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Minimum Rage

minimum wage increase

There’s a big cry these days from non-business owners for the government to raise the minimum wage.

  • The town of SeaTac, Washington recently voted to require that over 6,000 workers in and around the nation’s 15th-busiest airport be paid $15.00 per hour – more than double the national minimum wage.
  • Fast-food workers all across the country have been marching and protesting to try to get the government to increase the minimum wage.
  • Wal-Mart has been the subject of much publicity about its “inhumane” treatment of its workers, including the low wages it pays its lowest-value workers.

What has happened to our country, that people now aspire to the “minimum”?

I’ve interviewed, hired and trained thousands of salespeople over the past 30+ years, and the kiss of death in any interview has always been when the job applicant asked me, “What does your average salesperson make?”

I never was and never will be looking for someone interested in being “average” – I’m always on the lookout for superstars.

And from what I see lately, millions of Americans are no longer even looking to be average – all the buzz is about the “minimum!”

Can you imagine if someone ever walked into your office looking for a sales position and said, “Hey, I want to know one thing before I take this job: What’s the minimum amount of money that your worst salesperson makes, because that’s how much I demand to make?”

No adult should be concerned with what the minimum wage is. We’ve all had minimum-wage jobs, but we’re supposed to grow out of them.

When I was 16 years old, my response to being dissatisfied with the minimum wage (which was then $2.30 per hour) was to work TWO full-time minimum wage jobs at the same time over the summer between my sophomore and junior years in high school.

The way I figured it, not only was I earning double what any of my friends were making (a whopping $184/week), but since I was working so much, I didn’t have a lot of time to waste going out and spending all of my money! So I was actually able to save a bunch of money that summer, which I spent on a kick-butt stereo system (you know, back in the days where the bigger the speakers, the better) and my first car (a 1973 Ford Pinto, thank you very much).

If I had not planned on going to college, I would have performed so well at both of those jobs that I would practically have forced one or both of my bosses to promote me and give me raises.

But I would NOT EVER have simply done whatever was the bare minimum required just to get by for years on end and then just complained that the government should mandate an increase in the minimum wage.

(*As it turns out, I got a pure-commission job hustling around Madison Square Garden hawking peanuts and popcorn during my junior year in high school, and was able to earn A LOT more money – and basically on my terms – for over a year-and-a-half before I went away to college.)

As the late, great business philosopher Jim Rohn said: “Life is a ladder – not a bed.”

The idea is not just to lay in one spot forever – it’s to move up.

That’s the attitude that made America great – but sadly it’s becoming increasingly rare.

It’s outrageous that millions of Americans aspire to work a crappy job for their whole adult lives, and then complain for the government to mandate that they get better pay instead of dedicating themselves to do whatever it takes to provide more value to society and therefore earn more money.

Remember the movies, “Rudy” or “Urban Cowboy” or “An Officer And A Gentleman”? They’re all about the fact that people HATE the very idea of having to work in factories and how they’ll do just about anything to escape the life of being a factory worker. I don’t recall anyone ever saying, “Those movies make no sense. Factory jobs are great!”

So why is it that we let politicians get away with proclaiming pure nonsense like “We need more manufacturing jobs,” and brainwashing Americans into believing that?

Of course the politicians themselves don’t even believe that. Show me one politician who wants his or her own children to work in a factory their whole lives, or to make the minimum wage as an adult.

When you artificially raise the wage level, that causes a problem for business owners. And business owners are resourceful people. Our job is to solve problems. It’s what we do.

Make no mistake: If the government decides to drastically increase the minimum wage, we WILL find a way around the problem of having to pay an artificially-higher wage for the lowest-level, least-value workers. Some of our solutions might include:

  • Raising prices
  • Charging additional fees
  • Providing fewer services
  • Making each current employee handle more tasks
  • Cutting staff
  • Using lower-quality ingredients
  • Using lower-quality equipment
  • Cutting corners in production
  • Providing smaller portions
  • Staying open for less hours
  • Some combination of one or more of the above
  • and more – basically, whatever it takes.

Some business owners may even decide to re-locate their business to somewhere that doesn’t require them to pay artificially-high wages, leaving that area without their business producing value for that community by providing goods and services, hiring employees, paying suppliers, paying utilities, taxes, etc.

