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This page contains a single entry by Westley Annis published on January 25, 2007 11:59 PM.

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Minimum Wage Hike Shot Down

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One of the first measures passed by the House of Representatives in the Democrat controlled 110th Congress was a bill to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over 26 months. Two weeks after the House passed the measure the Senate failed to end debate on the measure.

There hasn't been an increase in the minimum wage since 1997 and the Democratic Party, along with numerous pundits are claiming it is harmful to the average working American.

That is utter garbage. The unemployment rate has been dropping for over a year, which means more Americans are finding jobs. Raising the minimum wage will just reduce the number of jobs available.

There are some who will argue that there are people who have been making the minimum wage at the same job for years. Okay. What we need to know is have they bothered asking for a raise? If so, why were they denied?

There are plentiful jobs that are paying the minimum wage, so no one can ever say they are locked in one job, they are free to find another job paying at least the same amount of money. If these workers truly deserved a pay increase and walk out when they don't receive it, the employer will suffer.

He will have to hire someone else and have them trained. This is no guarantee that the new hire will perform as well as or better than the old employee. Besides costing the employer more money for training, the employer does have to hope the new employee will perform at least as well as the old one.

I mention this because of my experience at minimum wage jobs. When I started at a fast food joint, I started at minimum wage, $3.15 at the time. However, because of practices in place where I worked, within six months I had managed to get myself another fifty cents an hour. There was no secret deal going on. The chain I worked for simply told ever employee, for every job station you learn and pass a proficiency test on, you will get another ten cents an hour.

I had to wait thirty days to take my first test, after that I took them as fast as I could.

Yet, there were other employees there who had been working there for several years still making the minimum? When I asked why they gave lame answers like, "I can't take tests" or "I'm only going to be here a year." They didn't have much to say when I told them there were already there for over a year and were still looking at another year or two. Why not make as much money as possible no matter where you are working?

At that point, they didn't have much to say other than to ask for the study guide so they could schedule their first test.

I am not going to pretend there are no businesses that will not pay above minimum wage simply because they don't have to. But I don't think the onus should be completely on the business owner. The employee has to take some responsibility for their own life and Congress needs to stop mandating everthing for us from cradle to grave.

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