The misconception of a minimum wage increase

The misconception of a minimum wage increase

Minimum wage increases don't usually have the desired impact for most low-wage earners.

Wait, why don’t the business owners just take the extra expense from the minimum wage increase out of their exorbitant salaries or profits?  Those high-paid CEOs could stand to take a wage cut to provide for the low-wage earners, couldn’t they?

Sure, that might help, but a company bases its salary structure on what the position for which they are paying is worth to the company.  If you ask a successful CEO to take a pay cut, you will likely lose him to another firm that is willing to pay what they think he deserves, possibly in another business segment in another part of the world where the minimum wage is lower.  The market determines the compensation for a company’s executives.  To get good people, you must pay them enough to stay.

Of course, baggage handlers and fry cooks are valuable to a company as well.  But it would be easier to replace a baggage handler, as opposed to an air traffic controller, and therefore, the latter are better compensated to encourage them to stay with the company and avoid the cost of re-training.

Millions of airport workers and McDonald’s employees are hard-working individuals that show up every day and do their job in a professional manner, and they should be given all due rewards.  But asking for a pay increase just because you do your job is not in the best interest of the employee or the company.

What is the solution?  If an employee desires to make more money, the individual has to make themselves more valuable to the company, or find a company that values them more.  This can be done through education, job training or other means, but can also be done in your current position.  Efficient workers, especially in the fast food industry, can be rewarded with promotions to team or shift supervisors, or eventually store managers.

Taking individual responsibility for your situation will improve your lot sooner and with better outcomes than striking for an increase in pay for the same amount of work.  Set your goals to no longer be the low-wage earner, and do the work necessary to make yourself valuable to the company.  The compensation will follow.

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