But make no mistake: Business owners will find a way around the problem of being forced to pay artificially-inflated salaries. That’s their job. It’s what they do.

There’s no such thing as “something for nothing.” In a perfect, fairy-tale world, everyone would get high pay, great healthcare and other benefits – and no one would have to pay the price for any of them.

However, of course that’s not how things work in the real world – at least not in a capitalist system.

Here’s a fun video that demonstrates the difference between claiming to want to help everyone and actually carrying out the action necessary to do so:

Personally, this whole topic doesn’t affect any of my businesses, because I’m never looking to hire low-value workers or pay anyone low wages.

How about you?

Do you want Wal-Mart to continue to guarantee low prices?

Do you want fast-food restaurants to continue to have 99-cent menus?

Do you want the free market to determine how much employees get paid, based on the value they provide?

Or would you rather live in a society where the government artificially inflates wages and therefore forces business owners to raise prices and/or cut costs as a result?

28 Responses to Minimum Rage

  1. Mark Reply

    December 18, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I’m sorry….I don’t hire average salespeople…NEXT!

  2. Jim Reply

    December 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    What I would like to see is a study that tracks how many workers are actually paid minimum wage to start off and how long they stay at minimum wage after being hired. I have never head anyone comment on that. I think it would be very interesting to see these statistics, if they even exist.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      December 18, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Good point, Jim.

      Kind of like how many baseball players stay at the low minor-league “A” level as opposed to moving up to “AA”, “AAA” and The Majors.

      I think such lack of upward mobility is relatively rare in such situations — and with all companies that “get it” — because if someone’s not going to move up, they simply move them out, freeing up the bottom rung of the ladder for someone who knows they need to start there, but doesn’t want to just stay there.

      When did America become a nation of people with such low aspirations??

  3. Ruben Reply

    March 8, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Given people’s perceptions, you may or may not be phrasing the question correctly: it’s not necessarily a question of helping or hurting their business, it’s a matter of social policy: if free markets were left to themselves, many hard working people, even with 2 jobs, would be liviing close to the poverty line; so the question for many is how much should an individual working 60 hours over 2 jobs, or a couple working 3 jobs for 100 hours a week combined, earn, and what benefits should they have. Also, there is a belief that if the poorer earn more, they will also spend more – benefiting small businesses (how the plusses and minuses work out, I don’t know).

    These added costs would not only apply to small businesses, but also to bigger businesses (eg, Walmart) that prefer to skimp on salaries and benefits. Seems to me that the more pressing problem for small businesses (at least in distribution) is the impact of the Internet: why should a brick and mortar store be at a structural disadvantage to an not only because Amazon pays lower rent per square foot of space, but also because it does not have to charge/pay sales taxes (although that advantage seems to be going away over time, as sales taxes are being imposed). If some of these structural issues were addressed, would small businesses be better able to survive paying higher wages?

    • Steve Reply

      March 8, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Disagree, Ruben.

      For Americans who take the risks and make the sacrifices to serve their communities as small business owners, this is not just some kind of “matter of social policy” — it’s a pure financial survival issue. It must be nice for politicians to sit in their ivory towers and view the issue the way you’re framing it, but the boots-on-the-ground business owners already provide a WORLD of “social” benefits by providing products and/or services, paying taxes, supporting suppliers, landlords, etc., investing in advertising and marketing, and — oh, by the way — employing people who, for whatever reason, choose not to provide all of those benefits to society and instead desire to live in America but just to do the minimum possible to keep their jobs (while taking any opportunity to state how much they hate their job, their boss, etc. etc. etc.).

      As far as Walmart, your belief that they “prefer to skimp on salaries and benefits” is common, but incorrect.

      Many small businesses are negatively impacted by the internet, and many have chosen to use the internet to their advantage (antique stores selling tons more stuff – and at much higher prices – online than they could ever in their one brick-and-mortar locations, car dealerships doing the same with their used car inventory, restaurants selling their sauces, t-shirts, etc. online, etc. etc. etc.). Furthermore, certain services will always have to be provided locally (hair salons, convenience stores, restaurants, etc.), and are immune to challenge from the likes of Amazon.

