By Katlyn Vuillemot
Lansing Charter Township Writer
LANSING CHARTER TOWNSHIP – Some businesses throughout Lansing Township view an increase in minimum wage as harmful to their workers, consumers and inflation while workers see the positive side of the idea.
There are two schools of thought on the economics of raising wages, said Justin May, manager at Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza in the Eastwood Town Center.
Some people think eventually all businesses will do is raise prices and cause inflation, he said. Some say it will help the economy grow.
Cost of labor would increase causing a forced need to compensate, May said. Eventually the costs would be passed onto the consumer and businesses would suffer.
President Barack Obama recently discussed the increase of minimum wage from the current national rate of $7.25 to $9 in his State of the Union address.
“Increasing minimum wage would definitely affect everyone within a business,” May said. “Bottom line is that they would lose money, hurting workers and customers.”
According to May, it’s not just small businesses that will be affected. A large business such as Wal-Mart is going to lose some service because products are going to cost more, which is going to hurt employees, he said. Raising minimum wage is a snowball effect.
Mike Green, the president of the local UAW 651 union says raising minimum wage is a positive investment to the workers
“It’s definitely a good deal,” Green said. “I can’t think of a better investment just looking at how far poverty has been pushed to the limit.”
“Increasing minimum wage is a good idea to get fair pay at work,” said Rachel Osborn, a local worker receiving minimum wage pay. “It has to be balanced out though to control inflation so increasing minimum wage actually works.”
Businesses don’t want to look at the positive side of increased minimum wage; they always look at the negative, Green said. They need to start from the bottom and work their way to the top so people can afford the changes.
Putting extra money into people’s pockets by raising minimum wage will give them room to breath and more opportunity to spend it, said Green. The more spending the better it is for the economy.
“It could be a good thing because we are trying to help out the people who are making minimum wage,” said Osborn. “The question still remains of how this is going to affect inflation.”