Letters to the Editor

Floridian voters passed Amendment 2A during this election;  after Sept. 30, 2021, minimum wage will be raised to $10, increasing $1 each subsequent year, with a limit of $15 per hour in 2026. A stunning 60% of voters supported it – I utilize the word “stunning” because raising the minimum wage is a perfectly abhorrent idea.

The theory of a minimum wage is an interesting idea. In a perfect free market economy there is no need for a government-set minimum wage, because the employer will pay the employee an amount equivalent to the work provided. But, we do not live in a perfect free market economy. Instead of natural unions forming in order to protect the working class, the government has stepped in to demand wages for all workers. From its inception, the government controlling what private industries pay private workers is fundamentally incorrect. As a third party with no interest in the actual success of businesses, governments have no right to demand what a business pays. But they still demand, and if they must mandate some wage, it is better that it be realistic than grossly inflated. Unfortunately we have reached for the latter.

At a glance, a large increase in the minimum wage sounds good for the working class: who doesn’t want an extra $5 per hour? As a worker, the increase is tantalizing, even for myself. But the passing of this amendment may end my employment. Wages rise when businesses succeed and make more money. When money is in abundance, many businesses pass down increased profits to their workers, allowing for a natural increase in payment. A government that insists on a high minimum wage circumvents this process, artificially inflating the amount of money that the workers get. In economics, this is called top-down control, and the biggest problem with top-down control is that someone has to pick up the slack that comes from more expensive laborers.

Businesses will have to absorb the increase in costs. In order to run a successful workplace, management alots x amount of money to pay the workforce. When the minimum wage raises, the money pool used to pay workers does not — this results in firing of staff and increased intensity of work for those lucky enough to stay. This amendment has already been passed — get ready for the layoffs. Working conditions will decline, unemployment will rise and the working class will be hit hardest of all.

It is easy to say that I am wrong, that I am just guessing and that everything I say should be considered with an entire packet of salt, let alone a grain. And it should — you should double check everything I say. Check me by looking at the cities that have raised their minimum wage to $15 an hour: San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC. Look at gas prices in those same cities: in DC gas costs $2.70 a gallon, in San Francisco and Seattle gas prices hover at around $3.10 per gallon. I personally have had the displeasure of visiting San Francisco multiple times — sandwiches cost around $15  and normal goods and services are all significantly more expensive than here. In fact, prices are scaled up by the same amount that minimum wage has increased. In short, when the minimum wage is increased, the prices of goods increase as well. Sure, you might have $30 in your pocket, but that $30 only has the purchasing power of $20.

Big government tends to have what I like to call the “Sadim touch” (Sadim is Midas, just backwards). Instead of everything it touches turning to gold, it turns into a pile of horse excrement. Wages must grow organically, that way there is an economic base to support the influx of capital being poured through businesses into the workers pocket. It is comparable to building a town — first comes a few buildings, then a convenience store, a better road, hospitalities, etc. The town grows naturally, and its infrastructure grows to support it. Imposing a minimum wage is like sticking a huge city in the middle of the desert with nothing but a small road and faulty waterline. A huge minimum wage creates top-down control, stranding the working class in a desert of unemployment and everyone else in a sea of overpriced goods. The working class ends up at square one, except this time with a higher cost of living and greater unemployment. The wealthy get to pat themselves on the back for being so nice to the workers, and the workers get to stretch their money even thinner. And everyone suffers: that’s the Sadim touch that we all know and love.

Congratulations Florida body of voters, you have successfully raised the minimum wage which will serve only to increase unemployment and the cost of ordinary goods. Good stuff everyone.

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