Consequences of higher minimum wage outweigh benefits


Braden Ward

Protests such as the march pictured on the top (from The Stream) lead to the consequences pictured on the bottom (from Yahoo Finance and Organic Consumers Association).

Supporters of the high minimum wage reason that it will simply help those in poverty, but a $15 per hour minimum wage is more fantasy than reality.

A recent Virginia bill for an increased minimum wage was almost passed by the Virginia Senate, but it failed 21-19. If the bill was passed, then it would raise the minimum wage from the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour to $10 per hour, and the minimum wage would be up to $15 per hour by 2021. If the Virginia Senate passed the bill, the state’s economy would likely experience dreadful consequences.  

The consequences would differ between employees, employers, and consumers, but every consequence would have a negative effect. Many employees would need to either be fired or have their hours cut so that the business can still profit. Many small businesses would have to raise prices to compensate for the higher wage, leading to closings because of a lack in profits. Many customers would either have to deal with higher prices, or they would simply stop shopping/buying from these businesses who raised their prices.

A higher minimum wage only leads to a higher price for an equivalent standard of living; it would hit the state’s economy hard if the rise in the wage does not match the rate of inflation.

In Virginia, $15 per hour would give the state similar problems that big cities, such as New York City and San Francisco face; fast food employees went on strike for a higher minimum wage, and now they face mass firings since fast food establishments cannot afford to pay these workers.  

These low/minimum wage fast food jobs are not designed for a career, but instead, as a means to develop experience or make some extra money on the side. This explains why many low wage jobs in Virginia Beach are occupied by students, and some are even occupied by senior citizens.

Although some will continue to use low wage jobs as a means to live because they lack education or management, an extreme raise in the minimum wage would only amplify problems between employees and employers. Write to your representatives and senators and ask them one thing: keep Virginia’s economy flourishing, and do not raise minimum wage.