Putting the minimum wage in persective

Dan Wasserman of the Boston Globe explains why we need an increase in the minimum wage.

Wasserman 6-5

This needs to be a national increase.  Yes, I know.  When businesses have to pay more, they won’t hire.  But there is another side to their objection.  If they pay people more, then there will be more spending and more business and they can hire.  Plus there will be more payroll taxes paid on the larger salaries.  And more state and local taxes.  Conservatives would be happy because some folks wouldn’t need food stamps as a lot of working people do now.  Seems like a winner.

I know that some economists argue that increases always lead to higher unemployment, but a large number of small businesses already pay wages higher than the legal minimum.

Put simply, small businesses are our economy. Given that it’s still recovering, the economy needs all the help it can get to make it over the proverbial hump and flourish. Small businesses will play a key part in that journey.

Given their importance, politicians should stand up and take notice when small business owners say they strongly support a policy that has and will continue to elicit political fights of the knockdown drag-out variety, such as increasing the minimum wage. The minimum wage is a business issue that impacts a wide swath of small firms, and according to scientific opinion polling Small Business Majority released this week, two-thirds of them support increasing it and adjusting it annually to keep up with the cost of inflation.

Some have claimed that raising the minimum wage would put small firms out of business because they won’t be able to afford to pay their workers more. Our polling found a whopping 85 percent of small businesses across the country already pay their workers more than the minimum wage, though.

“You need to pay workers enough to survive. It’s in your best interest as a company because if you don’t there is nothing tying them to you.” That’s Clifton Broumand, the president of Man and Machine, a specialty computer product business in Landover, Md., who pays his workers more than the minimum wage and supports increasing it. “I want my employees to have the chance to grow and improve here. I want them to want to stay so we don’t have a lot of turnover. And I pay over minimum wage because it’s the right thing to do.”

The President proposed an increase to $9 in his State of the Union Address:  Let’s just do it.

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