Minimum Wage

When you raise the minimum wage, a lot of things are bound to happen, to different degrees.

  1. Costs go up
  2. Profits go down
  3. Fewer people get hired
  4. People get hired for fewer hours
  5. People make more money
  6. People buy more stuff
  7. Tax revenue goes up
  8. Welfare payments go down
  9. People save more
  10. People have been priced out of the market and can't get a job
  11. Companies invest more in automation, leading to permanent job loss
  12. Workers improve their skills because the low-skilled jobs are gone
  13. Prices go up
  14. Purchasing power goes down
  15. People buy less
  16. People buy from companies not affected by the increase in minimum wage
  17. Companies move to locations with lower minimum wage
  18. People move to the area with higher minimum wage

These are all entirely predictable consequences of raising the minimum wage. There's probably several I've forgotten about.

All are bound to happen for some people.

Which end up dominating is the big question.

Will people overall be better off? Or will people just have to run faster and companies hire less?

I don't have the answer. I don't think anyone else does. There's been studies done, and as far as I know they're not conclusive.

With systems as complex as these, I'd love to see us explore other ways to help people make more money.

How can we teach people to be worth more to employers? To be better workers, bring in more business, make things more efficient, acquire new skills, increase their self-esteem, be better at customer service. There are countless ways to increase your worth to a business, and those can all be translated into higher wages for the workers.

I'd start there.


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