Monday, May 21, 2007

Please Force Us to Increase the Minium Wage So We Don't Have to Do it Ourselves

The business lobbyists and commentators would in fact be doing their membership a favor if they would stop fighting the minimum wage and instead were advising their members paying the minimum wage to increase those wages voluntarily. This would improve their businesses. Companies that hire at or slightly above the minimum wage discover they have difficulties keeping employees. These employees quickly leave whenever they find a better paying job. That requires the businesses to engage in searching for and training someone who often has no or little previous experience at that job. Since most of these jobs are in those with direct affect on customers—restaurant and hotel employees—these businesses often find they have higher customer dissatisfaction when having to deal with inexperienced workers. This can be especially frustrating in the restaurant industry where customers are very mobile. If they see long lines at one fast food place because the service has been slowed by inexperienced workers, there often is a suitable competing fast food restaurant a short distance away. It is often cost effective to pay higher wages to keep employees who know how to do their jobs, which increases customer satisfaction and reduces the costs of seeking and training new employees.

We often have to force industries to increase the minimum wage in order to protect themselves from themselves. So please don't let me that the drive to increase the minimum wage is secretly a pro-business Republican objective. That would ruin our image at the country club.


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