I received lots of emails and blog comments to my article Reader Question: Is the Minimum Wage Really a Maximum Wage?

In regards to living wage Tesla responded …

You clearly have never run a business. if your employees are not able to live , or more importantly , just having living problems in general : they are 1) not going to work hard for you sometimes 2) might steal from you 3) might destroy your business property or otherwise not protect it from other thieves.

Quite frankly, that is ridiculous. If you are concerned your employees will steal from you or destroy your property, you should not hire them in the first place.

And if someone is worth more than the minimum wage and you are afraid they will go elsewhere, then you pay more than the minimum wage.

Look at McDonalds’s or Walmart. Did they suffer massive theft or property destruction by employees?

Both recently raised their base pay scale. Why? Because they could not attract a good work force at the wage they were paying. This is how it should work, not by living wage nonsense. 

Carl responded …

Another important thing to remember about the minimum wage is that it removes from the workforce all those that are not worth the minimum wage. With a minimum wage, such persons automatically become government dependent.”

Yep, exactly.

Ron …

Reader Dave asks …

Hi,  Mish. Costco does pay more than Walmart as a big box business. It also gives employees all holidays off. How do they do it and WMT can’t?

The answer is Costco has a different model. It charges higher prices and its stores are generally in more upscale areas.

Walmart employs about 2.1 million.

Costco employs 192,000.

OK – let’s have Walmart pay the same as Costco. To do it will compete in the same space as Costco so it will immediately fire 1.9 million people and close thousands of stores.

Happy with that outcome?
Perhaps not.

So let’s just mandate $15.00 an hour higher benefits like Costco, across the board for every US company. Then let’s watch another 4 million jobs vanish.

This is all so obvious that it’s ridiculous to be even discussing. Yet here we are.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock