HCN's recent article about the continuing minimum wage debate struck a cord amongst its readership.
Readers weighed in from both sides of the aisle, advocating for "business-friendly" alternatives to hiking the federal wage requirement as well as testifying to the positive, revenue-boosting impact of paying employees a living wage.
Here they are below.
"I think it's great that Gina Schaefer & Paul Saginaw want to pay their workers more, and they have the money to do that - they should. They have high profit margins and can afford to do that great for them. However, the companies that can NOT and must compete with the Chinese .40 cents an hour and NO benefits can not survive and do that ! It doesn't give them the RIGHT to tell other companies how to run their business - because we have a FULL graveyard of companies out of business today and more going out tomorrow. Government needs to focus on more important things then minimum wage - business will take care of itself. Good skilled works will find jobs with higher wages on they OWN. If there are companies with their doors still open. NO company - NO job period ! If business doesn't success - then either will the country - period !!! Government go fix social security for the workers who you already took they money weather it was high or minimum wage."
"I agree $7.25 is not a living wage. But as a small business owner in a very small town, we find it very difficult to find good help even at a larger starting wage. I would like to see a $7.25 starting wage for about the first 3 to 6 months to see if they will work out. only then go to a minimum larger wage. Many times the choices of applicants is slim & can't handle the job. At that point I feel the money has been wasted."
"A friend recently got a job at a big box retailer. He knows the products already. It's part time. Wage: $8.75/hour. Then they have the nerve to say "we have an app for your smartphone that will help you help customers find things". Really, give the poor guy a phone then. Lucky if he gets $200/wk after holdings. How could he even afford a smartphone. I truly believe if people were paid better, the economy would grow faster. As mentioned, if you pay well, employee's care a lot more, without being asked; they will take pride. I had a boss once, that would walk up to me couple times a year "there will something extra in your paycheck next week for the great job your doing (it was several hundred, or even an entire weeks pay). I can't tell you how much difference that made, being acknowledged financially, and not just a quote of "keep up the great work", (for the same pay). At another job, I got a raise that was 2.5%, which amounted to $20/wk, whoopee. Especially when the cost of living when up 10%. A 2.5% raise can be a decent amount if you already making near $100,000. When you make $35,000, it's not much at all. Pay well, and your business will be rewarded 10 fold."