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Minimum wage hike isn't all positive

Date published: 12/15/2013

Minimum wage hike isn't all positive

Washington is preparing to increase minimum wage in the district so the debates at my job have shifted away from the Affordable Care Act to the national minimum wage. Many of the people I talk to at work are under the impression that the minimum wage should be as high as $10 per hour or more.

They reason that the businesses make enough money to pay a higher wage. They also lament the fact that a person who earns minimum wage would find it difficult to raise a family or buy a home with such a small salary.

I understand my co-workers' concerns, but they are only looking at one side of the argument.

Most minimum-wage positions are entry level or low-skilled positions. Although it is a fact that such a low salary makes buying a home nearly impossible, it is also a fact that anyone making minimum wage would be wise not to purchase a home or start a family until they have a higher income.

The concept of bettering oneself and increasing his income is lost in this debate. The employer is in business to make money and the employee is working for the same reason. When the employees decide that they want more money or better benefits, they must decide how best to achieve these ends.

As employees, I think it is important for us to improve ourselves and work harder. Working overtime, taking classes, learning a new language or finding a part-time job are ways to increase one's income.

These things will also make you a more marketable employee. Simply demanding more money because we feel we deserve it rarely gets us anywhere.

The debate about which wage is fair and how much the boss can afford to pay is of secondary importance. Young workers should not expect to remain in entry-level careers and earn a supervisor's salary. We are better served by creating our own raises and increasing our own salaries.

Marquell Snowden

Ruther Glen