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Enzi answers your questions on minimum wage

New Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington video

May 15, 2014

In a new video recorded this week, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said an increase in the minimum wage would hurt, not help, Americans looking for a job. The video addresses questions and comments Wyoming constituents sent to him during the past couple weeks through Facebook and Twitter, from phone calls to his D.C. and Wyoming offices, and from email and written letters.

Minimum Wage

All of us would like to make more money. I would like everyone to make more money. Money is usually related to your education, your skills, and how long you have been on the job. Just raising them with a federal mandate, one-size-fits-all for the United States, does not work. The problem is it will raise everyone’s wages. If you have someone making $7.25 and they go to $10.10, you have to raise the person making $9 up to about $12. You’ve got to keep that separation based on the amount of training and skills and the work that they do. And it has to go all the way up the chain, otherwise it’s not fair to people who have more skills and have been there longer, and are able to produce more. And that is usually what wages have been given out for.”

"If those factors are what the increase in pay is for, it doesn’t cause an inflationary cycle. But, if you just raise wages, and force that on all the people up the line, everyone makes more, but somehow that has to be paid for. And that means it has to raise the price of the goods that you buy. So if get more, you have to pay more, you didn’t make any improvement in your lot in life. Except the federal government benefits, because the upper ones will move into a higher tax bracket.”

            “There are some disadvantages to an automatic raise like that, that isn’t tied to an increase in skills, or productivity, or length of time that you have been at the business. The value to the business is what allows people to pay the wages, not some Washington designed law that says everyone ought to make more.”

Senator Enzi records “Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington” videos every other week when the Senate is in session. He encourages Wyoming residents to continue sharing their thoughts, ideas, and questions and he will address as many of the topics as possible. For individual responses, constituents should email him through his web page – www.enzi.senate.gov.