By CEO/Executive Director Laura Gray
I’m always torn when I get something urging me to contact my Senator and Congressman to do something like raise the minimum wage. You might think that it’s an automatic “yes” for someone who works in an organization that serves the homeless. Obviously, my heart is pulled to a mission that helps people who are among the poorest of the poor.
But, the pull of my heart is balanced by my head. I have an undergraduate degree in Economics and an MBA in Finance. I realize that raising the minimum wage will raise costs for a lot of businesses. That increase will be passed on to us as consumers, some of whom are the very people whose increased minimum wage will have to absorb the rising prices.
But, I also realize that right now a single mother with two kids working 40 hours per week will still be below the poverty level. She’ll qualify for other forms of government subsidies, so in a way businesses that don’t pay minimum wage are increasing the cost of subsidies taxpayers have to support.
There are a lot of other arguments on both the head and heart sides of the issue. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t easy despite all of the passionate opinions on both sides.