by Joe Sinagra
'The following article was written by me in 2007 when running for NJ State Assembly, and published in the Trenton Times.'
The minimum wage is supposed to help those at the lower end of the income scale to make a better living. When the minimum wage rises, in actuality, the exact opposite occurs, resulting in a higher unemployment rate among that same income class. The small businesses that employ them suffer, as well.
I do not believe the minimum wage increase has helped anyone – already we are seeing companies laying off workers or closing.
An increase in the minimum wage means that unemployment rates among ethnic minorities and teens will climb higher, giving thousands of currently employed workers a “livable” wage of zero.
As the actual wage increases, so do payroll taxes, unemployment, disability, etc., the “hidden” taxes. Any minimum-wage increase creates a larger burden on employers.
Small businesses account for the bulk of new job growth. Mandating a higher minimum wage means that a small business will either have to let someone go, or not hire the next person who walks through the door. Many small-business owners need a minimum amount of employees to compete against the larger chains. When they are forced to let employees go, they cannot compete. By keeping them, they either absorb costs or lose what little completive edge they have.
In the absence of minimum wage laws, would employers pay lower than minimum or less? No. Competition in the labor market forces employers to pay the higher wages; many businesses today pay their employees more than the minimum wage. I believe that by eliminating the minimum wage, more job opportunities for the unskilled and minorities will be created and there will be more room for negotiation between employer and employee.