While meeting with a group of black business owners in Brooklyn this week, Cruz addressed the issue of raising the minimum wage. As the Daily Caller reported,
“Every time you raise the minimum wage, thousands of people lose their jobs, and the people who are laid off are typically teenagers — low-income, African-American and Hispanic kids,” Cruz said according to The Brooklyn Paper. “If you raise the price of labor too high, you substitute it with an iPad.”
Business owners may have difficultly overcoming the added cost of labor from an increased minimum wage. They could be forced to increase prices or cutback their workforce, with new and low-skilled workers being most at risk of losing employment. Moody’s Investors Service determined Thursday the problem is especially troublesome for low-profit businesses, like restaurants.
“Most people aren’t providing for a family on their first job, that’s when they’re just getting started, they’re learning skills,” Cruz said. “I think every first job should focus on empowering.”
Cruz gets it. Our culture needs to collectively remember the purpose for minimum wage jobs. They’re starter jobs, temporary jobs, jobs when you’re in between jobs. They were never meant to be a career; they’re meant to empower you to accomplish bigger and better things. Until we again recognize minimum wage jobs as stepping stones that help propel us to success – rather than success in and of themselves – this battle will continue.
Additionally, raising the minimum wage doesn’t simply hurt the employer – it hurts those who most need those jobs! If you have to give an unexperienced teenager looking for their first job $15/hr plus benefits, there’s no logical reason not to replace that individual or position with a machine that will never be late, never call in sick, and requires a minimal one time monetary investment. We need to encourage companies that are hiring those just entering the labor force or needing a temporary position, not penalize them.
What do you believe is the purpose of minimum wage jobs? Did your first job help you achieve success later in life? Tell us your stories in the comments below!