      Bottom-line: If people want to earn more money, they simply have to make themselves more valuable to employers. The Progressive/Liberal “it’s a matter of social policy” folks would rather just allow workers to stay only marginally valuable to a business yet be rewarded with a raise anyway. That sucks in so many ways it’s difficult to count them.

  4. Jeff Reply

    March 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

    My thoughts on this issue, sorry for the long read but I welcome the debate.

    #1 – If trickle down economics has never worked or never will (according to most all on the left), why then will trickle up economics work? If increasing the minimum wage runs money up the ladder, why doesn’t money go down the ladder? Answer me that.

    #2 – Minimum wage is not meant to be for life. If you have minimum wage skills, initiative, and mindset you deserve minimum wages.

    #3 – If we increase the minimum wage, how does the average person making just a dollar or two more than that now feel about their job? What does the equation look like when you have an adult with a family making $14 an hour and the zit-faced 16-year-old at McDonald’s makes $10.10?

    #4 – No one is chained to a job, they can leave at any time. If a person is not happy with their wages, do something about it. Now more then ever there is ample opportunity to better oneself. There is an entire library’s worth of information in most everyone’s purse or front pocket now via their cell phone. It can be used for more than angry birds and Facebook. Read something, buy a home study course, take online classes. Do better today than you did yesterday, pretty simple.

    #5 – I practice what I preach regarding #4. Before typing this reply I registered my account at the Ayn Rand Institute website that Steve linked to in this thread. I love Ayn Rand, and ’til now wasn’t aware of the site, shame on me. But, I did something better for myself today that I didn’t have at my fingertips, for free mind you, yesterday.

    #6 – The issue related to wages is not about how big and greedy corporate America is. It’s about supply and demand. The government is stifling any growth in the small business sector right now.

    I know because I own a small business. As a real world present example, because of Obamacare we now have to sell an additional $34K in 2014 just to cover our increased costs of healthcare. That $34K doesn’t include sales to cover rising costs everywhere else, plus inflation, plus growth.

    That same $34K I would rather spend on hiring another person in my business – but instead it goes to the government, thereby stifling growth in my business. And FYI I need to hire some more people soon. I presently have 7 employees. So imagine the cost over a company with 20, 50, 100, 500 or more employees! It is truly disgusting.

    Regarding my supply and demand statement, businesses can’t afford to hire with so much over-regulation, so we simply must make do with staffing on hand, thereby having no choice but to increase productivity. Liberals will call this increase in productivity “beating down on the working man”. I say Liberals forced my hand, I simply don’t have any other choice but to expect more out of my staff.

    I say, if you don’t like it, hit the street – there are plenty of others waiting for a job. And before anyone points the dirty end of the “pig capitalist” stick at me know this: I treat my employees fairly and pay them well. My top salesperson makes in excess of $55K annually on a 45-hour average work week, we offer paid vacation, give bonus time off, surprise gifts, company parties, and frequent paid company lunches.

    All this with no federal law required. Imagine that!

    #7 – Consider these “seeds of socialism” as spoken by the left and current administration:

    President Obama (2012 election campaign talking point): “If you make more than $250,000 you need to pay your fair share” Well who gave him the right to determine “fair share?” Further, what does someone making $250,000 draw from the system versus someone making $25,000? Nothing. The $250K earner pays in real dollars, and at a 20% effective tax rate pays in $50K in taxes, whereas the $25K earner likely is getting a refund of $2-3K.

    Corey Booker (2012 DNC Convention speech): “The American Dream is to have a job so you can pay the bills.” No it’s not. The American Dream is to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If that leads to me being able to take a bath in liquid gold and wipe my ass with $100 bills, that’s my choice. Not yours. My American Dream is far different than just getting by, but that’s what the Liberal left want the new America to have – a total dependence on the government.

    President Obama – (multiple times since the 2012 election): “College tuition should be 10% of expected earnings based on degree.” WOW! This is by far the scariest one. Who decides what expected earnings are so you can charge the appropriate 10% college tuition rate? The government? The President? Some arm of the government – see Lois Lerner for how much value I would put in that one.

    Take this one step further. Do you want the doctor who only got $20K – $30K of education (10% of $200K – $300K in expected wages once a doctor) operating on your brain, or do you want the guy with $300K worth of education? Riddle me that.

