Grand Valley State University event
Research Associate Jarrett Skorup recently debated the topic, "Should Michigan raise the minimum wage?" as part of the Coffee House Debate Series at the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University.
The Grand Valley Lanthorn covered the event:
On the other side of the issue, Skorup listed two main reasons to be against minimum wage laws. His first is based on economics.
“Among the most basic laws of economics is if you make something more expensive, you will have less of it,” Skorup said. “Minimum wage laws are making hiring someone more expensive, and thus you’ll get less of it.”
Skorup said raising minimum wage will mean fewer lower-skilled workers, higher prices, fewer bonuses and shorter break times during the day. In addition, some businesses might require employees to start purchasing their equipment and uniforms.
Skorup’s second reason opposing a minimum wage is morally based.
“If two people come to an agreement affecting only themselves, what business is it of the government to tell them they can’t do so?” he said.
Skorup noted that most individuals must start at a minimum wage job or even an unpaid internship, to gain experience before moving onto a higher earning career. This can disproportionately affect lower-skilled workers and minority workers.
“Everyone starts out somewhere at a job, but politicians can make it more expensive to give someone that start,” Skorup said. “If the government says you have to pay someone say $15 an hour, which is a popular minimum called for nowadays, and the employer does not believe the person is worth that amount of money, then they will not hire them. If they have someone who they believe is worth less than that wage, they will fire them.”
A video of the debate (50 minutes):