This is a much more complex situation than merely a governing body dictating more laws to the folks.
Minimum wage jobs were starting points in ones career, never meant to be a career, just a paid internship if you will. These jobs are for kids in school, jobs that require that you be at an appointed place at an appointed time; learn a work ethic, and possibly some future skill set that you currently lack. As an example, I learned how to “really mop a floor” 40 odd years ago.
Some mom and pop shops may only be able to afford some laborer like this. They might be for menial tasks that also keep teens busy and out of trouble while teaching them some work ethic.
The bottom line is, few companies are started with the concept of creating jobs. Businesses are about creating a product or service, and employees are a “necessary evil” in most cases; as there are so many regulations and laws that companies must adhere to when one has employees. It has not become easier over the years, quite the opposite!
On top of existing regulations, Obamacare has changed the paradigm of the fabric of business vs. employee / minimum wage.
Full-time jobs have been modified to part-time, to avoid healthcare all together. Along with the part-time designation came more employees and less pay. Retail giants were one of the first on the bandwagon and many industries have followed suite to make certain that the full-time employee count was for folks that were indispensable.
The new immigration law that was enacted by Obama has once again changed the way that business work. I recently visited a McDonalds where there was not one English-speaking employee in the place, at least, which English was their native language.
If trends continue, I perceive that more Americans will be surviving on the government tit, as the part-time-minimum-wage-jobs of today will go to more of these types of folks who will be happy to have them, as they do not qualify for “free stuff,” yet.
To your question: why not pay your employees more than minimum wage if you can? I have a client that does. He pays his people much higher than scale, and is learning that you cannot buy good employees. A very small percentage of the people that you hire have a work ethic that you the business owner has. They possess the Fred Flintstone work ethic of when the whistle blows, Yabba Dabba Doo!
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