Eliminate minimum wage altogether? — Bill thinks so
The challenge in New Jersey is that politicians on both sides of the aisle tend to forget that when you give away taxpayer money, someone has to pay for it. They also forget that when you decide to give one class of workers a government mandated raise, business owners have to pay for it.
The proponents of a $15 minimum wage point to some business owners who support the hike. No kidding! Any business already paying higher than the current minimum wage would love to see the costs for their competitors increase. The reality is that automation is coming.
My wife and I stayed in NYC over the weekend and basically didn't have to interact with any staff from check-in to check-out. All computerized. The same thing is happening at fast food restaurants and convenience stores across the nation.
We had a few people weigh in Tuesday morning who agreed the $15 proposal from the legislative leaders, governor-elect and labor leaders will lead to job loss and small business closings. As Matt Rooney mentioned, it's not workin' out too well in Seattle. We also heard from Sal Risalvato from the NJ Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association and Toni Marie Angelini who said that this hike will decimate many of her organization's members. She correctly pointed out that the proponents have changed the narrative acting as if the minimum wage was intended to be a living wage for a primary provider. Not even close. This was designed for an entry level wage for people to get job skills and take the next step toward a rewarding career, or at least a job that pays a little better.
Bottom line is that if New Jersey wants to do something positive for low wage earners, create a climate that new businesses will rush into the Garden State and current businesses will hire more people. Eliminate the minimum wage altogether. That way you might just slow the progress of automation and give people an opportunity to earn a living.
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