    How do you strip away 90% of the education cost and still maintain a quality level of education worthy of brain surgery. I know what else $20K – $30K of education gets you: a UTI degree. While I applaud our vocational tradesmen/women, lets be honest – they aren’t capable of brain surgery.

    #8 – Lastly, we are all given the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That’s it. I made my life. Steve Sipress made his. Most everyone that is reading this thread made theirs.

    Where does the government have the right to say where my happiness starts and stops?

    Where does anyone have the right to say I don’t deserve all the reward, when I took all the risk?

  5. Ruben Reply

    March 8, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Steve, I don’t know if I can address you and Jeff in a comprehensive manner, but here are bits and pieces:

    The Ayn Rand article does not get into any specific details about Wal-Mart’s pay practices. But see this article:

    Places like Costco thrive while paying significantly above minimum wage to even their lowest paid workers – and they have a motivated work force. The article I mention also makes the very important point that a higher minimum wage could result in a lesser need to feed at the government trough. You can’t have it both ways – a low minimum wage and cutting benefits to the poor (which is what Paul Ryan seems to prefer).

    You assert that many minimum wage people give minimal effort (I don’t disagree, but there are many who don’t) and I think Jeff says that if they don’t like their wages they should find somewhere else to work. Of course, if a business does not like the attitude/effort of an employee, they should fire him/her and find someone else willing to provide more for the same wages. It works both ways. [Also, perhaps employees might be more motivated if you paid them more.]

    Where I disagree with Jeff is his complete faith in free markets: let supply and demand set wages. Here’s the problem: in pure theoretical capitalist economic models, you have perfect information (everyone knows what others are making/paying elsewhere, what the supply and demand is) and free transferability (it costs nothing to move to a place with better/higher paying jobs). That is not reality. Reality is that there is imperfect information – big companies know far better than small companies and individuals what is out there (although the Internet is lowering that gap) – and no free transferability (it costs lots of money to move from one location to the next). So supply and demand in the real world typically favors the employer (particularly in lower paying jobs), unless you have a unique situation as in fracking North Dakota, where there is massive disequilibrium (both in the labor market and in the housing market) – the advantages of employers in supply-demand equations created a basis for a goverment role to fix some of the perceived inequities. Hence, the welfare state, including the minimum wage.

    If you want to minimize the scope of government, then you can’t have so many people at or below the poverty line. Leaving it to the goodwill of people to give to charities is not enough; people do not give enough to charities. So, a boost in the minimum wage is one way to address the problem while spreading the burden across the entire population, including small businesses.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      March 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      (*FYI, Ruben: That “Ayn Rand” article originally appeared on – but for some reason, that site doesn’t provide a direct link to that article, so I used the Ayn Rand one.)

      Yes, there are differing opinions on whether Big Government should or should not arbitrarily dictate to all business owners how they must pay their workers who choose to provide only low value.

      Mine and Jeff’s are based on real world examples, however, and are not simply conjecture from politicians and pundits who aren’t in the trenches every day.

      Jeff’s point #4 is the key: I and just about every other successful person I know worked one or more minimum wage jobs at some point in our lives. But (a) we didn’t choose to stay worth only the minimum wage, and (b) we didn’t beg Big Brother to please force our employers to give us a raise, even when we chose not to make ourselves more valuable as employees.

      Meanwhile, if you want some more opinions about the downside of Big Government telling businesses how much to pay their employees who are least willing to provide value, here are three more from

    • Jeff Reply

      March 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      You cannot include Costco in the equation versus Wal-Mart. They are two complete different revenue structures.

      Costco is paid close to $1 BILLION dollars annually via membership before anyone has to deliver anything. Walmart collects their money after the work is done.

      There is a massive shift in revenue and ultimately the reason why Costco can (which I applaud) pay their staff more. And again the free market allowed Costco to install a membership model.

      So yes I have 100% faith in the free market, I live in it, sell in it, and make my living in it every day. It works.

      Secondly, I would ask anyone – not just Ruben – checking in on this to explain how trickle up economics works (by imposing a higher minimum wage) yet trickle down economics doesn’t and is flawed?

      Please explain because I have yet to see this work, in my own life experiences both as an employee and employer.

      • Ruben Reply

        March 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm

        Jeff, I don’t think the distinction you make re Costco is valid: some of what Costco gets up front in fees, it “loses” through lower prices than what Wal-Mart charges. Also, Sam’s Club, a Wal-Mart entity, has the same model as Costco and pays their workers much less – and suffers for it.

