be put in employers but then that defeats the idea of free market.

    What is the answer?!

    • Sandy Greer

      My thought is that employers and businesses raise the price of their goods anyway. That, irrespective of movement in the Minimum Wage – prices rise. And that the Minimum Wage does not keep pace. Thanks for asking.

    • Clockp

      Simple: raise the government mandated minimum wage to $100,000 an hour, what do you get? INFLATION, HUGE price increases to accommodate artificially high labor costs; and HUGE increases in welfare, unemployment and government assistance to accommodate the appurtenant double digit unemployment, as happened under FDR and prolonged the great depression. Below a certain threshold a “minimum wage” has little perceptible impact on employment or inflation, so Democrats can include the “minimum wage” in their socialist propaganda and basket of Big Government mandates to create a nanny-state.

      • Alex

        Yes, but we are not talking about raising to $100,000 are we? We are talking about a more livable wage for some. I’m not saying what you are implying is wrong. However, the manner in which you ‘inflated’ your response is. What are we to do then? Get to a certain point and freeze it and let everything else completely outpace it more than it already is. Can you imagine that! Or, eradicate it completely? Giving employers license to use employees how they like, low income individuals and families having no security over the next pay check and increasing the record disparity between the people at the top and every one else. Again, not saying it’s wrong. Just that this argument can’t be solved by ‘libtard policies’ or ‘tea bagger’ rhetoric. It’s a genuine issue.

  • Eg Kbbs

    Every time someone at a business give you the bare minimum level of service, just remember that the company wants to pay their workers the bare minimum so they attract the bare minimum employee.

  • rossbro

    Dumb ass Bachmann needs to live on minimum wage for a year. She’d change her tune then.

    • Clockp

      Dumb ass Bachmann would work her dumb ass so she’d spend no more than 5 minutes at minimum wage, and rise through the wage ranks quickly through HARD WORK AND EXCELLENT SERVICE, recognized by her employers, clients and everybody, UNLIKE DEMOCRATS AND THE HANDOUT CROWD THAT WHINE AND COMPLAIN THAT LIFE IS UNFAIR SO THEY DESERVE A HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE OR “LIVING WAGE” INSTEAD OF PUTTING THEIR HEAD DOWN AND EARNING IT!

  • Rick Lasater

    If you believe employees deserve a better wage than the legal minimum wage, you are more than welcome to start a business and pay your employees as much as you want to pay them.
    Truth is, wages are a piece of a large puzzle. You can’t modify one piece without it affecting everything else. (Personally, I’m surprised no one mentions the affect higher wages will have on FICA contributions. What a boost for the SSA).
    BTW, you noticed this is the opinion of a political scientist, not an economist, right?

  • surfjac

    It seems like EVERY F-ING WEEK, the first report on the state of the economy is: the economy will continue to grow slowly UNTIL wages and salaries go UP.
    Every week and sometimes more than twice or three times, that’s what they are saying. Hey, the corporations are doing better. CEO’s are killing it. Have you seen wall st.’s numbers lately? Everyone is getting better except for the people that need to get better.