On 30 Sep 2013
Strawberry Fields Forever; Is a Higher Minimum Wage Really the Answer? To What?,
Less than half that -- $25 an hour is closer to the mark, which would at least be keeping pace with the cost of living/productivity gains in America over the last 40 years. For instance, when adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage in America was three dollars more an hour in 1968 than it is today; the unemployment rate in 1968 was also 3.5%. Look it up.
Meanwhile, most proponents of raising the minimum wage to something closer to a living wage are suggesting a minimum less than even half that much -- 10.50 an hour. Barely better than ass rape.
Keep in mind, the minimum wage in Australia is over 16 AUD, and Australia is the world's wealthiest nation by median wealth per capita, with a robust economy that never experienced the recession. Furthermore, according to the Big Mac index (Economist Magazine) the price of a Big Mac in a McDonalds in Melbourne costs roughly the same as in any American city.
Some think that raising the minimum wage would result in fewer jobs, but that's assuming all things would remain equal, which is a fallacy of reason, because, of course, they wouldn't. The thing is, when you pay people better, they not only feel less freaked-out and depressed, they have more money to spend into the economy and are more willing to spend it. They also pay more in taxes.
The overall cost increase due to a minimum wage increase has been calculated to be somewhere between 2.3 and 2.7% of a company's total sales. So, let's use the Big Mac again to help put this in perspective: the cost of a Big Mac would need to go from $4.00 to $4.05 in order to cover half the cost of the wage increase. That other nickle would be accounted for by less turnover/training costs. At worst, the owners might have to absorb .5 to 1% of the cost.
In other types of businesses, the overall impact would be much less.