Rallies were held around the country Wednesday calling for an increase in the minimum wage. Wednesday's date was significant as it was the anniversary of the last hike in the federal minimum wage, four years ago.
President Obama, in his February State of the Union, called for an increase in the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 to $9 an hour by 2015.
Serveral states, even those with minimum wages higher than the federal level are looking at increases.
Here in Michigan there have been repeated efforts by Democrats in the Republican controlled Senate to raise the minimum to as high as $10 an hour by 2016.
While we understand the rationale behind efforts to raise the minimum, we cannot endorse such a move amid concerns of the impact on an already struggling Michigan economy.
We feel that such an increase will have an immediately negative impact on small businesses, generally considered the backbone of the state's and the nation's economy.
There is no evidence that raising the minimum will create jobs. In fact we feel just the opposite is true.
Studies show that less than 20 percent of Michigan workers currently making minimum wage are considered the primary bread winner in their family. The majority of those making the minimum are working part-time while they supplement another source of income or pursue an education or other full-time endeavor. We only have to look at the day-to-day struggles of our state's largest city to see how precarious our economic situation is.
Raising the state's minimum wage would endanger efforts by small business to build Michigan's economy while only benefitting a very small minority.