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LETTER: Minimum wage just another mandate

To the Editor:

I’ve read a few articles advocating for the minimum wage, and heard now it is a ballot measure. Why?

Here in South Dakota, Obamacare isn’t particularly popular. Many dislike that it is a mandate. Yet, what else is a minimum wage law? Mandating you pay someone whether or not their labor, or the job itself, is worth the payment. It’s a labor cost mandate.

For businesses, this means that you’re forced to hire fewer employees or risk your own paycheck (profit). For prospective employees, it means fewer of you are getting hired at all, much less with the potential to earn more.

Minimum wages sound great: “Everybody earns more.” Do we all agree that $100 an hour is too much, and would likely cost many businesses their employees? Of course. Would it raise the cost of everything we buy? Yes, of course.

If $7.50 is too low, $100 is too high ... then how much is “just right?” A lawmaker in California (Lee) is honestly advocating a $26 minimum wage. Politicians will tell you what you want to hear. What do we need to hear? Minimum wages take the bottom rungs off the ladder, where the elderly and the youngest of us usually stand. Younger adults reading this — if you vote for the wage increase, don’t be surprised when you’re not hired because of it.

I want to help the economy out, too, don’t get me wrong. Stop government competition to the job marketplace with welfare handouts, which discourage the simple search for the job as long as the handouts are coming in. Ben Franklin knew how to help the poor. Heck, a sign on the Jimmy Johns west wall here in Mitchell explains this better than most political elite comprehend, for that matter. If you’ve seen it, you know the one.