The President called for a raise in the minimum wage during his State Of The Union speech and elicited the predictable cheers from Democrats and head shaking from Republicans.
I wondered just how many people actually work for the minimum wage to better understand the effect it has on workers. The results were nothing short of eye opening.
According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics from 2011), there are 73.9 million Americans who work for an hourly wage, making up 59.1 percent of the labor force. Of those, 1.7 million earned the exact federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which works out to 2.3 percent of hourly workers are paid “minimum wage.”
This begs the question, why on Earth do 97.7 percent of employers OVERPAY their hourly workers?
I mean, the minimum wage is there to prevent slave labor and “evil” business from taking advantage of the “working man/woman,” so why aren’t they taking more advantage? Do you mean to tell me that some (read 97.7 percent) of employers voluntarily choose to compete for workers’ labor and skills and do so by offering increased wages? You mean capitalism works, without government interference? Try telling that to President Obama and the Congressional Democrats who are trying to save the 2.3 percent of you being taken advantage of.
And if you are one of the 2.3 percent making $7.25 an hour, might I suggest asking your co-workers how they managed to create value for themselves in your employer’s eyes, as opposed to waiting for government to save you.