“A Good Job is an Important Opportunity”

“But – only if it exists.”

An immigrant to Minneapolis from Somali concisely explains the harm that good intentioned minimum wage hike proponents can cause, should they get their wishes fulfilled.

Simply stated, if the Legislature increases the minimum wage to $9.50 and attaches it to inflation, it is likely to put most of the lower-skilled people in my company and other similar companies out of work. There simply isn’t enough profit to even keep this part of a business like mine operating.

An artificially high wage doesn’t just affect people who are often in a first or early job, seeking training with which they can create a great future. The impact of such an artificially high wage would hit our clients hard.

I believe the home-health-care profession provides a tremendously compassionate service, one that helps sick or injured people stay in their homes. If policymakers place costs on autopilot, they will have to answer to those in our communities we are no longer able to serve. Likely, some of these same legislators will suddenly feel obligated to “keep helping,” by creating programs to make up for services they have legislated out of existence.

Many in the Somali-American and other new American communities came here for opportunity as I did. As policymakers place increased pressures on these small-business entrepreneurs, I ask them to consider the consequences. I can’t even call them “unintended,” because the Legislature knows full well what will happen if it creates an environment where businesses can only fail.

Please be wary of how good-sounding legislation affects our neighbors, customers and clients. Please be wary of how this affects me — and my employees.

A good job is an important opportunity, but only if it exists.