Though it sounds good in theory, many conservatives view minimum wage laws as an impediment to the free market system. Nevertheless, Congress continues to demand that employers pay unskilled workers at an increasingly high rate.
Since 2007, the national minimum wage has been $7.25 per hour. A group of Democrat legislators recently advanced plans to address the issue, including a proposal by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin that would raise the hourly rate by almost 40 percent to a staggering $10.10.
Furthermore, wages would be directly influenced by the rate of inflation under Harkin’s proposal.
Not only would this cut deeply into the already thin profit margins of small businesses; it would force companies to make cutbacks and curtail hiring in many cases.
The Democrat senators met Thursday to kick around a few ideas, emerging from the conference with plenty of reasons to further besiege the private sector.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin called a rate spike “long overdue” as fellow senators touted the fact Barack Obama is on board with the initiative.
In his State of the Union address earlier this year, Obama supported raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour. Not to be outdone, senators want to artificially set an even higher threshold.
Sources within the Senate say that Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to present a proposal to the chamber before the end of the month. Unlike previous minimum wage increases, this proposal is receiving little Republican support.
According to North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven, “[t]he way you increase wages is by increasing jobs,” adding “that’s the approach I support.”
Even if Americans have resigned themselves to the fact that we are going to be stuck with a minimum wage, the bottom line is that the cost of living varies wildly across the U.S. Therefore, setting a nationwide rate would negatively impact those in poorer communities even more than in more affluent areas of the country.
States have the right to impose their own minimum wage, if their citizens deem it appropriate to do so. As usual, the one-size-fits-all approach of leftists on Capitol Hill only makes things worse.
–B. Christopher Agee
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