        An old article on this is:

  6. Jerry Reply

    March 8, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    What a great way to KILL ambition. The whole POINT of minimum wage jobs is to START there and then MOVE UP or MOVE OUT.

    A fraternity brother of my father’s started a job in Chicago part-time to help pay his tuition- a crappy job sweeping up, cleaning, and removing the trash from McDonald’s. He went on to become CEO of McDonald’s Corp. He certainly didn’t say, “Gee, I think I’ll quit school and work at this dead-end job forever and “hope” I get raises and promotions… He MADE IT HAPPEN. If you are in a crappy job, it’s YOUR fault. If you don’t like it CHANGE. I have. I’ve quit GOOD jobs for OPPORTUNITY and had it both work out and FAIL. That’s just LIFE.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      March 8, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      I feel so sorry for that guy who was “exploited” by McDonald’s.

      • Ace Luciano Reply

        March 8, 2014 at 2:24 pm

        Anyone that aspires to make a career at a minimum wage job simply gets what they deserve… which is very little.

        Education is not about school. The opportunity in the U.S. is limitless. The 4 wealthiest people I know did not go to college. 1 didn’t graduate high school.

  7. Steve Sipress Reply

    March 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I’m still amazed how oblivious liberals so easily insult people with all of their pontificating and scheming about how society needs to rescue the poor, hopeless, needy people who choose to work minimum wage jobs.

    In my opinion, the United States is a land full of strong, resourceful, capable people and endless opportunities to work hard and improve the amount of value they can provide in the marketplace. You won’t find me insulting people by acting as if they need me to rescue them from some kind of life of supposed despair and exploitation by giving them a few extra bucks for every hour they provide low-value labor to an employer.

    In America, everyone has PLENTY of opportunity to stop texting, playing video games and watching trash TV to learn something that makes them more valuable in the marketplace. It’s a much better function of society to provide peer pressure, examples and motivation for people to move UP from minimum wage jobs than it is to enable people to lack ambition and seek dependence.

    Please show me the hit song that implores people to make themselves more valuable in the marketplace.

    • Ruben Reply

      March 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      I completely agree with the article you posted on Forbes, except for one thing: the concept of “higher taxes” has become so tainted that it’s not politically feasible; so you have to adopt a second-best solution – which is to raise the minimum wage (which, in effect, is an increase in the corporate income tax).

      On other points: Yes, minimum wage should be a starting point, but frankly, not everyone has the physical or intellectual ability to earn more – yet they are willing to work very hard for very long hours (what they used to call “the deserving poor” in the 1970’s). I think a common bias among self-made people is to think that “if I made by working hard, others can too.” That, unfortunately, is not always the case. And by intellectual ability, I don’t mean school smarts – what I’ve found is that one’s EQ is as important, if not more important, than one’s IQ – but, again, not everyone has street smarts, or the ability to work with and lead others, or the willingness to take risks. I have no problem with those who do earning more. But I don’t think it is insulting to those who don’t have what it takes to have the government set minimum standards for wages.

      • Steve Sipress Reply

        March 8, 2014 at 3:44 pm

        Yup, that’s the problem, Ruben: You don’t think your insulting characterization of people as being unable to make themselves more valuable in the marketplace is insulting. Except for a very few extremely-mentally-challenged people, that’s a completely wrong and amazingly insulting opinion of yours.

        Please give me just one example of a non-extremely-mentally challenged person who is somehow not possibly capable of doing more than just minimum wage level work, while you congratulate yourself for how intellectually superior you are to those poor, helpless people you so graciously offer your help to, without which their lives would be miserable.

  8. Phil Brakefield Reply

    March 8, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Note to self…beware of threads featuring the word “pontificating”.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      March 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Excellent point, Phil. The word “pontificate” means “to speak in a pompous or dogmatic manner”, so it perfectly describes the opinions of ivory tower liberals and politicians about how businesses should operate, including their insulting characterization of millions of Americans as incapable of improving themselves and therefore needy of said pontificators’ magnanimous help.

