Minimum Wage Could Cause Maximum Pain for America’s Most At-Risk

A minimum wage increase, a earning rate that affects just 1.1 percent of Americans workers over the age of 25, is one of the key 2014 policy priorities for President Barack Obama and his supporters.

It’s a small goal that could have a devastating effect on the American workforce over the long term.  A 2006 report by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the minimum wage increases disproportionate harm among low-skilled workers.  Milton Friedman, the famed Nobel laureate in economics, said: “I have often said that the most anti-black law on the books of this land is the minimum wage law.”

This view of minimum wage politics causing more harm than good is shared by members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network.

P21ChristopherArpsProject 21 member Christopher Arps, a founder of the social networking web site for black conservative, said:

It should really make one evaluate their priorities if they see stalwart political allies run around in limousines, patting themselves on the back for alleged compassion while advocating for a minimum wage increase.  A few workers get a few extra pennies in their paychecks, but what’s really in it for them — especially if mandated wage increases force bosses to cut back, eliminating jobs and worsening things?

And how can we believe the President really wants “to make sure our economy honors the dignity of work, and hard work pays off” when his administration effectively eliminated work requirements to receive welfare benefits?  Unbelievable!

But one can apparently get away with that when so many people get their news from the three networks and Jon Stewart.

P21KevinMartinAdditionally, Project 21 member Kevin Martin, the owner of a small environmental abatement business, said:

President Obama’s call for an increase in the minimum wage is another attempt at keeping his populist rhetoric going.  The truth of the matter, however, is that many small business owners pay their workers well above the minimum wage each and every day because they want to remain viable and prosper in this economy.

When the jobs are difficult and workers must be skilled, employers would never dream of paying only the minimum wage because there is competition and a desire to see the job is done well.  It’s as simple as that.

There is a disconnect here because President Obama refuses to look at the real reasons why small businesses in particular are not hiring new employees.  It is because new federal regulations and increasing fees and taxes at every level are crushing small business owners.  Many small business owners, in this economic climate, are often forced to repair and rent equipment than buy new things.  Likewise, small business owners would rather maintain and reduce their workforce to the functional minimum to offset the costs of operating in the Obama era.

President Obama can use Costco as a prop in his cheerleading for that minimum wage increase, but Costco is a big, multinational corporation able pay well above the current federal minimum wage.  For small businessman in communities across the nation such as myself, we must face tough choices that often require doing more with less.  And an increase in the minimum wage is going to make that process even harder.

A lot of small businesses may no longer be able to survive.  Obama’s State of the Union address showed that he refuses to change course.  This is also the reason why we have 92 million Americans no longer in our workforce and a jobless recovery.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.