Higher minimum wage will hurt economy

As union membership declines Washington is stepping in to take over as final authority on how wealth is going to be distributed. There is no other way to look at the liberal proposal for a 25 percent increase in the minimum wage. What does it do for the economy?

Raising the minimum wage by 25 percent puts pressure on job providers in ways that stymie free market forces. Although employers don’t usually fire workers rather than pay them a higher minimum wage they will resort to free-market counter-measures. Employers may not fill vacancies, will adjust hours, will try to automate, will reduce benefits and they will look long and hard at expansion.

A common misconception is there are jobs Americans will not do. The reality is there are jobs that are not worth (currently $7.25 per hour) soon to be $9 per hour. Americans refuse to work for less and employers are not allowed to pay lower than the government mandated minimum.

High pay for low skill leads to many unemployed kids. Entry level workers are paid low wages because of the nature of the job. Most workers in these positions are first time employees with no job skills. When minimum wage levels are higher than inexperienced young people’s labor is worth, they don’t get hired.

As un-American as it sounds, raising minimum wage is a method of influencing voters and pacifying the unruly. Most of these people as well as organized labor are pushing for an even higher minimum.

A higher minimum wage coupled with the unknown effects of Obamacare will surely drive many companies, small and large, to another country or out of business.

Opposition to any violation of free market principles, like a minimum wage, is the right position for conservative politicians to take.

Bob Lamb