Raising the wage is a trap. Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be a lifetime career. Artificially creating a wage that enables a person to stay in a job doing menial tasks is akin to shackling them in nickel-plated handcuffs.
Entry-level minimum wage jobs are meant to be a stepping stone, a trial run, a training period for an employees to gain skills and understanding of how a business operates so that the employee can learn how to create value for the business. Businesses are in the business to make money. Some of the money goes back into the business to make more of the offering or product, some goes to taxes and overhead costs, some goes to the owner and some goes to the employees who help the company to make money.
Very few people benefit from staying in a minimum wage job for their entire lives. Unless a person has a mental disability that forces him/her to be unable to perform more complex tasks, people need to be challenged to grow, to learn, to create value. Every healthy work-aged person has the ability to improve their skills, knowledge and understanding. While it seems compassionate to raise the minimum wage to a dollar amount that allows a single mom to hold one job and make enough to feed, house and clothe her family, she becomes imprisoned by the nickel-plated handcuffs that won’t allow her to leave.
These nickel-plated handcuffs allow a single mom or dad to support their families, but just barely. And then, if either of these workers looks to change jobs and if their skill set remained at the minimum-wage level, their only choice is another minimum wage job. There is no impetus to learn and grow, to attain a more complete set of skills because they are making it – just barely. This isn’t the American Dream. In many respects, this is socialism masquerading as capitalism.
Raising the minimum wage shackles the very people that its proponents claim to help. These nickel-plated handcuffs suffocate personal responsibility and with it, self-esteem. When people are allowed, nay, required to live up to their potential, they, their families and society benefits. Let’s free workers from the nickel-plated handcuffs that they have been imprisoned by – let’s abolish the minimum wage!