Huckabee: Don't Settle for Minimum Wage, Work to Command a Maximum Wage
In his opening remarks last night, Mike Huckabee said proposals to raise the minimum wage in several states will not bring prosperity and independence to entry-level workers.
Huckabee called for workers to not be satisfied with minimum wage, but instead aim to achieve their maximum wage through education, training and experience.
"If you get suckered into believing some politician is looking out for you because he wants to keep you locked into a low minimum wage, tell him you've got a better idea," Huckabee suggested.
"Tell him you can do better than his minimum wage. Tell him you're on your way to maximum wage, and if he behaves well in office, you might even chip in to his campaign - even if it's just a minimum contribution."
Watch Huckabee's remarks above and read a full transcript below.
Well, the first jobs I ever had paid minimum wage, which was a whopping $1.25 an hour. It was better than nothing when I was 14, but I had no intention of living the rest of my life on the lowest legal amount of money an employer could pay.
I learned that if I worked hard and exceeded expectations, I would have more value to my employer, and I didn't stay at minimum wage very long. This election, proposals to raise the minimum wage is on the ballot in several states. Some state legislatures and even cities have already passed a higher minimum wage. Some Republicans act like the world will come to an end if the minimum wage is raised, while some Democrats pretend that it will bring prosperity and independence to entry-level workers. Honestly, it will do neither.
There will be some consequences to the 3.3 million workers who are paid the legal minimum wage. The U.S. bureau of labor statistics says that would mean a slight pay raise for a little over the 16% of American workers who currently get minimum wage, but the congressional budget office says raising the amount to $10.10 an hour would cost half a million jobs, including a bunch that currently pay minimum wage.
Like most issues, this one has drifted into a partisan fight - is it real economic empowerment of the poor, or just another government-sponsored job killer? I'd want to propose a different solution. Instead of arguing over the minimum wage, why don't we help people get to a maximum wage?
Families can't live on $10 an hour much better than $7.25, so if the best the Democrats can lay on the table is pushing for a wage floor that still leaves workers impoverished, I’m not sure why anybody would celebrate that.
You see, wages work like an auction. If the supply is strong, and the demand is weak, the price will be low. If the demand is strong and the supply is weak, the price will be high.
Here's my question to you as a worker: would you really be satisfied with the bare minimum the government says you can earn? What if I could help you get to a maximum wage? What would that be for you?
Would you rather make $20 an hour? How about $30? Maybe $40? $50 or more per hour? Well, you could try to get the government to force your employer to pay you $50 an hour, but if you do a job that almost anyone could do - and lots of people need jobs and are in the supply chain - even the government, as dumb as it can be, won't require that you be paid $50 an hour. So, what job pays $50 an hour?
A master welder. A well-trained plumber. A HVAC contractor. A registered nurse. An electrician. But to do those jobs and get maximum wage, you going to have to get educated and trained and gather the experience to command that wage.
So, I'm asking this, why are we fighting over keeping you at the minimum wage, when we ought to be talking about getting you to your maximum wage?
I'd much rather help you make $50 bucks an hour, so you buy a house, put your kids in a good school and buy yourself a fishing boat. You'll need less from the government, which makes you a lot less expensive to your neighbors than you are now, and you'll pay more in taxes, which means you'll put more in than you take out. And then we'll start paying down the national debt instead of borrowing more money from China to spend some money we don't have. Instead of increasing the number of weeks of unemployment, where we pay you to not work, why not pay for your training to learn a skill that will get you to a maximum wage?
If you get suckered into believing some politician is looking out for you because he wants to keep you locked into a low minimum wage, tell him you've got a better idea. Tell him you can do better than his minimum wage. Tell him you're on your way to maximum wage, and if he behaves well in office, you might even chip in to his campaign - even if it's just a minimum contribution.
And that is maximum power.