Saturday, June 17, 2017 | 2 a.m.
There have been several letters recently about increasing the minimum wage.
An increase only delays a return to the same place, a temporary condition. Once wages are raised from the bottom, everything else goes up and living conditions never change for a class. Raise the rate to $15, and those who earned rates between the current and the new rate will demand an equal raise. Then those above them will do the same. This continues up the scale.
The extra costs to employers are compounded by the increase in taxes for Medicare, etc. This forces businesses to raise prices, cut workers or close. The middle class does not live any better now than it did when the rate was $1 an hour, as all was cheaper. The middle class has reduced as many of them have moved up. We create more millionaires and billionaires per year than ever. I have always been a member of the poor or middle class.
Other results are that this increase in income will reduce many welfare benefits such as food stamps, housing subsidiaries, health care and child care assistance. This would be good for the taxpayers, but not the ones we are trying to help. During a recent visit to Australia and New Zealand, I was told that when the income levels there reached $12 to $14 an hour (U.S.), consumers stopped tipping. Not tipping in the U.S. is now extremely rare, usually common with international tourists. If everyone earns a living wage, why tip?
When I grew up, tipping was only done as a reward for a friendly smile, prompt service or anything that improved the enjoyment of the situation. If the employer did not pay enough, that employer had no employees. Many consider that they should be tipped for just doing their job today. When did pride in one’s job disappear? Do those who expect everyone to tip give tips to police officers or firefighters when they provide a service? How about trash collectors or street sweepers or cashiers at restaurants?
If they don’t tip those individuals, they are two-faced. Employers can lower wages when there are tips. Where do you want to go, America?