Proposition: Raise Minimum Wage To Discourage Illegal Immigrants
It is my thesis that the current, low Federal minimum wage is an incentive for employers to hire undocumented workers. It is my proposition that if
the wage was increased to what advocates call a Living Minimum Wage, that enough of the non-working Americans would go to work, thereby drying up the
market for continued illegal entry into the US.
Different people have different opinions on the rationale of a minimum wage and on how much it should be if you have one. Republicans opposed the
first minimum wage. It is a truism Republicans do not like the minimum wage. President Nixon did not raise the minimum wage during his 6 yeas in
office. President Reagan did not raise the minimum wage during his 8 yeas in office. President Bush43 has not raised the minimum wage in his nearly 6
years in office. That is 20 years and counting! Two decades with no increase. Hmm? I wonder if Congress would do that to itself? I wonder how much
that would be, if we reduced their newly adjusted pay of about $166,000 a year by the sum of the amounts of increase during the 20 years just
enumerated? Talk about screaming!
The Federal minimum wage law was established concurrent with the Social Security Act , in 1935. The rate was set at 25 cents per hour. That was a
living wage In 1935. For one person. I worked for 75 cents an hour minimum wage in 1950. And believe it or not, I paid Federal income taxes on that
wage. My take-home pay was a few cents over $25. That was a living wage in 1950.
Any raise would be appreciated by those who are in jobs that pay the minimum wage. We’d hear the same argument we hear every time - it will cost
jobs! That has never been true. Why? Because when it is a Federal law, it applies to everyone alike, and when you raise the water level, all ships
float the same amount. No employer would be put at a disadvantage.
I suggest $10.00 an hour. So we don’t have to revisit this issue every decade, let’s put in on the COLA list. Like Congressional pay, for example.
I’d add a requirement the employer furnish $2.00 an hour in fringe benefits or pay that extra amount directly to the employee, the employer’s
choice. Who says this is not a free country? I’d exclude the $2 fringe payment from taxation and FICA. You can’t say I’m anti-business!
Assuming the 40 hour workweek continues, this would mean workers would be paid $400 a week. Plus another $80 to buy health insurance or contribute to
a 401(k) etc. that is just $20,800 a year. Well, adding the fringe makes a total to be paid to the employee a grand total of 24,960 a year.
Employers are responsible to match 7.65% FICA, pay about 3.2% of wages for unemployment insurance and buy workers’ compensation insurance, often
estimated at 5% of wages. Thus, a minimum wage employee costs the employer about $29,000 a year. $560 a week. Watch out Wal-Mart! Millions of new
buyers are on their way! This could be the salvation of Sears-K-Mart. And etc.
I have long advocated a bifurcated minimum wage. I’d reduce the hourly wage rate to $8 for persons under age 20. This would give employers
incentive to hire young persons. Hopefully, by the time the young person reaches age 20, he or she would be too valuable to the employer to be let go.
Regardless, this seems to be a good idea to me.
This same kind of reduced minimum wage could also be applied to over age 65 types. Again, the $8 minimum and cut the fringe requirement in half. $1 an
hour. This would encourage employers to hire older, semi-retired people. A thing of high social value.
Finally, proof of payment by employers ought to be added to any employment law. With modern computer calculated pay amounts and computer generated
paychecks, tax records and so on, it would be a near-zero cost requirement to add to employers. Knowing the record is there for Wage and Hour
inspection and enforcement, it would nearly eliminate the temptation to underpay workers afflicting some employers. Again, a more level playing field.
Good for all concerned.
With a few simple, rational and humane rules in place, it is my thesis the problem of border control would be greatly reduced. With all employers on
the same, level and transparent playing field, no injustice or preference would be shown to any. A chance for all private employers to really show
If it’s so smart, you say, and so easy, then why has this not already been done? Well, I remind, it must be that not to do it is to the financial
advantage of some people who have sufficient influence in Washington to prevent the obvious from becoming law. Whether or not all that influence is
exercised legally is open to doubt but it is another issue. You will have to ask your own Congressperson about that.
[edit on 7/21/2006 by donwhite]