I have read the arguments and opinions, the reactions, the debates, and more articles on the subject than I thought anyone could write, and here’s my completely biased thoughts on this minimum wage hike: It is “too much, too soon” but it’s needed and not as dire as people make it out to be.
The big points seem to be that prices will go up and this is all for naught. True, it’ll be a painful transition (too much too soon), but even the studies/reports that predict job losses still conclude things will be better overall in the end.
As for prices rising… I’ve yet to see anyone point out that prices have been falling across the board for anything. Prices go up for many factors, from managers’ wages to regular staff’s wages to exchange rates to supply costs… which can be tracked all the way to climate change. Good businesses, as studies and articles have reported, will look for efficiencies within and those practical price increases, if necessary. Bad businesses won’t. However, no business or franchise should be held up as an example of the whole. They no more represent every business than I do every worker or every woman or every human. Each will do their thing.
The problem is that too many who “do their thing” aren’t fair to workers, whether intentional or not. The rate of increased wages for minimum workers was not keeping pace with real costs so unfortunately something has to get done. The increase should have happened over a period of time, but starting years ago. It didn’t. The fix isn’t perfect.
I’m not going into whether or not someone on minimum wage *deserves* the raise. Anyone wading into those waters ought to first submit for public review and approval why they deserve whatever wage they make without being able to cite factors like luck, or privilege, or “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Once that all passes the public review unanimously as deserved, then they can debate someone else’s worthiness of wages.
I’m not going into whether or not minimum wage jobs should be just for teenagers who don’t need a minimum wage. The fact is minimum wage jobs aren’t held by just teenagers. It’s not up for debate. It’s how it is. There are plenty of reasons for this; all without reason for debate considering this is how it is.
I have worked with many people and seen prices rise for all sorts of reasons. It’s an odd feeling to read things about whether or not someone you know should be paid a certain amount and how dire it might be. It’s a weird perspective, to see so many sides to a coin. But in the end, in my biased opinion, I think this will be good. Change can be painful, but sometimes it’s needed for things to be better.