The Minimum Wage Debate

The minimum wage is being raised in thirteen states this year, and while your state may not be one of the lucky thirteen, there is a push for a nationwide pay raise. Where do you stand on this issue? Should workers be paid more, should it remain the same, or should it be up to the employers to decide what an employee’s time is worth?

The age-old debate that raising the minimum wage will also raise the cost of goods is being brought up again. Some economists say that it isn’t true, while others stand firmly behind it. Both sides make valid points, and there are far too many ways to look at it in an article here.

The biggest backers for a nationwide increase believe that the larger, mass-merchants can afford to pay more hourly to their employees, so they should. They feel the only way to do this is to federally mandate it. The problem therein lies with the fact that almost half of the American workforce is employed by small businesses, not large corporations who are traded publicly. The smaller businesses, like many fishing tackle retailers, will need to find a way to fund this increase in the minimum wage because they too will be legally motivated to pay their employees more.

Even if your employees are currently being paid more than the minimum wage, will you continue to increase their pay as the minimum wage increases? Where will the funds for this increase come from? This is a big concern for many small business owners, especially in an industry such as fishing tackle that already has such small profit margins.

Increasing the minimum wage will allow for more discretionary spending, especially for those who are benefiting from the increase in pay. Many of these individuals tend to be anglers or outdoor-minded people and will now have more money to spend in your store. While they may not be able to afford the higher end products, they certainly will be able to afford the more modestly priced equipment.

So where do you stand on this?

In a recent poll half of all small business owners were against the increase of the national minimum wage to $9.50 an hour from its current $7.25 an hour. Surprisingly, forty-seven percent were for it, and three percent did not have an answer. As you can see, the country’s small businesses are almost split on it as well.

This debate is not even a political one, as both sides of the aisle have those that are for it and against it. Some feel that if it was left up to employers to decide their staff’s hourly rate, with no minimum being set, that workers would make far less than they do now. That may be true, but as we all know, the best employees will be paid the most wherever they work, and if they don’t feel they are being paid enough will look for a new job. This will leave the companies paying the least with the least qualified staff who could not find work elsewhere.

The debate over what the minimum wage should be, will be and needs to be will continue to go on in Washington D.C. and in every state within our country. There may never be a happy medium everyone can agree upon, but that is what makes our country so great, the ability to debate and disagree.

Share your thoughts with us on the great Minimum Wage Debate on our Facebook page or in our LinkedIn group. Should it be raised or should it remain the same? The outcome may affect your business. Share your point of view and see how others feel about this important topic.