Bureaucrats and politicians should be required by law to be trained up on the Law of Unintended Consequences. If they were, they wouldn’t vote to pass laws like this…
Increases in minimum wage laws break into the news cycle every now and then. Democrats vote for them. Probably some Republicans do too. The liberals use minimum wage laws to drive a wedge between otherwise sensible voters and Republicans. They make it seem like they are taking the moral high ground.
They are good at this. In the case of minimum wage, they prefer to adopt the phrase “living wage.” Like in the recent case of Novant Health, a healthcare provider in North Carolina. They are increasing pay for some of their North Carolina workers to $11 per hour, up from $7:
In a statement, Novant officials said they realized the state’s minimum wage “was not a living wage” and wanted to give their employees “a wage on which they could live in their local community.…It’s an investment in our people.”
Janet Smith-Hill, executive vice president and chief human resources officer. “We are committed to attracting and retaining highly qualified team members, and offering a living wage is another way to live up to that commitment.”
The increase, which will total $1.2 million, largely affects those in entry-level positions, including technical assistants, certified nursing assistants, supply chain and materials management and some clerical positions.
NO COERCION REQUIRED
In this case, there’s no state coercion behind the increase. That’s good. Companies don’t always increase their wages under threat of government sanctions.
Henry Ford is famous for doubling the wages of the assembly line workers in his car manufacturing plants. He didn’t do it because he was feeling incredibly generous to them. He didn’t do it because the State coerced him under threat of violence. He didn’t do it so that they could all afford to buy one of his cars.
Instead, he did it to cut down on turnover.
As it turns out, the jobs his workers had to do were incredibly boring and repetitive. They just walked off the job after a while. It was too boring for them. So, he effectively doubled their wages, from about $2.50 an hour to $5.00 an hour in order to retain them. It worked. The jobs might be boring, but at least they paid well.
This saved Ford a lot of expense caused by high turnover. He didn’t have to continually train more workers to fill the old slots.
But in the case of a government-mandated minimum wage, people across the board lose out. Some lose bigtime…