By JLP | December 10, 2012
This morning I saw a link to an online petition to “make the ‘minimum wage’ a ‘living wage.’”
Their living wage? $13.36 per hour.
ALL of the comments (except for mine) following this petition are in favor of this idea.
What these petition signers fail to realize is what happens to the price of goods and services at the higher wage level? They go up! They have to go up. There’s no other way. If you take a minimum wage job (usually in the services or retail sector) and increase wages dramatically (roughly doubling them from the current minimum wage), prices have to go up in order to pay them. If prices rise to pay higher wages, then the minimum wage earners are right back where they started and then we’re right back to signing another petition demanding a new “living wage.”
I have said this many times but I’ll say it again: not all jobs are created equal. Therefore, you don’t pay all jobs the same. Jobs like retail, that can be performed by most people, don’t deserve a high pay rate. These jobs are also normally done by kids and young people. It’s rare that a person makes a career doing a minimum wage job.
I suggest this petition signers pick up an economics book.