Not everyone rises to the top, of course, but entry-level jobs such as these -- the same kind that will be in shorter supply if the minimum wage is hiked precipitously -- have helped millions of Americans (most of whom are between the ages of 16 and 24 and work part-time) learn the basic skills needed to succeed in any field: Show up on time. Look neat. Be courteous. And most of all, work hard.
Wendy's founder Dave Thomas is among those who learned those lessons firsthand. He started off working in a diner owned by two Greek immigrant brothers. “They taught me the importance of being polite and of praising people for a job well done,” Thomas said. “From them I learned that if you work hard and apply yourself, you succeed. It's really not that complicated.”
But if the politicians who want to jack up the minimum wage get their way, things are about to become a whole lot more complicated, both for workers and the economy.
Worse, says labor expert James Sherk, the minimum wage has already been hiked to more than $10 an hour, at least in effect. Why? Because of Obamacare’s mandate that employers provide “qualifying” health coverage or be penalized. Once the mandate kicks in in 2015, hiring costs will go up still more for employers.
Low-paying jobs have given millions of Americans with no work skills the opportunity to step on the ladder of success, where they rapidly advance to higher-paying jobs. Why cut off the bottom rung by hiking the minimum wage so dramatically?
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