In the last day or so there have been a lot of news reports about the fast food workers strike where workers are demanding an increase in their minimum pay to $15 an hour. I just saw a segment by Jon Stewart where he took a sympathetic view toward the cause of the striking workers. He made fun of business news hosts who were arguing against raising the minimum wage.
But as a reader of Austrian economics, I understand that the minimum wage laws are counterproductive and lead to increased unemployment and less job opportunities for the less fortunate. Yet I want some better arguments to rebut people who argue that it is inhumane to not increase the minimum wage.
For example, on this article http://mises.org/daily/2130 the author says the following:
"Employers pay a wage no higher than the value of an additional hour's work. Raising minimum wages forces employers to dismiss low productivity workers."
I understand this. Yet for most people, they will point to the tremendous profits of companies like McDonalds and say "Why couldn't McDonalds make only, say $10 Billion dollars in profits a year instead of $15 Billion and pay their workers a little more? They would still be tremendously profitable but their poor workers would be much better off."
What is the best way to rebut this argument? Because this simplistic line of thinking is probably the way 90% of people think about minimum wage laws.
Why should it be expected that a company like McDonalds should have to cut workers if they make so much money in profits? And if workers are truly paid the value of their productivity, then why would profits for the company be so much higher than their yearly payment to workers?
I am asking these questions not because I believe any of these things, but because this is how most people think regarding minimum wage laws. I want your best responses regarding minimum wage laws and the fast food workers strike.
Thanks for the help.