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Be careful raising minimum wage

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By Moreland Jeff

Everybody wants to make more money, and people making minimum wage are certainly at the top of that list.

Some Democrats in the Kentucky legislature are also looking to help those in the Bluegrass state making minimum wage receive a pay raise, and they hope to see it climb from the current rate of $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour over a three-year period.

It's easy to say that the minimum wage should go up (it hasn't increased since 2009), but it's another thing to look at what it will do to those who make more than minimum wage.

Among the jobs that pay minimum wage are fast food workers and convenience store clerks. Take a look at the prices you pay in those stores and see where the extra money will come from if the raise is provided. It's going to come from the only place those businesses get money, and that's from you and me, the customer.

The proposed minimum wage raise after three years would equal to a pay increase of more than 39 percent of today's minimum wage. For an example of how that will affect everyone, let's look at the price of a burger from a fast food restaurant. If you are currently paying $3 for a Big Mac, and the employee making it is making $7.25 per hour to make that burger, you'll see the price go up if that person's wage goes up.

Now do the same math with the price of that burger. If it was $3, that same 39-percent increase will make your burger cost $4.17.

Some people might not see that as a big deal, but you have to look at those workers who make more than minimum wage, and especially those who will be just above that mark after three years. The prices of everything produced by minimum wage workers will have increased, but do House Speaker Greg Stumbo and the other Democrats in favor of the increase actually think we're all going to see a similar increase in our pay?

It's not likely that will happen, especially at the same 39-percent clip that minimum wage will go up.

More money is needed for those who can barely get by on the current minimum wage, but simply throwing more money at the problem will not make it go away, especially when that money will come out of the pockets of everybody in Kentucky.