At Work

 The minimum wage issue nobody talks about

Genn Ha­gan, co-owner of GNH Lumber Inc., based in Greenville, N.Y., called all vari­a­tions of the mini­mum-wage pro­posal “lu­dicrous.” Av­er­age wages last year in Greenville’s county were $674 a week, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. La­bor De­part­ment. A full-time worker earn­ing $15 an hour would make $600 a week, or about $30,000 an­nu­ally. Excerpt WSJ 4-1-16 “Push for $15 Minimum Wage Heats Up”

Do you see the point? In a word COMPRESSION‼️

I would guess that raising the minimum wage gradually over several years will have little or no impact on jobs or hours worked. Businesses still need workers to run their business and it does not seem reasonable that will change markedly. 

However, not so with prices. Raising the minimum to the now popular $15.00 will have an impact on prices. That must be true; even left leaning economists admit that to some degree. But that is only part of the story. Look at the above example. What do you think will happen to the average $674 weekly wage? It will be increased. There are many Americans earning between $15-$20 an hour and they will seek parity, especially in union jobs. 

Minimum wage jobs tend to be concentrated in one segment of the economy. That segment is important to lower-income Americans and the Medicare population. What will rising wages for all these workers mean on the prices of goods and services? 

Rising prices will be gradual to be sure and they may be buried into other inflation, but the impact will be there nevertheless.  


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