As a trillion-dollar company, you can afford to give your employees a decent wage. But, the problem comes when that company expects all other companies to follow suit, regardless of whether those companies are as profitable.
Amazon announced through a Tuesday press release that they will be raising their organizational minimum wage to $15/hr. beginning November 1. The minimum wage hike will apply all U.S. employees, “including full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers.”
The announcement comes almost a full month after Amazon became the second American company to reach a $1 trillion market value.
That’s right — a one with 12 zeros after it. But that’s not all.
Senior Vice President of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs and former Press Secretary under former president Barack Obama, Jay Carney said in the release that Amazon will also be advocating for a raise in the federal minimum wage.
“We will be working to gain Congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage. The current rate of $7.25 was set nearly a decade ago,” said Carney. “We intend to advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country.”
Carney is exactly right, just not for the reasons he thinks.
Raising the federal minimum wage, especially if it were raised to $15/hr., would “have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people families across this country.” Except that impact would most likely come in the form of unemployment.
We’ve seen fast-food restaurants, where a lot of the $15 minimum wage protests take place, begin to implement self-serve kiosks in their stores. Stores that have actually instituted the $15 minimum wage have had to cut staff, cut hours of staff that they don’t let go, adjust store hours and raise the price of their goods.
It’s really easy for a trillion-dollar company to say that everyone working a minimally-skilled job should receive a higher minimum wage. Amazon doesn’t look to be hurting for cash any time soon. But, what about someone from the middle class who runs a small business? How do they employ a staff that automatically gets $15/hr.?
Amazon doesn’t seem to take that into account, because they’ll just sell the items that a small business sells for a bargain price, putting small businesses out on the street.
Who knows? One day everyone might work for Amazon.
H/T: Fox Business