Surprising as it may seem, I disagree with increasing the Federal Minimum Wage. Not; however, because I don’t want to help the poor, but because it is a flawed method of achieving those ends.
While I understand the principles of how the increase will help severely poor families survive and the extra cash flow will improve the economy, I am also a middle-class survivor of several minimum wage increases. The lesson I learned from experience was that the true idea of getting the rich to share more fairly in the wealth we all create does not happen. What you see instead is that when the rich have to pay more for the lowest class employee, they balance that cost by shorting the middle class employee and the consumer.
When the minimum wage goes up and a new employee is making close to what an employee who has been there several years, the rich employer does not suddenly say that isn’t fair to my loyal worker and give them a raise too. They just say they can’t afford it and when reviews come around, raises seem to disappear. Many companies have instituted salary caps like major league sports teams. My company has an unofficial one that means I have not seen a raise in six years (not even for cost of living). Wal-Mart is another such company.
Basically, this method of raising the poor out of poverty does so, not at the expense of those who have benefited the most from our economic system, but from those that do the most to maintain our economy. The middle class takes the brunt of helping the poor and feeding the ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor. In the end, the middle class is being relentlessly pushed into poverty by the greed of the rich and the short-sighted visions of those trying to help the poor. We need a better solution before there are only two classes, the rich and the poor. The middle class need to band together and say enough is enough. They need to become such a nuisance (civil disobedience – Occupy Wallstreet) and make it stick. To change things, we need to do without the fluff and live within our means so that the loss of our sales will impact the corporations. Unfortunately, this will hurt. The rich won’t give up their money easily, but a quick sharp pain is better than this slow torturous death we currently live with. Think about your children.