Should our government really be involved in what employees are paid? 

May 29 – When it comes to employer/employee relations, how much should the government really be involved? 

Minimum wage is the lowest amount of pay employers are allowed to provide employees by law. The majority of countries had a minimum wage set by the end of the 20th century. 

In the United States, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but some states have taken it upon themselves to set a minimum wage – and that started around 2016.  

In Pennsylvania, State Senator Christine Tartaglione has discussed raising the minimum wage in PA to as much as $20 per hour. 

State Senator Doug Mastriano said, “Let’s let the private sector drive it. I mean, so 20 bucks, is that enough in Philadelphia? Is that enough in Fulton County? I mean, why his random number? I think it’s going to drive out businesses. It’s going to damage of course, nonprofits, and summer jobs, hiring part timers? It’s just I think it’s a bridge too far. It was $15. Why this sudden jump? It’s a bit bizarre to me.”

California raised their minimum wage recently to $16 an hour and it’s been a tough transition. 

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “It’s turning out to be a big disaster out there. Because when you force every single business to come up to $20 an hour and forego the ability of private citizens to negotiate with each other, what they want to work for and what they will pay, it’s essentially a tax. It’s a huge tax. These places are already dealing with such high inflation and dealing with the costs of what they need to make their products and now they’re going to add that $20. Restaurants, that’s killing them out in California, even franchises from big chains are having to close stores. How do we handle that on top of everything else? Plus, there’s never any modification for that first time job worker, young people who are learning from their job, getting other benefits besides salary, those will all go away.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “The nonprofits really are where the crush comes in here. I don’t think someone like Christine Tartaglione really does care about those operations that are trying to string it together, it’s paycheck to paycheck.” 

“It’s crippling,” Mastriano agreed. “California is suffering, a bleed of jobs and people fleeing to Texas. I do hope that these folks fleeing remember why they left California and don’t bring those politics across the border, as we’re seeing in the eastern part of the state. We have folks who are fleeing from New York in New York City, mostly, New Jersey, even Maryland. Why are you coming here? Because we have better policies, we have conservative policies, so leave those politics behind as you come. You’re welcome here, but please don’t bring those politics with you. They’re going to destroy the state.”

Jansen added, “That even included tipped employees like restaurants, which is just a shame.”

Mastriano said, “I just saw a list a couple days ago that thousands of restaurants are closing this year, in 2024. Red Lobster has filed for bankruptcy. Ruby Tuesday’s closing hundreds of stores. So is Pizza Hut, and I think this is in part to these Democrat states mandating a minimum wage that is way above and beyond what they can afford when they’re paying the waitresses and waiters.”