The minimum wage is a pet issue of mine.
It goes back to when I was a teenager. I was 15 and I had a bit of trouble finding my first job with a real paycheck because of the classic “how can I gain experience if no one will hire me because I have no experience?” problem. But luckily I found a job at a pizza place for $5.15 an hour where my duties included cleaning toilets and mopping the floor.
Every time someone talks about raising the minimum wage, I cringe because I know that it will prevent the unskilled and uneducated from getting a job.
But unfortunately, many people have never heard the reasonable arguments against raising the minimum wage. You must be a cruel person if you oppose raising the minimum wage, right?
I took a sociology class (not very friendly to liberty!) my freshman year of college. At the beginning of every class, the professor would call up a row of students and ask them their opinion on current events. I suppose this worked because students actually paid attention to current events so they wouldn’t look like a fool in front of the whole class.
Anyways, the professor decided to ask about raising the minimum wage. I stood up there with about 10 students. All of the other students before me said, “Absolutely!” “We need to help the poor!” “People deserve to be paid more!”
I’m standing there twirling my thumbs thinking, “hmmm… should I take the easy way out and just say yay minimum wage? Or should I tell the truth and have everyone in this class think I’m horrible?”
I chose to tell the truth and said that I oppose the minimum wage because it would increase unemployment. The faces. Oh, the faces. People looked at me like I was the worst person in the world. I did a “walk of shame” back to my desk and laid low the rest of the class.
The professor asked to see me after class. “Crud. I’m in trouble” I thought. To my surprise, the super liberal professor thanked me for my position and told me that it took guts to say that in front of a mostly hostile crowd. He encouraged me to continue sharing my views even if they were unpopular.
Now I just share those opinions on YouTube…
(Yup, it’s a parody. I’m pretending to be one of those students back in my sociology class days in the beginning.)