To the editor:
Kevin McCarney posed a question in his letter published last week. Does John Van Hecke, executive director of Minnesota 20/20, care more about Enrique, the minimum wage earner, or the Democrat Party’s success in the 2014 mid-term elections?
McCarney also explains reasoning from a business owner’s view on why raising the minimum wage is a bad idea. As a small business owner, I thank McCarney for his sentiment.
Let’s look at the reasoning from the minimum wage earner’s view. On the surface, this looks great. Who wouldn’t want more money in his pocket? But wait:
If I have to raise the wages of some of my employees at my hair salon, I’ll be laying off my receptionist and raising the price of haircuts a few bucks. Not only would my remaining stylists have to work harder, answering the phone, etc., but also imagine if Enrique was my receptionist. He’s now out of a job, and his expense for his family’s haircuts and any other affected businesses just went up. This isn’t to maintain my multi-million dollar wage. Any one of my friends will tell you that although I’ve owned this business for eight-plus years, I’m a full time accountant outside of my salon, and invest in rental properties just to support my family. After six years of doing the salon accounting, I finally rewarded myself with a whopping $900/month salary, which has never increased. (I can’t even round up to $1,000.)
McCarney is dead on. Enrique is a pawn being used in Van Hecke’s game. Meanwhile, the “Enrique” I hired as a receptionist will someday go on to success as a hairstylist, being coached by my managers, learning the industry and making his mistakes along the way. He is currently earning minimum wage, but ultimately will become self-sufficient, because I made the investment in him. It’s the education.
And we business owners are portrayed as the selfish and greedy. I’ll wager that I care more about Enrique than Van Hecke ever would.