I agree that everyone should have a reasonable wage upon which they can live in acceptable comfort. I also agree that we need to have employment for everyone, but that does not mean every job should be classified as requiring a living wage.
We have all but eliminated jobs for teenagers by raising the minimum wage level to a point many small companies or companies that would hire them, cannot afford to do so. For example, many food establishments would like to charge what people can afford to pay, but cannot do so with too high of wages added to the extreme food costs.
It is time for common sense to prevail and for those companies that can afford higher wages to pay them, and leave the minimum wage at a level teenagers and perhaps senior citizens can use as a supplement to their income or allowance. There are many young folks that would love to have a job.
There was a janitorial company, I was aware of, that figured out how quickly a seasoned employee could do a specific job. Using that information, the job estimate was figured as to how many hours it would take to reasonably do a job. The owner then added 50 percent more time assuming that most employees, at least in the early stages of their employment, could not make the money they needed. Some employees, after a few weeks, assumed they could do better for themselves since they saw their jobs as minimum wage ones, so they left for other employment. Many of them came back after a month or so to get their jobs back because they discovered although they were supposedly receiving more money per hour at the new job, they were losing because they were paid by the exact hours worked rather than the “hour per job” contract they had with the original employer. You see they actually received one and one half times the minimum wage, once they learned their job.
My point is just because the minimum wage is $7.85 per hour does not mean you have to pay that amount. Too many companies think that they only have to pay the minimum rather than what the employee is worth.
Many small companies cannot afford more than minimum wage because they can’t bid contracts low enough to get new business!