Democrats’ proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour will be an absolute disaster for small businesses like my own, Gruel & Unusual Foods, Inc., which relies on an impoverished underclass to consume my bland and tasteless sludge because they have literally no other options.
Let me break it down for everyone who slept through Econ 101. I run a factory with big shiny machines in it and even bigger, even shinier robots that fix those machines, and a guy names Joss from M.I.T. who fixes those robots. I buy supplies, like wheat, grade-B sawdust, and ground glass, and I turn those supplies into gruel. People who would rather eat my gruel than die give me money. That’s the DEMAND part of “supply and demand” for all you B-school dropouts. Guess what? If the money stops flowing, the whole thing falls apart.
This country used to care about entrepreneurs. I built my business with nothing but the clothes on my back, hard work, and a slightly smaller gruel business I inherited from my father. And now Uncle Sam wants to crush me under his pinko boot by giving my customer base the buying power to purchase “actual food” from places that “aren’t a rusted-out oil drum with a bunch of slop and a big ladle in it.” What is this? Pyongyang? No! It’s not! If it were Pyongyang, I’d be moving more goddamn gruel!
Gruel isn’t a food, it’s a way of life, and the FDA is actually pretty anal about that first part. Even a small increase in wages could drive my most loyal customers into the soft white arms of Big Bread. Word will get around, especially when people get talkative after their mouths stop hurting from chronic gruel-tooth. Increased health and energy could even lead my customer base to seek jobs that pay MORE than minimum wage. Soon I’ll be hemorrhaging money faster than someone with terminal gruel-tooth hemorrhaging blood.
I’m a hard-working American, just like you. The income from my gruel business allows me to put a roof over my family’s heads and send my kids to a private school that serves organic lunches. If starving people stop buying gruel, I could even be forced to move to a neighborhood where I have to interact with my own customers.
I care deeply about the plight of the American worker, which is the exact reason I say things like that over and over again. That’s why every year I donate over five tons of only slightly expired gruel to food banks across the country, even when they beg me to stop. Think about Joss: if my gruel factory shuts down, where will he spend his Christmas GruelBux bonus?
Maybe the minimum wage hasn’t kept up with inflation. But the solution is not to crush my very specific gruel business by lifting millions of people out of poverty. The solution is something else that doesn’t affect me personally. I’m sure somebody will have an idea any day now.
There is one small silver lining. If the $15 minimum wage passes, at least I’ll still have all my contracts with for-profit prisons. No one’s trying to end those, right?