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The Lookout | April 13, 2021

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Editorial: Minimum wage hike risky

Editorial: Minimum wage hike risky
The Lookout

Employees in the fast food and healthcare fields protested at the Michigan State Capitol on Sept. 12 in favor of raising the minimum wage.

Organized by the Service Employees International Union and D15, their end goal is a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

Though such a high raise sounds good, there are many negative consequences that would likely follow such a large bump. As it stands, the current Michigan minimum wage is $8.50, on which it would be almost impossible for anyone to raise a family.

A bill passed in 2014 will raise the Michigan minimum wage to $9.25 by 2018. Eventually raising it even higher than that is a realistic goal.

However a sudden increase to a $15 minimum would likely hurt small businesses state wide. It would also hurt the workers that such a hike is supposed to benefit.

In a job market that already makes it hard for young and less-educated workers to land a job, raising the minimum wage to $15 could be detrimental.

Employers would be reluctant to fill such high paying jobs with someone who doesn’t have a college degree or much work experience.

For small business owners, a large hike means a high payroll increase, which in turn will mean cutting jobs and/or having an already small workforce do more work.

It will also mean price hikes for all products or services offered by such businesses.

Raising the minimum wage sounds nice, and continuing to gradually raise it to help low-income workers is reasonable. However, hiking it to $15 would be a mistake that could backfire on the economy.