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By Jack Price
Nebraska News Service, Oct 16, 2022

... Some small businesses in Nebraska have already found success paying their employees higher wages. Wild Bird Habitat Stores, Mana Games and Shirts 101 all start their employees at $15 an hour. 

In October, RAYGUN Clothing, which employs 110 people in locations in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, will join them. For Mike Draper, the owner and founder, raising his company’s starting wage is common sense.

Draper said the minimum wage is an oddity in the United States because unlike cost of living expenses, taxable income levels or even social security benefits, the minimum wage has remained “frozen in time.”

“It’s hard to think of anything else that has not moved in 12 years except the minimum wage,” Draper said. “It’s sort of a loophole. If someone is allowed to pay minimum wage, it’s almost like they’re getting away with something.”

Draper said he’s not in favor of arbitrary regulations for businesses, but said it’s unfair that the minimum wage hasn’t kept up with the rest of the economy. ...

Raising the minimum wage is a good thing because it puts more money in the hands of the community and gives the individual more money to spend in their local economies, Draper said.  ...

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