      We should all beware of such B.S., whether we see it here on Facebook or hear it from the insulting “I hereby declare that I am the savior of all the poor, needy, dependent Americans who are incapable of taking care of themselves” ivory tower liberals and politicians.

      • Ruben Reply

        March 8, 2014 at 4:25 pm

        Steve, I see you haven’t changed in 30 years: I think what you are saying is a gross and purposeful mischaracterization. I don’t think I’m intellectually superior, but I was academically inclined and worked very hard. On the other hand, I sucked at other things that would have helped me careerwise. I don’t think you have to be extremely mentally challenged not to be good at schoolwork – that’s quite insulting to those who do not do well but do try. Different people are good at different things. Some people are wonderful artists, some wonderful musicians – and they may have focused their energies on these things rather than on more “standard” academics. But art and music are very competitive fields (high supply, low demand) – and some who keep on plugging away at careers in these fields (persistence, while often a positive, may be a negative if one is not realistic) may not be making very much money for long periods of time while they chase their dream. A very few do make it, many more are disappointed – and then have to try something else. Or the coal miner or auto worker who worked for 30 years and then found that the market no longer needed so many miners/auto works – they were trained to do a few things, but now don’t have the skills to compete for a job in the marketplace. And even if they did develop the skills, they may not be able to get a job because companies prefer the young worker whom they can mold to an older worker.

        P.S. I’m not a “liberal”. I’m a Ripon Society Republican.

        • Steve Sipress Reply

          March 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm

          You’re the one who suggested that you and everyone else who earns more than minimum wage are intellectually superior to the poor, needy, victimized, intellectually-inferior Americans who you for some reason seem to actually believe are incapable of making themselves more valuable in the marketplace.

          • Ruben

            March 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm

            Steve, that’s not what I said; that’s how you chose to interpret what I said. And as I made clear, intellectual ability/success does not equate to career success. As far as pontificating goes, I guess it’s pontificating if one is on the wrong side of you on an issue, but it’s not pontificating if they agree. So if one expresses some paternalism, that’s a liberal superiority complex pontificating; but if one expresses a fuck ’em, they should work harder, build new skills because they can position, that’s not conservative pontification?

  9. Steve Sipress Reply

    March 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Here’s what you said, Ruben: “minimum wage should be a starting point, but frankly, not everyone has the physical or intellectual ability to earn more”

    That’s the typical “it’s a good thing I’m so caring and helpful” liberal B.S. we hear all the time. (I guarantee that you’re thankful you never said any of that to my face back when I was willingly working minimum wage jobs and not looking for thoughtful, caring, superior people like you to rescue me.)

    Of course IQ doesn’t equate to career success, and of course persistence is often a bad thing. It’s equally obvious that except for a VERY few seriously-mentally-challenged people, every American has the opportunity and ability to make themselves more valuable to the marketplace than just to stay in a minimum wage job and hope that thoughtful, caring people like you will swoop down to rescue them from their miserable, hopeless lives.

    On behalf of all those poor, helpless minimum wage workers, let me say “Thank you, Ruben! Thank you! I’d be doomed to a life of misery and hopelessness without you!”

  10. Mark Reply

    March 8, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Such a bogus issue Steve. Strictly used for emotional political posturing. 1% of the workforce earns minimum wage. 1%.

    It is ridiculous the amount of attention the politicians thrust on this. There should be no minimum wage – let the market dictate. 99 out of 100 people in the workforce are unaffected. How about cutting biz and corporate taxes? You want to see good and great paying jobs? That’ll do it. Those won’t be minimum wage jobs.

    Also, if they raise it between 5% and 15%, many of those minimum wagers will be laid off. Friggin’ joke.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      March 8, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      Excellent point, Mark.

      The ivory tower liberals and leftist politicians LOVE this useless subject, to somehow “prove” how much they care about “the average American” and how much the big, bad capitalists don’t.

      I’d guess that roughly 98% of Americans have worked at least one minimum wage job in our lifetimes, yet the liberals love to focus only on the 1% of us who choose to stay that useless to the marketplace.

      As for the “struggling artist” examples Ruben mentioned, all of those people know very well what choice they’re making to take that risk, and also know that they could earn more than minimum wage anytime they want by working other jobs.

      I hardly think the ivory tower liberals and politicians would congratulate themselves for crusading for higher wages for genius musicians who choose to bag groceries while they play in obscure cafes and subway stations trying to get “discovered” and become pampered multi-millionaires.

