People willing and able to do necessary work should be allowed to earn a living wage. The capitalist system has traditionally set the cost of labor. Unfortunately, this is no longer happening. Crony capitalists exploit the cost of living to allow government to subsidize their profits.
A fictional scenario representing a real problem
Wolmark is a big business that uses large amounts of low skill workers only paying the current minimum wage and only giving employees 30 hours of work weekly to avoid providing benefits. That’s legal. What shouldn’t be legal is the government giving WIC and EBT to people who, depending on the size of their family, earn below a certain wage. Wolmark targets these people because they can intentionally pay them below the poverty line. This allows them to raise their profit while offloading their expenses onto taxpayers by using a government-subsidized workforce. Medicaid, WIC, and EBT are all padding the profit margins of a place like Wolmark because their workers earn more by getting minimum wage and government handouts than if Wolmark paid them enough to rise above the poverty threshold. Finally, to complete the cycle, they sell goods back to their own employees at a profit further cutting into their government subsidized wages. Wolmark cashes in from Uncle Sam on the front and back end.
There are many employers, and employees, who exploit the government assistance available to the poor. Government benefits can often account for more than a third of a minimum wage worker’s salary. Minimum wage is already around $12.00 dollars per hour in this realistic scenario. When employers only pay a fraction the taxpayers cover the difference in Medicaid and EBT. Big business has every right to earn and spend as they please, but it is against the principles of capitalism for government to subsidize business indefinitely. I say that employers shouldn’t be allowed to shift the burden of paying their workers onto the government and the country at large. Minimum wage is a complicated issue, but I believe it allows the basic dignity of self-reliance to people with few skills to sell. The alternatives are unpalatable and untenable. Charity will not suffice and will leave us further in debt. Cutting entitlements completely would leave too many in poverty. The current system of tax-payer subsidized wages needs to stop.