Over the past few weeks I have watched political advertisements for Leticia Perez as she vies for a spot in the California House of Representatives. The ads are sponsored by the Democratic Party, which in California, is a very left-leaning group.
The ads show two women, one portrays a student, the other a single mom. They both suggest that they need an increase in the minimum wage to make ends meet. But does increasing the minimum wage have the intended impact of putting more money in the hands of workers?
This recent article in the Boston Herald shows how students are adversely affected by minimum wage increases. If the article is accurate, the suggestion by the Perez campaign that minimum wage increases will help starving students is off the mark. While some students may find work, and earn more money, more are priced out of the job market.
So what is the key to increased wages for workers? In my observations, the following are a few factors affect a worker's ability to earn more money:
1) Good daily habits of arriving to work on time and leaving personal affairs to after hours. I am amazed at how many people don't or can't make it to work regularly or who can't make it on time regularly.
2) Actually working during the day and taking initiative. Don't wait for the boss to tell you what to do. Figure out what needs doing and do it. Greater productivity results in greater profit which translates to higher wages.
3) Improving job skills. This can be done on the job or through education. A person with more job skills can be given more responsibility. More responsibility means more money. When you can more, the company can prosper financially. Again, that results in higher wages.
4) Learn how to work with others. Get along. Don't complain, whine or whimper.
As an employer, I want to keep the best employees. I will will pay them good wages to staying with me. It's not minimum wage increases that result in real wage increases, it is a person's personal habits, job habits and interpersonal skills. Sounds like personal responsibility to me, not mandatory pay increases.