By Colton Pickard
A nationally mandated $15 an hour minimum wage is continuing to gain steam as the United States continues to recover from COVID-19 shutdowns. If the government were to force every business in the US to pay its employees at least $15 an hour, it would devastate small businesses throughout the country, and the economy would take a big hit.
America has finally started recovering from COVID-19, with most Americans returning to work, whether that be in person or remote. If a $15 minimum wage is enforced as soon as next year, we will see more businesses close its doors, and more Americans find their way back onto unemployment, and it could be long-term this time. Prices would spike on everyday goods, and the people who were laid off or fired due to the increase in the minimum wage would soon be forced to make tough decisions on what they might need more when going to the grocery store and when it comes to which bill to pay.
Businesses in the state of Maine are currently preparing for a newly passed $18 an hour minimum wage. Craig Allare, a local business manager, told a local news channel, “It’s going to hurt everyone. It’s not like we have money trees out in the back parking lot. You have to make money to pay money. Some places will go out of business.” 1
I know, I know the evil greedy capitalist business owners won’t make as much money as they used to with the new minimum wage spike, but most of the businesses in Maine aren’t big corporations that can afford to pay its employees $18 an hour. The fact of the matter is that some places will go out of business, and it will force people to scramble to find another job. Unfortunately, it might be harder than ever to find a new job because virtually no one will be hiring. Not only will business owners be forced to close their business, but employees will be forced to find a new job in a recovering economy, and consumers will have to look elsewhere to get their goods, like a big, national corporation.
It’s never good when the government has to force something upon the free market. The best thing that can happen for everyone is free market competition. With fewer laws and regulations, small businesses and startup businesses have a chance to compete with the larger corporations. Whenever multiple businesses are competing for the consumer’s business, they’re willing to keep prices low, improve their products, customer service, and when they do receive more business, they have the ability to pay their employees more.
Colton Pickard is a Journalism major with a focus in sports and politics at Middle Tennessee State University. Colton is involved with multiple political organizations on campus and is fighting for freedom and educating his peers on the real dangers of socialism.