Sunday, October 4, 2020

Whatever happened to the Minimum wage movement

 Just a few days ago, a thought struck my mind regarding the minimum wage movement that has been all the rage a few months back. This was a time when people were not worried about anything like this would happen, I mean the Covid-19 situation and most workers in industries which historically pay less like restaurants, fast foods and other places which are mostly staffed with minorities and elderly people and people with high school education who don’t see themselves moving ahead in life stuff in the menial jobs were clamoring for at least 15 dollars an hour, which they called livable wages and with the protest going on, many cities across the United States enacted laws to increase the wages to 15 dollars in phases sometimes going as long as the year 2023 to increase it to that level. The businesses mostly affected by these legislations were not happy about this sudden rise to their bottom line and they also started protesting but their protestation was largely ignored and drown in favor of the workers.

Those laws are still on the books of many states but everybody has been quiet for sometime as the Pandemic that has ravaged the economies of almost all states have not seen any protest to force business to increase their wages as they well know that in these times when jobs are scarce and businesses are shutting down due to lack of sales, they can ill afford to pay any type of wages. Although I sympathize with the plight of minimum wages workers but I was always skeptical about this huge increase which may in turn put pressure on the businesses to increase the salaries of their higher salaried employees, but with pandemic still raging on and some business shutting down permanently, it is no use to force businesses to pay this huge increase in minimum wage when you don’t have any sales left and people are hurting around with jobs lost and even people getting pay cuts and their hours reduced to make sure the businesses where they work survive in some form or another. This beautiful experiment in social distribution of wages need to stop for a while until the economy bounces back enough to the level before the Pandemic so that businesses have time to recover their lost earnings and profits before they start paying their employees these inflated salaries which have show mixed results thus far.

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