Minimum wage is the talk of the town lately, and, while some business owners claim that an increase of the federal minimum would negatively impact their operations, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz believes that it can, and should, come up.
Though he advocates an increase of the federal minimum wage, Schultz told CNBC Wednesday that it should be done carefully and thoughtfully, arguing “the minimum wage issue is a double-edged sword.” According to Schultz, while a minimum wage increase means higher wages for workers, it might discourage some businesses from creating jobs.
“On balance, I am a supporter of the minimum wage going up,” Schultz said. “We’ve got to be very careful what we wish for because some employers — and there could be a lot of them — will be scared away from hiring new people or creating incremental hours for part-time people as a result of that wage going up.”
President Barack Obama has proposed increasing the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour, and tying it to inflation. Some of his Democratic colleagues would like to see it pushed up to $10 an hour, but Conservative opponents say raising wages would hurt workers in the end because businesses would hire less.
The average Starbucks employee makes $8.78 each hour, higher than the current minimum wage but less than Obama’s proposed increase. Schultz said that the figure is misleading because it doesn’t account for tips or raises over time.
Starbucks and its CEO are not strangers to voicing their opinion on politics. Last December, the company wrote “come together” on their coffee cups to encourage lawmakers to avoid the fiscal cliff. Schultz has said that the inability of our elected officials to work together on debt and spending is “sapping the lifeblood” of our country.
Do you support a federal minimum wage increase to $9 an hour? More? Why or why not?