Spare some change?

In Life on October 5, 2013 at 3:21 PM

As some of you may know, California voted to raise the minimum wage to ten dollars an hour over two years. Next year it goes up to nine, and in 2016 it becomes ten dollars an hour. That’s both good and bad when you think about it. Good, because its damn near impossible to live on $7.75 and hour, and bad because it may put a lot of businesses out of commission.

The good aspect of the wage hike is that like I said earlier, its damn near impossible to live on $7.75 or even $8.00 an hour. I grew up where mama and daddy both worked and we still didn’t have a lot of stuff. Dad made above the minimum wage, which at that time was $7.75 an hour, and mom made extra cash by babysitting and making crafts to sell to various neighbors. We made do, but it was hard. This wage hike isn’t new, as for as long as I can remember, they have been talking about raising, and our former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger passed a law that all federal employees must be paid the federal minimum wage, which I believe was 8.50 at the time. Now, mama wasn’t working at the state tax board anymore, but had found work someplace else, so she want happy about the late addition.

The bad side is, as I stated earlier, the “mom and pop” business may be forced to shut down, or fire employees. I mean, why pay that extra cost for personal service when there is a Walmart around every corner who has that same item for a few cents less? I get that most people like going into “Billy’s Neighborhood Store” and hearing a kind hello, and even get to know that cashier, or the stock boy, but let’s face it, its over for the little guy. I understand that most of the businesses can’t afford the extra two dollars an hour on top the rising cost of food, gas, and property taxes. It is good for the big business, as they can raise their prices and that cost gets passed on to you!

I was discussing this with an old friend of mine the other day, and his idea was to raise it for the big guy, but not the little corner shops. I then had to explain to him that its not minimum if you can get paid lower. If Walmart can pay you $10.00 and hour, but Target can pay 9.99 and hour and to stay in business, the corner convenient store can pay $8.00 and hour, its not minimum. Sure, I’d love to live in a land where small business (defined by the number of workers and the amount of money they generate) could pay their workers a decent (legal) wage, but that is not going to happen. For one, we can longer put business out of business by practicing capitalism, but that’s another blog all together…

See, the wage hike doesn’t hurt the employee who makes the new amount in her pay bucket, no it puts a squeeze on the little guy who, probably can not afford it and will have to close up.

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