Somehow, Patrick Thier found time in his busy real estate manager schedule to argue against offering America’s lowest-paid worker a living wage. In his April column, he asserts, without evidence, that raising the minimum wage will “destroy the spirit” of the working poor, concluding that “the “push for the higher wage is ultimately demeaning.”
Then he condescendingly asks, “Is giving someone something for doing nothing a smart thing?”
Is he so out of touch to think that gardening, cooking, cleaning up, and manufacturing seem like doing nothing? He shrilly distracts us with Chamber of Commerce dogma about small businesses, where “the dishwasher gets to pay his rent while the restaurant owner’s home is being foreclosed.” He ignores how raising the minimum wage will put more money in the hands of customers which helps all small businesses.
Patrick is mute about the lavish lifestyles of CEOs at McDonalds or Walmart which are based on sub-minimum wages. Unlike you and me, they purchase politicians who rig the system in their favor and never pay taxes. They leave their lowest-paid workers to apply for public assistance to pay rent.
In the end, Patrick is right: raising the minimum wage is only a partial answer. Unless we tie maximum wages to minimum wages we’ll end up with the same economic inequality that foreshadowed the Great Depression and the crash of 2008.