New Poll: 80% of Americans in Need of Economics Lesson

I was just browsing Reddit when I saw a link that caught my attention: 80% of Americans Support Raising the Minimum Wage to $10.10 per hour

My first thought was, “80 percent? Wow.” And not a good “wow.” I am baffled by this statistic. But then I did a little bit of research (not much at all) and found that the group that did this poll, Hart Research Associates, is a left-leaning research center. “Ah, that makes much more sense.” 

To me, raising the minimum wage is a socialist’s utopia. It sure sounds nice, but once you put actual thought towards it, you realize that it’s a terrible idea and that it hurts people more than helps them. 

Let me explain, for those of you who don’t understand, why raising the minimum wage is an awful idea:

Suppose I work in a store, and I just got hired. I live in the (somewhat) great state of Illinois, so I make our minimum wage ($8.25/hr). I am happy with this arrangement because it’s better than having no job. My coworker has worked at this store for 5 years now. He has gotten raises because he is a good worker. He now makes $10.10/hr. But you know what? I’m sick of making $8.25/hr because it’s hard to get by. I would like the minimum wage to be increased to $10.10/hr.

Some time passes by and congress miraculously passed a bill to increase the minimum wage to $10.10/hr. I’m so happy. I now make $10.10/hr. My coworker, who used to make $10.10/hr, also earns $10.10/hr. He now makes the same as I do even though he has a lot more experience and loyalty to the company than I do. 

Further, consider the fact that most companies, particularly smaller ones, have to precisely budget down to their last penny. A company may have been considering taking on more employees, but suddenly they’re obligated to pay existing employees more for the same amount of work. With unemployment as high as it is, it’s astonishing that some in Congress would be so in favor of stifling hiring.

Now, I do realize that it is hard for people to get by, and I truly do feel for them. But raising the minimum wage is not the way to do this, as it simply results in some workers making slightly more money, while others lose their job opportunities entirely.

Raising the minimum wage will also increase the cost of living. You will be making more money, yes, but it will cost more to live than it did before you made that much money. Plus, you’ve just dragged your coworker, who has worked 5 years for his raise, down to the minimum wage with you. 

To clarify: I am not against the poor. I care for the poor deeply. I want them to not be poor anymore. That is why I am against raising the minimum wage. 

Content published on the Young Americans for Liberty blog is only representative of the opinions and research of the individual authors. It does not necessarily reflect the views, goals, or membership of YAL.

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