US businesses are in. The American public is in. So what’s next on the minimum wage, Congress?
It has long been the argument from some voices in business—or at least their Washington lobbyists and the Members of Congress who listen to them—that raising the minimum wage would hurt business—and workers—by eliminating jobs.
However, the stark reality is that most business owners in America don’t agree with this idea. In fact, poll after poll shows that most business people think it’s well past time for an increase in the minimum wage.
These numbers are only slightly lower than the views of the American people. Recent polls have found that between 73 percent and 80 percent of Americans– including majorities among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents– support an increase.
Despite the overwhelming support of most US businesses, as well as the American public, the job-loss canard was again trotted out by the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association, and a handful of other industry associations earlier this year when they wrote to every Senator that increasing the federal minimum wage “could truly be the difference between continuing to operate and going out of business. For the employees it attempts to help, it may be the difference between a job and unemployment.”
“From a business perspective, a higher minimum wage will reduce turnover and training costs, and lead to more productive workers who are focused on the work at hand, not on looking for another job that pays more.”