Letters to the editor for Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014
Minimum wage hike would be a job-killer
From my reading, a modest increase in the minimum wage would have a minor effect on job creation. The buying power of today’s minimum wage decreases in real dollars every year. The $15 minimum wage level espoused today by some progressives, union and “occupy” groups is another matter.
Today’s market wages are based on the value derived from a unit of labor. When the minimum wage level is forced by government intervention, the market becomes skewed. At a minimum of $15, those paid $10, $12 or $15 now will all have to be increased proportionally to maintain the scales of value. Therefore it is not a simple calculation. $15 factory work will have to move up well beyond its unit of labor value. This will affect overall labor costs at all businesses, large and small, and drive up costs to consumers dramatically. This will affect competitiveness of U.S. production and eventually move manufacturing jobs overseas to countries where market forces determine wages.
Entry-level jobs here will give way to touch-screen ordering at restaurants and more self-serve checkouts at grocery stores, etc. Capital investments for labor saving machines become easy to justify, hence, less domestic jobs.
That kind of minimum wage increase is a political ploy with negative implications for our economy. Of course, that is not important to today’s politicians.