The problem with these minimum wage debates is that they are never balanced; it’s one side or the other using the same data (often) to make their case pro or con.
- When minimum wages rise, the cost of labor for business obviously rises. This creates a short term drop in profit margin, which obviously pisses off shareholders.
- The business, over the next period of time (could be months, could be years) moves to recoup that lost profit margin. There are about a million ways for them do that; the bluntest instrument is to decrease the number of employees. However, they may also pull back on fringe benefits, automate certain business functions, offshore some production searching for lower cost labor…..something. The bottom line is that one way or another, the lowest level of employees is going to be hit to recoup that profit margin.
- A BALANCED discussion on minimum wage would objectively look at the corporate responses to a minimum wage increase, try to model the impact on the employees, and then say “OK, do the positive benefits of the minimum wage increase offset the negatives or not?”
When the debaters are either:
- Promoting only the positives, and denying the negatives exist, or
- Advancing only the negatives, and denying any positives exist…..
- discussion breaks down.