The Poison Pill of $15 Minimum Wage- by Jonathan LaForce
From Where I’m Standing, this idea is insane.
A federally mandated $15 minimum wage would likely see me lose my job. Yes, it’s more than I currently make (by $4.40 per hour). But what it does not account for is whether or not my employer can afford a $15 minimum for a semi-entry level job. Because it’s not just Jon LaForce who is affected, it’s the 6 guys and agal who are also drivers for our office. It’s the 3 guys and a gal we have washing cars 40 hours a week. It’s the managers-in-training who don’t start for less than $13, and only go up to $15 after they’ve passed training while demonstrating basic knowledge and understanding of company policy.
All of that is affected. Financial performance incentives within my company are destroyed under the incoming POTUS’ economically unsustainable idea. We’ve already seen how this played out in Seattle and elsewhere. It was a financial loss for the very people it was supposedly going to benefit. If it was ever actually intended to benefit them at all.
If, as I stated a year ago, the ACA mandate regarding what is “full-time” status for an employee was reversed, I would be able to better support my family, without worrying about losing my job. Being hard-capped at 25 hours a week is utterly garbage. Prior to COVID, I had enough consistent work that I should’ve been enabled to work up to 39 without being full-time and a financial burden to my employer. Having an extra 14 hours a week on my time card is far better than no job at all. That is the reality of raising minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“Well Jon, just go get a new job.” Have you tried finding a job right now? Try finding a job that I can perform while being physically limited due to injuries. I don’t have a 90% disability rating with the VA because I was bored! Try finding a job in an economy and culture where a bachelor’s degree has been devalued by public institutions which prefer being degree mills instead of encouraging genuine scholarship. I have put out approximately 50 job applications just with the Federal government. The fact that I’m still driving cars for a living should tell you quite a bit about how slow the hiring process is. I’ll also tell you that I’ve been rejected for 10 of those jobs, without ever having an interview, or a background check. In nearly six months of applications, I’ve only started 1 background check, and that was last week.
Somebody will want to say “Oh but we have the welfare net, what are you worried about, Jon?” People, when you remove enough of the gasoline, oil, and coolant, from a running engine, it stops working. We’ve gotten a taste of that with COVID. To continue to do so, intentionally drink the vile dregs, so pointlessly, is a waste. Removing more people like me from the system will ensure the engine of our economy crashes to a halt. This is not good for the health of our republic. Nor is it what I want for myself or my family.
I find a quote from John Wayne’s “McClintock” to be most appropriate to the current matter. “This that the white man calls ‘charity’ is a fine thing for widows and orphans, but no warrior can accept it. For if he does he is no longer a man, and when he is no longer a man he is nothing, and better off dead.”
We, as a culture and a country, need to stop taking counsel from our fears. End the lockdowns, begin isolating only those who genuinely need it, and return to normalcy. No more forced masking, no more house arrest. No more encouraging incivility with our neighbors.
If you really want to enable working class, blue collar laborers like myself and so many millions of my fellow Americans, quit working against our best interests. Quit undercutting us at every turn. Stop the senseless minimum wage mandate. Stop hamstringing the American worker with unsound economic theories. Let us work. And take pride in our work.
(*One thing Jon doesn’t mention that makes mandated minimum wage for the entire country even crazier is that there is a completely different cost of living in different regions of the country. I think mostly people in CO at least in the cities are close to a de-facto $15 minimum wage, except for “tipping jobs.” Because the cost of living is excessive. For instance I was shocked to find a friend somewhere else in the country had been the sole earner and put four kids through college on less than 30k a year. In Colorado Springs you could not do that for less than 50k a year unless someone gave you a free house or the family lived exclusively on rice and walked everywhere. So, you know. Different regions have different earning standards and different needs. A Federal minimum wage will devastate entire regions of this country for absolutely no reason. It might be incompetence, but it’s almost surely malice also- SAH)