Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Likely Solution to the Minimum-Wage Debate and Dilemma

A solution to the minimum wage dilemma and debate between small-business employers and minimum-wage workers would seem simple.  The answer to the minimum wage dilemma is to have a greater number of meaningful career-type jobs that pay more than minimum wage and increased numbers of meaningful jobs that are more than mere starter-jobs – as many of us may remember from long ago and better economic times, it typically was only starter-jobs that paid minimum wage as starter-job-type wages.  That is, in other words, the thing to fix the [potentially unlivable] minimum wage dilemma is increased competition between employers for worthwhile employees with this competition for workers to be brought about by more jobs needing more workers in general. 

Conversely, if too few employers are hiring employees, the wage offered will be lower because there is a glut or excess of available workers which leads to greater desperation and competition between workers for the available jobs.  A glut of unemployed workers would drive down any necessary wages needed to attract workers.  The concept of supply and demand (of available workers in this case) should not really be an overly nouveau concept for anyone to understand, I would think.

However, any such solution of increasing the competition for available workers would probably require the government to make it happen.  It would seem that the government would have to enable an economic environment wherein more workers are desired or needed by employers.  Unfortunately, it appears that our governments (Fed., Cal., etc.) are not interested in enabling any such solution to come to fruition – or clearly incapable of doing so or don’t wish to solve the problem, or something anyhow.  

An increased number of better jobs would surely be more beneficial towards solving the minimum wage debate rather than for any government to socialistically legislate to any employers (that currently do hire folks) as to what amount of pay the would-be employees should earn (albeit only minimum wage or whatever those employers choose to pay).  Again, if there were any reasonable number of meaningful career-type jobs that pay better salaries available to workers seeking employment (as currently there is clearly a shortage), then those employers that pay only minimum wage would likely have to pay more to be competitive to attract capable workers.  Capiche? 

As an example of this logic, does anyone remember the economic ‘boom years’ of the late 1990s when everyone could find a job and the populace was not suffering through widespread unemployment and subsiding on government ‘hand-outs’ and social security disability like the current realities of today? As I recall, back in those economic boom years many fast-food type restaurants were paying on the order of twice the minimum wage to attract and retain employees – and no socialistic type of legislation was required to make those increased wages happen.  

Anyway, who has the capability to create a climate to increase the number of those mythical preferred jobs that would lead to greater wages for all?  Maybe, at a minimum and for starters, those same government entities I mentioned above (among other local governments that aim to mandate an increase in the minimum wage) could create a climate where employers would likely need more employees – I don’t mean merely creating more government jobs either, by any means.  

It would seem any solutions proffered to the contrary in this debate on the minimum wage dilemma (i.e: those who would advocate the government legislating a significantly greater minimum wage) appear often to aim towards a socialistic government-controlled state.  I mean…, we could all work for government contractors wherein every job is mandated as to the minimum pay for all types of workers depending on the classification of their position/job.  Or…, we could all be entirely dependent on the government with the populace surviving as government employees living hand-to-mouth by the governments’ graces.  (But, didn’t they try that government hand-to-civilian-mouth thing and miserably fail in a defunct place called the U.S.S.R., btw?) What’s more, any widespread legislation to the contrary which would mandate a significantly-increased minimum wage seems unrealistic and probably inflationary in the end as well – besides the fact that such legislation only treats the symptom of the problem and not the root case, as is argued herein.  

Politically mandating an increase in the labor/operating costs to businesses merely encourages private employers (at a minimum) to attempt to decrease costs/expenses (or raise prices, of course).  How does the typical business often decrease its operating costs?  Businesses often decrease costs by decreasing its numbers or laying-off workers (or passing the increased costs along to the consumer)!  This is just an unfortunate reality of business – a fact that many a socialist cannot grasp or understand, apparently.  If the business cannot decrease its costs/expenses by laying-off workers (or increasing prices), the business typically will seek to relocate where it can operate with less costs/expenses – another fact of business.  It seems the typical socialist and any like-minded politicians are in denial of these realities of business management.  (San Francisco, on the other hand as a city that might be able to successfully mandate an increased minimum wage.  San Fran. is sort of an isolated marketplace with more of a captive consumer-base with greater territorial/geographical constraints with different realities regarding moving a business to another location – and it has a different basis for its economy with typically different business sectors located in San Fran. as opposed to the L.A. area, which has also recently mandated an increased minimum wage in its city.)

So again, the most feasible and probably the best solution to the increased minimum wage debate is to have more meaningful jobs which pay better than minimum wage as opposed to the current job climate wherein only jobs that pay minimum wage (and starter-type jobs) are seemingly the only jobs currently available to the majority of those seeking employment.  Also reiterating, who has the capability to enable the creation of those preferred private-sector jobs and why have they not done enough to achieve that end to date?  

I did say this is all a ‘likely’ solution, of course.  I didn’t mention anything of the reality of the economy ever returning to an environment wherein any true competition would exist between employers for workers and employees.  The governments of the day have apparently helped to bring about an economic environment wherein such an enviable scenario for workers unlikely will return anytime soon, if ever, or so it currently seems.  Maybe the real debate or dilemma is to ask why the majority of the governments of our lands have brought about this scenario where such debates on minimum wage and socialistic legislation have come to the forefront of current events when in the past market forces typically corrected issues such as payment of an unlivable minimum wage. 

Adam Trotter, MBA   (4/21/2015)

Low-Wage Workers Demand $15 an Hour in National Day of Protest

No comments:

Post a Comment