There are all sorts of economic arguments against paying $15 an hour wages to people who aren't worth the money. It certainly causes companies to hire fewer people. High labor costs can even hurt the bottom line so badly that it threatens the survival of the business. Chrysler and General Motors could tell you all about that. Is putting even more people out of work when so many Americans are already unemployed something we should be doing?
Furthermore, the unhappy truth is that some employees aren't worth the minimum wage, much less $15 an hour. There's one guy I still remember to this day from my assistant manager days at Burger King, primarily because I could never understand why it took him so long to make a hamburger. Other employees who were generally more competent wouldn't show up for work if they could score tickets for a concert or basketball game. If you tell a fast food restaurant to pay these people $15, they're just going to fire them and replace them with robots. You may laugh at that, but it has already happened in banking, farming, and the movie rental industry. It's a matter of time until it happens in restaurants as well.
All of that aside, as conservatives, we have a fundamentally different vision for people in starter jobs than the Left does. Liberals look at poor Americans, think they're hapless losers who don't deserve any better and see decades of food stamps, welfare and the minimum wage in their futures. However, nobody should want that for themselves, their children or their neighbors.
As a conservative who has worked those jobs and now works for myself, I think we should be encouraging people to aspire to be more than a minimally-educated, minimally-working, minimally-skilled minimum wage employee. There's nothing wrong with any honest job, but there is something wrong with people squandering their potential. As Abraham Maslow once said, "If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life." Ninety nine percent of Americans are capable of doing more with their lives than settling for a job most 16 year olds can be trained to do in a week. Instead of asking the government to force businesses to pay people more than they're worth, we should encourage these employees to build up their skills so that they'll genuinely be worth more. We should want all Americans to be all they can be so that they can have what they deserve out of life instead of encouraging them to settle for lives they would have never intentionally chosen for themselves.