The Democrats are beating up on Denny Rehberg for failing to back a minimum wage increase to $7.25. For once, I'm leaning to Denny's side.
It's not that I'm against a minimum wage. I would even support a modest increase and would have supported Montana's increase in November if not for the indexing provisions. But for my tiny business, $7.25 is a chunk. We've been struggling to overcome the Autopost disaster and essentially have broken even over the last 16 months. When money's that tight, every dollar counts. This would be a big hit.
Can't we pass it along to customers? No, because the big boys don't have to. So where would it come from? Either somebody goes away, or it comes out of my pocket. And believe me, as the business owner and all around drudge, I make nowhere near minimum wage.
Some people would say that people who can't afford to pay anymore than we do probably shouldn't be in business. Maybe they're right. But there are plenty of people who would rather make less money working for somebody like us than flipping burgers for McDonald's. Soon, they may not have that choice.
UPDATE: In comments, Dave Rye approvingly quotes a George Will column from a couple of weeks ago. Kevin Drum spanked Will for that here.