Showing posts from September, 2013

Robert J. Samuelson: The Minimum Wage Muddle

I dislike the notion of a "minimum wage" but recognize that it isn't about to be abolished. And, there is the sad reality that many companies don't recognize that employees are the value behind any business or non-profit. Organizations are their people.

My first problem with the national minimum wage is that any nationwide standard ignores the cost of living variations from region to region. Beyond that, we have issues of how to set a minimum wage, how to index it to inflation, and many other complicated issues. If you set rates by region, would you also have regional inflation indices? What about tiered minimums, based on age or other variables? There are already odd exemptions to the minimum wage, namely in the dining industry.

Should there be a full-time minimum wage apart from a part-time minimum? How many people working 40-hour weeks earn the minimum wage? If they do earn the minimum, for how long do they earn this before their first raises? How long before …