Raise the wage: A higher minimum would pump up the economy
The bins set up last month by employees of a Walmart store in Canton, Ohio, to collect holiday food for needy fellow workers symbolize to some Americans the nation's growing economic inequality.
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#1 Dec 16, 2013
Unfortunately, people who advocate for a higher minimum wage as a boost to America's economy can only view things in terms of the small picture. This is a "poverty solution" similar to Obamacare. From a distance, it looks like it will benefit the worker, but in reality a higher minimum wage will (as it always has in the past) result in hiring freezes, shorter hours for those who already work in jobs tied to the minimum wage, and ultimately higher consumer prices as businesses are forced to pass on the costs to customers. And many of those customers are the minimum wage workers themselves.
The way to make life more affordable, is to make doing business in America more affordable. Lowering taxes for both individuals and for small to mid-sized businesses does two very important and immediate things.
First, it puts (or keeps) money in the pockets of working Americans. Secondly, it gives business owners the incentive and (more importantly) the security to invest in and expand their operations. This is what creates jobs. And this, is what helps to eliminate economic inequality.
The long term solution to cultural and economic impoverishment is not increased compensation for more and more McJobs. But genuine small business growth that strengthens community networks and fosters employment situations in which people learn crucial and marketable skills that give them the chance to move up in the work world--rather than envisioning a lifetime "career" that is really just a dead end.
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