  11. Jeff D Reply

    March 10, 2014 at 9:16 am

    In school as in life….intelligence does not equal success. I’ve seen plenty of brilliant people get terrible grades or even fail out of school. At the same time I have seen idiots get straight A’s. Grades are not a measure of intelligence.

    In this same way, I know incredibly skilled/intelligent people who don’t have a job or who make minimum wage. And I know lower skilled/intelligent people who make incredible sums of money ( I will leave out naming a few of them on here, though it is tempting, just for entertainment purposes).

    People talk about the fact that there should be equality. And I’m not against that at all. There should be equality and in some ways there is not. But when it comes to minimum wage or making more money……there IS equality. It’s the equality of opportunity.

    Equality does not mean handing people all the same pay or paying someone more simply because they think they should be – this is not fair to the business itself. Minimum wage, as mentioned previously in this post, does not actually affect many people. This is a chip that is played by certain politicians and special interest groups in attempt to gain more control and further their agenda. It is a good narrative that fits their story, but it doesn’t change the facts.

    FAIR means a business offers a wage. If someone agrees to accept that wage for the work, they enter the relationship of employment (or contract). If the wage or benefits is insufficient then none will accept the offer….and the business will be forced to offer more. To look at this the other direction…..if a potential employee is of great WORTH by the skills or services they provide, then they will go to the highest bidder – or the job that offers them the most satisfaction through other means. But the point is that both sides must AGREE to the value. That system works and is fair.

    When a third party, i.e. the government, steps in and alters this system, it destroys the balance AND the fairness. Equality has then gone out the window. It’s a simple concept – if you want more, become more. As in become more valuable.

    And the concept that someone “can’t” is an absolute ignorant cop-out that has been disproved by countless lower intelligence individuals who have gone on to earn more.

    Also to hit a point way up above…..the propaganda that paying the minimum wage workers more would stimulate the economy because they would then spend more is used to patronize the ignorant and weak minded. This is a simple function of math. It’s not about them “spending more” it’s about what goods and services they can buy with that money. If minimum wage is raised AND we assume the keep their jobs with the businesses, then due to the increased overhead, the cost of goods and services go up. This translates across the entire economy. And it goes up by more of a percentage than the minimum wage would due to margins and how percentages are used across intelligent businesses. This is not FREE money. It comes from somewhere (unless of course you believe some idiot on TV).

    So though the few people who do make minimum wage would make more money, they would be able to buy less “stuff” because the costs would go up. To say they wouldn’t ignores simple economic models OR is an expectation from the extremists who vilify all business owners, large and small, and believe that they should be punished for their success and have to “spread the wealth” by paying their minimum wage employees more for no real reason that is in any way fair….and simply taking the cut out of the businesses profits. Those who complain about minimum wage are the same ones who complain about businesses who outsource internationally to remain competitive. This is also a result of government interference and manipulation of what would be FAIR to the businesses, but few want to admit that either.

    I have a real simple solution for minimum wage…..get RID of it. It’s a self-solving problem. I don’t care what you make per hour. If you want more than that, stop asking other people to give it to you just because you want to whine……get up off your butt and do something about it. There are unlimited ways to get ahead in this country….most are too LAZY – not too dumb. With VERY few exceptions, there are no longer any excuses.

    We went from “the greatest generation” to “the entitled generation” in a hurry, and it absolutely sickens me. This is just one more symptom of problems in our country right now. And if we continue down this path, it’s only going to get worse. For those who want to keep selling the narrative about how minimum wage would resolve everything, go ahead….just realize it doesn’t change the facts.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      March 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

      More real-world advice from an in-the-trenches business owner. Thanks, Jeff.

  12. Everte Farnell Reply

    March 10, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I wrote out a long and passionate (and sometimes profane) response, Steve.

    I submitted it to your Blog Editor, and I hope you enjoy it. If you would like to publish it here on, please do so (I’m OK if you choose to tone it down a bit).

    Tell me what you think.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      March 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      I’ve instructed my Editor to publish this here on the blog exactly as is. We’ll just include a “WARNING: ADULT LANGUAGE” message at the top.

      I’d also love to have you as a regular blog contributor, Everte. Well done!

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