I was navigating through the New West Missoula web site yesterday and ran across an article about the minimum wage vote coming up in November's election. I read with interest the debate in the comments that followed and, of course, was reminded how many uninformed and uneducated people there are out there. I was compelled to add to the comments, particularly one that attacked republicans and President Bush's tax cuts. The entire minimum wage argument is one of the Liberal's classic class warfare techniques. They attack President Bush's tax cuts for the rich while keeping the minimum wage so low without acknowledging that the top 1% of wage earners pay 34% of the taxes and the top 50% pay 94.5% of the taxes. That tax cuts fuel economic growth by putting more money into the hands of people that know how to generate more economic production. I would argue that the tax cuts help increase the wages of the bottom 50% of wage earners.
People who count on the government to pass a law increasing the minimum wage to give them a raise are not what an employer would consider a good employee. Those people who cannot earn a raise on their own work ethic or drive deserve to earn the minimum wage. When I was a teenager making the minimum wage at my first job, I worked hard and quickly became an asset to my employer who, in turn, gave me a raise within two months - that was the last time I ever earned minimum wage. Now, as an employer, I rarely hire anybody at minimum wage because the job market is so competitive in Missoula. Those that work hard and produce for me, I give regular wage increases to show my gratitude and reward them for their contribution and to not lose them to another employer. Those that are mediocre or poor performing employees, I will not increase their wages. Why reward mediocrity and poor performance? I hope the mediocre find other jobs and I dismiss the poor performers. This is the reality.
If one can only make minimum wage, that is all he is really worth to an employer. If one honestly is a hard working, good producing employee but finds himself with a rotten employer who does not pay fairly, there will be hundreds of other employers willing to pay more for that employee. If he is a mediocre or poor employee, he will be paid poorly. It's that simple.