When was the last time a "value" meal from McDonald, let alone any other fast food chain, did not cost five dollars or more? When was the last time premium gas was under a dollar a gallon? It's hard to remember, isn't it? Wouldn't it be great if everything cost a nickel, like back in the good ol' days? According to the laws of economics, it's not logical for things to have gotten more expensive competition should drive prices down. Then why have prices continued to rise over the years? The continuing demand of more money for less work has forced Uncle Sam to raise the minimum wage innumerable times in the last half century, which results in higher prices for the rest of us. Another raise in the minimum wage would, as all the others before it, raise prices for consumers, which would again result in another demand for a raise in the minimum wage. It's a viscous cycle that must be stopped before it loses control. Not only does a raise in minimum wage result in a raise in the cost of living, it also causes the dismissal of hardworking people who are happy with their current income. When the firing axe starts to fall, seniority often determines who goes and who stays. The more a single employee costs a business an hour, the fewer employees the business can afford to employee an hour. This results in the dismissal of employees to compensate for a raise in labor costs, which creates a smaller staff, which results in slipshod service. Although most reasonable people would rather pay more for better service, the plain fact of the matter is that the service hasn't really gotten any better. The service is better than it was when there weren't enough employees so people assume the service itself has gotten better, while the truth is that the service is just as haphazard as before. The laborers are simply replaced because of a need for more employees, more often than not by people who have never worked in those positions before. By having a staff that is constantly fluctuating, the business hurts itself the service is hurt because the new employees are in need of training, and in the end it is us, the consumers, who feel the real pain The pain we experience is that of rising costs in the market it's that sharp pain we feel every time we reach for our wallet, but it is in no way as painful as the fact that we give bonuses for no reason in the form of raises in the minimum wage. The argument that minimum wage should be raised says people need more money to make a living in a world of ever rising costs. The truth is that they, the people who demand more money, are the ones raising the cost of living. Some would say that the high cost of living is brought about by the devaluation of the dollar and the effects of inflation. Truth be told, inflation is also caused by the flooding of the market with bills printed to pay the high costs of laborers in the market. Laborers who are comprised primarily of teens and the elderly, both of which usually have an alternate form of income either in the form of parents or social security. <br><br>I offer an alternative to the minimum wage. If people would respect their money and understand the value of the dollar then they would have to learn skills that would promote them in the job market. The minimum wage could be kept for the handicapped and the disabled, people who for the most part aren't able to advance themselves in the working world. The most positive thing about the current minimum wage is that it is substantial enough to make teens respect their money, but also low enough to force them to save. It's been said that if we do not know our history, we will be doomed to repeat it. The argument over the minimum wage makes it abhorrently obvious that this statement is true. The time for action is now, before we are forced to start this cycle again.