Why raise the first step on the ladder of opportunity in the workplace? The median hourly for all occupational categories in Idaho is $14.58. The mean is $18.48. A job that pays minimum wage is a start for someone with no or minimum skills. A start for young people to acquire good work habits. Any forced increase by law results in two things: employers taking a look at reducing staff and/or raising prices to maintain profit margins, shortly following which the market balances itself again with the same wage-price ratios. The answer for a breadwinner who is making minimum wage is to gain some skills to be worth more.
Further, if income inequality enters the picture and we work to reduce the gap, we also need to solve the intellect and ambition spread, a bit more difficult to mandate. It’s a brutal fact, but some people are smarter than others, and some have a lot more ambition and drive. Our system has produced the greatest society in the world. We shouldn’t tinker with it too much.
BOB JESSEN, Meridian