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Minimum wage and the middle class

The other day I was listening to a radio report about Congress voting down a national minimum wage hike. This was followed by some comments from the president to the effect that Congress had stuck it to the middle class.

I thought about this for the rest of the drive home. The middle class? The middle class is now comprised of minimum wage earners? It would seem that the middle class has, like many things, been redefined while nobody was looking. Apparently the middle class now consists of everyone between the homeless or those living in abject poverty and the top two percent.

I would guess that at least 80 percent of the people I have worked for over the years were middle class. Yes, I have had some very wealthy customers over the years and those projects, with their "cost is no object" approach, tended to be a bit more fun to do. But the real bread-and-butter jobs were much more modest. The middle class customers might not have had resources to invest in a lot of extravagant woodwork but they still wanted something nice and there were a lot more of them!

But I can say with certainty that no one earning minimum wage is going to be able to afford a remodeled kitchen or a handmade dining room set. If I had to depend on minimum wage earners for a customer base, I would have closed my doors a long time ago.


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