The big talk today, as it has been for years, is how many want the federal minimum wage raised from $7.25 to $15.00 an hour.
Yes, a raise in the federal minimum wage is long past due. It’s been over a decade. And many are struggling. But if the minimum wage jumps from $7.25 to $15.00, the money has to come from somewhere. And changes will happen.
As I’ve seen in my own state of Massachusetts, where the minimum wage has gradually increased and will eventually reach $15.00 in 2023, we have seen increases in restaurant food prices, as well as decreases in working hours every year since the gradual increase began. Which was quite obviously going to happen. And we haven’t even reached $15.00 yet. But because every year the minimum wage is going to increase, so is everything else. It’s a cycle.
I use the experience of an acquaintance of mine who works for a supermarket as an example. She told me with the increase, all employees at the store saw a decrease in their hours, which nobody is happy about. Yes, they may be making $13.50 an hour now but for many, like the woman who works there and normally gets 20 hours a week, she is now only working 16 hours and has lost her health insurance because of it.
So yes, on one hand $15.00 an hour would be great. But how many would actually be getting ahead?