A majority of our progressive/socialist neighbors in Montpelier, including the satelite socialist Bernie, want to mandate a $15 per hour minimum wage. It is an enticing marketing concept. It is designed to convince the largest group of voters to support and elect them, because They Care ™. What do these folks actually mean when they say they want to force their neighbors to pay a higher “livable” wage to their employees?
A Vermont business may want and need to hire an employee. Currently, the price of admission to hire an employee is an income level that can afford to pay out $10.50 per hour minimum wage; plus the myriad taxes, fees and other mandated obligations associated with having an employee. If that minimum wage goes up, so does the price of admission. Generally, that reduces the number of available positions, if any, an employer can afford.
An employee’s hourly rate is based on what an employer can afford to pay AND what the employee brings to the job. Compared to a hard working, intelligent, responible and dedicated employee; does a young, gamer kid who really doesn’t want to go to work (but mom and dad insisted on it) really bring an equal value to an employer? Our neighbors in the statehouse always seem to focus on what the employer needs to provide to the employee. Seldom, if ever, do they suggest that an employee has a role in determining what they get paid. Seldom, if ever, does Montpelier thank employers for their efforts and sacrifices. (Seriously, have you ever heard them say thank you?)
What employers in Vermont continuously hear is that they are not paying their employees enough and that they are not providing employees with the benefits that they deserve. There is no doubt, Vermont is both an expensive place to live AND to run a business. None of that is an employer’s fault. If Montpelier figured out how to lower the cost of living here, the wage you currently earn would become livable. If Montpelier opened up our state for other health insurers, that would lower the purchasing price of insurance.
What Are They Talking About?
But what do they mean, a livable wage? A person with a full time, $15 per hour job would earn $31,200annually (before taxes). Coincidentally, that would increase the state’s tax revenue with the state having to “raise taxes”. It is a nice, sleight of hand trick certain politicians like to play. How many full time jobs would be available at this new wage? My guess is less than there is now. Are these folks, who are seeking your vote, actually talking about a 20 hour per week part time job? A 20 hour per week employee would earn $15,600 annually. There would probably be a few more of those jobs available. Is $15,600 per year livable?
Does a $15 minimum wage apply to self-employed people and farmers? If our neighbors believe everyone has a right to a livable wage, that does mean everyone, right? If we are all due, at least $31,200 annually, do self-employed people, along with farmers, file their income and get a check to cover any shortfall? This all seems very complex and confusing. I think that is the actual plan.
If our progressive/socialist neighbors in Montpelier, including the satelite socialist Bernie, want to actually fix this “livable wage” problem, they could not pick a more complex, “ain’t gonna help” way of doing it. Instead of mandating that hundreds of employers incur more new operating expense, they could simply lower operating expenses.
The most expedient way to lower expenses for the businesses of Vermont, is to actually mandate a maximum wage of $25 per hour. If our government can mandate a minimum wage, surely they can mandate a maximum as well. That would immediately free up millions of dollars in operating costs for all businesses in our state and would reduce the cost of living. That would leave extra monies to increase the lower paid employees’ wages as well.
Am I serious? No. Just as a minimum wage is actually unconstitutional and not based on actual economic principles, neither is a maximum wage. Further, even if I was serious, our neighbors in charge wouldn’t want to do it. That is where their funding comes from.