An intriguing, new tactic to influence the minimum wage

An intriguing, new tactic to influence the minimum wage

   We acknowledge the difficulty in predicting the impact of raising the minimum wage…or more precisely, raising the federal or state minimum wage. Smart people disagree on whether a mandated increase helps or hurts those who are struggling to get by. Should the research and the debate continue? Absolutely. But we were struck by an approach suggested recently by the Reverend Michael Crosby, a Capuchin friar and longtime activist in corporate responsibility campaigns.

   Reverend Crosby is trying to convince corporations that raising the minimum wage is not only the right thing to do morally, but it’s also good business. He points to strategic outlooks from major retailers predicting slow sales growth because of slow income growth. If businesses wants people to spend more than businesses need to pay their workers more so they afford to buy stuff.

   Reverend Crosby is trying to get his proposal on annual meeting agendas. Good luck. But here’s where we come in. How about if we try to direct our spending and buying to companies that voluntarily pay a decent wage? That might be more effective than waiting for our elected officials and their respective economists to agree.