Fast Food workers are going on strike (again) for an increase in the minimum wage. Some argue they need $15/hr minimum. Why not $20, $30, or $40 per hour? Why would we want folks to make a paltry amount, barely enough to survive when they could be living large? Why should we pay a brain surgeon hundreds of thousands of dollars when a cashier pushing picture buttons on a cash register only is raking in $13,000 per anum? How much is too much to pay the person making your Locos Doritos at Taco Bell? If you believe in a minimum wage, what is the limit?
If we doubled the wages of a typical burger flipper, the restaurant owner will have to either raise prices or reduce expenses. He could reduce the quality of his food, make smaller portion sizes or hire fewer people. The owner must accomplish this while keeping her customer base happy.
An increase in minimum wage affects more than just Billy Burger Flipper. The worker picking the lettuce, the man grinding the meat into patties, the Mom working 3rd shift running the machine that cuts spuds into fries, the truck driver hauling it all to your local burger joint all are getting a raise too. That burger used to cost the restaurant owner $5 to make, now costs him $7 (plus now she has to pay for insurance for all workers under the dictates of ObamaCare -- you did not think that stuff was free did you?). Instead of selling the burger Combo for $7.35, now the owner has to sell it for $9.00. Duplicate this scenario for clerks at a convenience store, your grocery stock man, a WalMart worker. Costs go up everywhere, so an increase in wages results in higher unemployment and inflation (everything costs more). The increased buying power generated through the big boost in wages is wiped out by higher prices everywhere.
Who loses their job in this scenario? Who bears a disproportionate share of the higher costs? Who is most affected by inflation and increases in the cost of living? Why the low wage earner!