by Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor
Well the sides are firming up for the fight. Political parties, special interest groups, workers, economists, academia, unions, and even CEO’s are loading up to do battle. It seems the proposals currently on the table range from doing nothing, to raising the minimum wage to some $10.10 in stages, to going to $15 very quickly.
Those that claim to know what will happen under various scenarios differ, as is usual. The mere fact that several “experts” can look at the same data and come up with wildly differing projections should tell us that none of them have a clue.
On the one hand some argue that a significant increase in the minimum wage will cost the economy some 500,000 jobs. On the other side of the fence, is the theory that it will raise about 900,000 people out of the poverty pool. Of course, that assumes that there is some clear understanding of what constitutes poverty because that line isn’t the same in NYC or San Francisco as it is in Meridian, Miss. or Macon, Mo. It also assumes that an increase in minimum wage will not fuel inflation. Though, when payroll cost rise that money has to come from somewhere and that typically is from increased prices.
So, what is your position on the minimum wage? Will a major increase help solve the poverty issue, or close the gap between to top and bottom income layers even though that has not been the historic case? Would an increase result in lost jobs and weaken the economic recovery? If it were up to you , what would you do?