In response to the op ed by Rita Friedman and Arieh Lebowitz in support of increasing the minimum wage (“The time is now,” August 23): While it may seem compassionate to mandate that the minimum wage should increase from $7.25 to $8.25, there is a denial of freedom that will have unanticipated repercussions that are potentially harmful.
At its most basic level, a wage is an agreement between an employee and employer about how the employee will be paid for his services. There may be two people willing to do a job, one for 8.25/hour and one for 7.25/hour. The person willing to do the job for the lower wage has an advantage in that he is willing to work for less. By the government establishing a minimum wage, the third party has deprived the person willing to work for the lower wage of his best advantage in the competition for that job. Also, by imposing its authority, the third party has deprived the employer of her money, which she may have used to pay other employees. Some employers may be struggling to stay in business and may not be able to afford the extra wages. While some employers may be wealthy corporations, that wealthy employer’s ability to hire more workers may be affected, negatively affecting other potential employees’ livelihoods.
The attempt at justice and fairness has unintended negative effects on the lives of those whom the arbiters of justice are trying to protect. Because of these unintended consequences, I will be voting against the proposition to raise the minimum wage.