No hands were raised at Dover Town Meeting when a local resident challenged the voters by asking them how many worked for the minimum wage. The reason no hands were raised was not because we are lords and ladies “living in castles,” but because none of the intended beneficiaries of the minimum wage were present, high school students entering the job market with few skills.
My wife and I ran a business in this valley in which we had the pleasure of hiring these high school students. Their responsibilities were to wait on customers and clean up. They also spent a couple of hours doing their homework. If we had to pay them Rep. Moran’s desired minimum wage of $15 an hour we either would not have hired them, or cut their hours in half in order to afford them.
I am proud to say most of these students have gone on to college, but it is sad that few will return to Vermont. Not because there are no $15-an-hour jobs working at Walmart or flipping hamburgers awaiting them, but because there are no $40 an hour jobs awaiting them working in the tech industry, nursing, construction, etc.
I can only guess the future of a state whose young people leave for greener pastures. Vermont will become America’s version of Ireland, a beautiful green place whose greatest export is it people.