A minimum wage increase is counterproductive in a free market economy. Government setting wages or prices is inconsistent with basic capitalist principles. To increase real wages of people at the lower end of the wage scale, government should limit immigration. Wages will rise, and the market will set the increase. The equilibrium established by the market will be healthier than any government official setting wages.
Additional benefits resulting from a decrease in immigration would include lower expenditures for social services, schools, jails, prisons, courts and hospitals. The savings could be distributed in the form of lower taxes to businesses, to offset higher wages, and to train lower income workers to elevate their status within the work force.
Most elected officials understand these basic economic principles. It is unfortunate that raising the minimum wage has become a popular method used by both political parties instead of substantive changes that would improve the real quality of the lives of low-income Americans. It is even sadder to realize that almost 70% of Americans support a minimum-wage increase, instead of insisting our leaders implement real reforms that would actually improve the lives of low-income Americans.
Greg T. Gaddie