The only worth-while argument against raising minimum wage is the claim it will “destroy jobs.” The argument is based on over-simplistic, but terrible, logic that if employers have to pay more for employees they will compensate by having less employees. Here is a just-the-right-amount of simplistic explanation of why that is bullshit.
1. Employers won’t fire people, they will quit.
Despite what Faux News addicts think, the majority of people working low-wage jobs are not lazy irresponsible deadbeats. In fact, many (if not most) minimum-wage workers have two or more jobs. [Reference: States where most people work two jobs] Many of those are parents who never see their children.
If minimum wage is raised, people won’t be losing jobs, they will be quitting. A living wage would allow people to… actually live! They may be able to go down to one full-time job and provide for themselves, and their families. How is this a bad thing?
2. More people will have more money, and more time to spend it.
When money “stalls” in a pool or demographic, we have economic slow-down. Right now, profits from successful businesses are largely “pooling” in the pockets of very few people. [Reference: Chart of US income distribution] Raising minimum wage will force businesses to distribute income among more people.
The power of capitalism is market demand, when a market cannot demand, then we have no power. A minimum wage hike will give more demand power back to a larger market. This means new businesses, products, and innovations can grow more freely.
3. The state with the highest minimum wage, has the most job growth.
4. Employers will have to “compete” for workers
Where there is a will, there is a way. One of the best parts of capitalism is competition, but we have forgotten competition needs to go both ways. If it is too cheap to pay workers, then it creates deflation by forcing people to settle for anything. Cheap labor, cheap goods, lower demand, all equal deflation. And many economists are saying that is becoming our biggest threat. [Reference: The Economist]
With minimum wage going up, and people being able to work one job where they were working two or three, employers will have to start trying harder to attract employees. Benefits will go up, pay will go up, and the value of people will go up. It’s simple supply and demand.
5. People want to work.
Scarcity creates scarcity, and abundance creates abundance. When we treat people as moochers and deadbeat, we create obstacles for them to educate themselves and improve their circumstances. Everyone wants a better life, but often feel it is too far out of their reach. If you give our citizens enough room to breath, they will flourish.
Addendum- Point #6. Minimum wage should compete with welfare.
As an additional note, the right often complains that welfare is a disincentive to work. This is backward, welfare is not a disincentive to work, minimum wage is. Welfare programs are designed to help people survive, but minimum wage currently does not match living needs. If a full-time minimum wage job was BETTER than welfare, then less people would be on welfare.
The Atlantic has a great article, which I recommend you read RIGHT NOW before you continue with my own amended but brilliant commentary, titled “5 Year-Olds Can Learn Calculus." It turns out math can actually be fun and that we might have even enjoyed it if we weren’t drug through torturous amounts of tedious "human calculator" equation drills. However, this is just another example of how our cultural resentment of children keeps us from actually raising them effectively.
Who hasn’t, at some point or another, cried out in pain over our long-division homework? Such cries fell on deaf ears of “do your homework!” and “stop whining.” You see, our society considers children to be undisciplined, lazy, spoiled brats who just need whipped into shape, often literally. This means we never consider the possibility that they might actually have legitimate feedback for us.
More and more, great educators are realizing that learning really IS FUN. Our brains are natural learning machines who adapt and absorb everything available to us. The more we learn to consider a child’s state of well-being a thermostat for development, the better we will get at actually equipping them to be the best of themselves.
In other words, stop thinking about how we can fix our children to fit into our institutions and start thinking about how we can fix our institutions to fit our children!
An article in Fast Company Design titled “No Joke: Comedians Really Are Crazier Than You,” the point is made that psychologist consider most traits which make-up creative people to be “crazy.” I think this is just evidence that psychologist are often just the gatekeepers of society, providing those in power and privilege an excuse to write off divergence as “broken.” Look, if all creative people are have traits you consider “crazy” then perhaps we need to ask ourselves: Is society really just hostile to creativity?
Also, this study shows that “cognitive disinhibition,” meaning that your mind makes lots of divergent connections to subjects at hand, is considered a “negative trait” by mainstream psychologists. Funny, in a creative firm “cognitive inhibition” is a negative trait. Actually, making distant connections between things others cannot is part of what it means to be a genius. Now genius is crazy?
Psychology should be a tool we use to understand each other and work together, not a giant beat-stick for “normality.” A part of me wonders if the entire discipline of modern psychology just arose from aristocratic parents yelling at school teachers, “Tell me what’s wrong with my child, because it certain isn’t MY fault they are like this!”
Society has yet to be hospitable toward creative, innovative, and divergent thinkers. Perhaps the problem isn’t that these traits are “crazy” but that it is just very hard to stay “sane” in a world that doesn’t want you around. We need to stand up to this kind of thinking, because it’s the real crazy.
"How easy would everything be if we just assumed we had no predisposed talents or gifts, but rather simply born with passions. The brain, being infinitely adaptable at birth, conforms to serve those passions. Therefore, the work of us who are established in the world is simply to help children identify, explore, and apply those passions. If a child has a problem, it is because we have not found a welcome place for their passions among our own."
"If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. If everyone is doing it, then that’s because it’s easy. Now stop and think about that because it is the difference between service and product business strategy."
There is little that marketers or designers love more than to brand or re-brand a company’s image. New logos, new materials, and new websites are fun and make good money. At the end of what is usually a three-to-six month marathon of meetings, revisions, and heated debates over the right shade of blue a brand is born into the world. It is at this point of having all this sexy and shiny new material for your business that the shocker hits you… It looks great, but now what?
That Eerie Silence…
Where’s that wave of new customers drawn like moths to the flame with your new logo? Where’s that rush of PR to fawn over your new website? Why aren’t social media sites buzzing about my clever taglines and “relevant” messaging? What could I be missing? Most small businesses feel “all dressed up and nowhere to go” at the end of a great branding project. It all seemed so important when we were debating about stock photography, but now it all feels so pointless.
Necessary But Useless
As of writing this, I just finished a branding-binge making a website, photo art, and social media pages for my wife to get her started on a cooking blog (theneuroticchef.com). It was a lot of fun getting it all made, and we both certainly felt proud with the work at the end of the day. But when it is was all done we both still feel a bit of a let down realizing all we really just accomplished was the Internet’s version of “putting your shoes and coat on.”
Branding is necessary but useless. You can’t go out into the world naked, and if you have to dress up, you might as well look good. But all that work just gets you out the door, the real work lies ahead of you with networking, advertising, interaction, communication, and content. My wife’s blog looks awesome (if I do say so myself) but in the end, it is her ability to regularly update it with great content, interact with her readers, and participate in cooking communities online which will get results.
So How Do I Know If I Have Good Branding?
“If branding doesn’t directly grow my business, then how do I know if I have good branding?” Well, there are two main goals your branding should accomplish:
Branding is about having a clear path in front of you. It should make you feel confident talking to customers, proud to be seen, and feel like it makes it easy to communicate with potential customers. Think of it like having great tools to build a house, a great suit to wear to a party, or a sharp wit to enter a debate. It’s a great start, but that’s all it is.