Thursday, January 18, 2007

Clueless Near Seattle

It is often said that small business is the bulwark of the American economy. If that is true, this post falls under the category Good News/Bad News.

The following quote was attributed to Idaho restaurant owner Rob Elder in the current issue of Newsweek:

"At $5.15 an hour, I get zero applicants-or maybe a guy with one leg who wouldn't pass a drug test."

Rob is lamenting the fact that neighboring Washington state’s minimum wage is $7.98/hour, the highest in the nation. It is implied that he welcomes the prospect of Congress increasing the minimum wage nationally, allowing him to better compete with Washington business for qualified employees.

The good news is that Rob proves not all small business owners have a knee-jerk reaction against raising the minimum wage.

The bad news is that it has obviously never occurred to him that the minimum wage is just that: a minimum. There’s nothing to prevent him from paying more. It looks like Rob considers his employees to minimum wage earners – whatever the minimum wage might be – and unfit to be paid any more than he absolutely has to.

Maybe that’s another part of the reason people aren’t lined up around the block to work for him.

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