There’s been a lot of talk about hiking minimum wage to $15 an hour. Some states have already built it in to future plans. Small business owners are mostly opposed, while rank and file employees are largely supportive. The idea is that a $15 minimum wage is good for business because it puts more money into the hands of people who can spend it locally and lift sales. The opposing argument is that businesses can’t afford to pay that wage without raising prices that drive away customers, or cutting employees or hours.
The city that’s come closest thus far to this idea is Seattle. They’re already at $13 for larger employers and $12 for smaller ones. The results so far? Well, troubling. Businesses are cutting hours and causing the people who are making more per hour to make less per month than they were before. So, the people who are supposed to be benefiting, aren’t.
You could argue that the affected workers could go and get another job and thereby raise their gross income to a new height, but that’s not the end goal of raising wages to $15. Indeed, it’s the opposite of what’s envisioned.
The publication Slate did a very thorough article on the subject. It’s leading me to think we need to be very careful about forcing this idea on SMBs. What do you think? Are you for the idea or opposed? Why?