After talking with a few business owners, and conducting extensive research on economic principles and behaviors, I am staunchly opposed to not just a minimum wage hike, but the minimum wage altogether.
My generation has been conditioned to look to the government to solve their problems, so naturally when a young person like myself seeks a raise the solution is a government regulation. I would like to caution my peers about the realities of minimum wage.
Raising the minimum wage is about the worst thing you can do for young and unskilled laborers. Artificially raising the price of labor creates less demand for it, which explains rapid job loss in places like Seattle. Raising the price of labor also discourages employee retention and incentivizes businesses to switch to labor-saving methods of production which hurts the workforce long-term.
Proponents of a minimum wage pass it off as “a raise for working families”. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 3 percent of workers who earn a minimum wage are over the age of 25. Most people affected by the minimum wage are young and/or unskilled workers trying to enter the workforce. Raising the price of unskilled labor disenfranchises employers from hiring young people like myself, which forces us to compete with people who’ve been in the workforce for 20 or 30 years.
I understand a raise is attractive to young people like myself, but the minimum wage does not guarantee us a job. Rather, it lowers our odds of finding/keeping one.
— Chet Billi, of Whitefish, is a Republican candidate for House District 5