You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Robbery suspect accused of assaulting elderly man

Should minimum wage be raised?

The minimum wage is a hotly contested issue. But I want to have my say on the topic in a nonpolitical way.

Polling says large amount of the American people want a raise in the minimum wage. There’s a proposal in Washington to raise it to $10.10. But it’s not gaining any ground in D.C.

The states, though, are going in all different directions. Vermont is going to raise the state minimum wage to $10.50 over the next four years. Then other states are saying no to a minimum wage hike; the GOP and many conservatives call it a job killer.

My opinion on raising the minimum wage

Here’s my take: Right now, we have great laboratory under way with some states raising the minimum wage and others keeping their hands off it. It gives the opportunity to see how it will play out in the real world. Will it kill jobs or will it raise the standard of living?

As far as being a job killer, I think you need to look back in American history. Farms used to employ 97 percent of all Americans. When mechanization of farms came about, there were fears that permanent and severe massive unemployment would result.

We all know how that played out. Today, farm employment is a fraction of 1 percent of the U.S. workforce and farms produce more food than ever. The jobs simply came from other places in an increasingly less agrarian society. That’s going to happen again.

But I want to look at the minimum wage debate from a different angle. What happens if you take a low-wage business, like fast food, and turn it into a high-wage business?

The operator of that business has to automate functions and then hire a smaller staff that makes more money. Look at the European countries where there already are higher wage rates. Their fast food restaurants have automated everything from ordering to paying. The cooking in the kitchen is done by robotics!

So when you raise wage rates in a labor-intensive business, you ultimately reduce how much labor it takes to run that business. Because machines take the place of workers.

That’s why I love the idea of not coming to a national consensus on the minimum wage and letting the living labs of the states take over. We’ll see if we change jobs or if we kill them. Do states that hold down wages end up with far more employment than the others? We’ll find out.

The reality is you can’t support a family on the federal minimum wage of $7.25. But is the solution raising the wage? I believe the ultimate solution is education so we give people more ability to provide greater economic value for their hours worked.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

Native advertising: what it is and what to know
Have you ever been drawn to an article’s headline only to discover it’s an advertisement?Often called sponsored content, native advertisements can be found in print materials, such as magazines and newspapers and are created to resemble the design, style and functionality of news or feature articles, product reviews, entertainment and other material that surrounds it.
Kroger hired more than 4,000 veterans in November
Kroger hired more than 4,000 veterans and family members during November.The Cincinnati-headquartered grocery retailer hosted its one-day “Honoring our Heroes” hiring event on Nov.
State approves $1.5M for Springfield airport drone research
State approves $1.5M for Springfield airport drone research
The Ohio Department of Transportation agreed to a $1.5 million contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory to work on a ground-based “sense-and avoid-system” for unmanned aircraft at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.
Federal lawsuit claims housing discrimination in Dayton area
A local housing group is among 20 that have sued Fannie Mae in federal court, claiming the agency doesn’t care for foreclosed homes in minority neighborhoods as well as it does for houses in predominantly white locales.
Navistar, major Springfield employer, may lease Xenia facility
Navistar, major Springfield employer, may lease Xenia facility
Representatives of Navistar have contacted the Xenia Fire Department about using space at 1003 Bellbrook Ave.
More Stories