Face off: Prop 206 is good for Arizona (Con)

Mitchell Wenger, News Editor

This election, Prop 206 asked Arizona voters to raise the minimum wage to $10 in 2017, and incrementally all the way to $15 by 2020.

Supporters of the proposition, according to Ballotpedia.org, say that it will “decrease poverty in Arizona,” “ensure that more families can meet their basic needs and lead healthier lives,” and “increase consumer purchasing-power and help small businesses.”

However, this is far from what the proposition will actually do. Increasing minimum wage will decrease employment, not poverty. It has already raised prices for consumers. I am currently employed at Panera Bread Company, and as soon as the increase went into effect the prices were raised across the entire menu. We have had numerous complaints from customers saying they can no longer afford their meals because of the price increase.

Despite what many people think, large corporations, such as Panera, do not have massive profit margins, and are often more vulnerable to cost increases than small businesses.

Profit margins for large corporations are usually very low, with the profit margin for large American restaurant chains averaging at about 8.7 percent. For comparison, small businesses that provide medical services or equipment have average profit margins of 26.95%, and those that provide electronic or computer services have margins averaging at 53.94%, according to Chron.com.

Raising minimum wage to lower poverty rates is highly ineffective for another reason altogether. Minimum wage workers are very rarely the primary income in their household, and they rarely fall below the poverty line.

The majority of minimum wage workers in America are suburban teenagers, like me, and very, very few are older than 25. They are college or high school students who are working to have a little extra money for wants. They are not below the poverty line. This means that increasing the minimum wage would not give many poverty level households an increase in income.

The raise in minimum wage is a completely ineffectual and useless measure that does more to hurt the people it is supposed to help than anything else.