Author: Chuck Wright
Publication: Daily Camera
Kevin J. Daly argues that a higher minimum wage is good for business (guest opinion, Oct. 2), but if it’s good for business, why do businesses have to be forced to do what’s good for themselves? Why can’t businesses figure out on their own that paying a higher wage is to their benefit like Mr. Daly did for his business? For those businesses that don’t figure it out, why can’t they be persuaded, instead of being forced, to pay higher wages?
Mr. Daly assumes that what worked for his business will work for all businesses, but that’s obviously not the case because all businesses are not the same or even similar to his. Some businesses have a lot more competition or operate on thinner margins than his business.
Since all businesses are not the same, their response to a higher minimum wage might not be the same. Some businesses will cut labor costs by reducing fringe benefits (paid time off, employee discounts, etc.), reducing hours, replacing less skilled workers with fewer more-skilled workers, or replacing workers with automation or outsourcing. Some business will be forced out of businesses by the 44.4 percent hike in Colorado’s minimum wage from $8.31 per hour to $12.
Business conditions and labor markets are not the same from place to place across Colorado. What works in Denver, Boulder, and Longmont may not work in Grand Junction, Lamar, or Trinidad. Too, the cost of living is not the same across Colorado. It’s much more expensive to live in Aspen, Vail, or Boulder than it is to live in Pueblo, Burlington, or San Luis.
With all these differences, a one-size-fits-all minimum wage straitjacket doesn’t make good business sense.
Mr. Daly needs to rethink his support for a higher minimum wage and vote “No” on Amendment 70.