Let me say at the outset that I support people making a living wage. As one who has dealt with the working poor, seeing people work very hard and yet hardly able to put food on the table for their children and provide them with even basic necessities, I say something is wrong with that situation and it needs to be fixed. But, knowing how complex our 21st century global economy has become, I don't think a single and simplistic solution will fix the problem.
In addition, I have had the privilege of being a pastor to more than a few small business owners over the years who make a middle class living and who do their best to treat their employees fairly, but whose businesses would sink with a $15.00 minimum wage. It's real easy to pick on the Walmarts of the world, but since most businesses are small businesses, more thought needs to be given to the impact such minimum wages will have on these "mom and pop" businesses whose profit margins don't come close to Walmart.
Having a $15.00 minimum wage sounds really good, but in the give and take of economic realities it will probably fail to give us ultimately what we hope for. On the other hand, when I hear others naively say that people should just work another job, I wonder why they are so callous as to deny those parents the family time with their children that their critics get to enjoy. As I said it's complicated.
Let me also hasten to add that I am not opposed to raising the minimum wage, but it needs to be done in concert with other things as well. If it is not, the minimum will have to be raised enough to have the desired effect, but it will be too high to have the desired effect.
There is an article in the New Republic (hardly a conservative journal) that offers alternatives to raising the minimum wage alone that have a better chance of achieving what many of us hope for-- a way of life for all that is not a precarious one from paycheck to paycheck.
I encourage you to read this very informative article here.
HT: Michael Kruse