Doesn’t make sense to raise minimum wage for contractors

General Manager/Editor Ron Schott

General Manager/Editor Ron Schott

Just before press time, it was announced that President Barack Obama was going to sign an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors.
The decision would raise the per hour rate from $7.25 to $10.10 with the smokescreen of getting support to give a similar minimum wage hike for the rest of the country.
Currently, this move will affect more than 2,000,000 employees, but only future ones.
Those currently under contract will not see a change until they reach the renewal process at the end of their contract.
In his 2013 State of the Union address he said “Let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.”
Five states have already passed similar increase to their minimum wage.
So why now? Well of course, this is all about politics.
This is the two year mark in the current presidential cycle, meaning several congressional seats are up for election this year.
Remember those McDonald workers who were protesting in some metropolitan areas with their desire for an increase in the minimum wage? Those are the votes being sought here.
Unfortunately, this is another case of politicians playing games with our economy and not showing they really care to find real ways to fix the problem.
If a minimum wage increase like this were to be across the board, what good will it really do?
Businesses would have to pay their employees more and to do this they’ll increase prices on their products.
They might even need to make a decision to let employees go or cut back on hours to help pay for their increased expenses.
Those with college degrees like me will be wondering why they even went to college if someone has a chance to make more money than someone with a four year education.
This might result in more young people choosing service fields for their studies.
This whole discussion smells of politics and frankly, I’m getting tired of it.
In fact, one could argue this move is only so the government can collect more money in taxes as these workers will be in a different tax bracket now.
This, in turn, gives the government more money to spend and waste.
I pray that our public officials can look to truly balance the books and work to pay off our national debt instead of just looking for ways to get votes and more of our tax dollars.

Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 1:35 pm