A friend of mine who is a college librarian recently told me some sad news. He said he will soon be closing the school's library one day a week (as well as some evening hours). Part of the reason, he said, is that the new minimum wage increase is just too expensive for the school to pay for staff every day of the week. So, you might be thinking, students can just study the other six days of the week--no big deal. While that might be true, there are some harmful consequences in store for some of our young people.
Those students who are already working in the library, while they are getting a slight raise due to the new legislation, will be losing hours, thus negating much of their paycheck increase. They will still be making roughly the same amount of money, just doing it in fewer hours per week. For those students who depend on part-time work, this new law decreases their opportunity to work more. Of course, this also puts a limit on how many workers can be hired in the first place. If my librarian friend was considering hiring more student workers, there is now no need to, since the library won't be open as often. That means some young person who was looking for a job, now doesn't have one.
But perhaps the harshest consequence is placed upon the student body as a whole. Their access to educational materials has now been limited. You may think one day per week is not a major problem, and with most colleges' increased technological infrastructures, a physical library is not as mandatory for learning. Tell that to those students who work the other days of the week in order to pay for their schooling. When I was in graduate school, I spent all day on Saturdays and Sundays doing research in the library. I wouldn't have been able to get my work done any other time during the week because of my job. Those odd hours were vital to my education and career success, and still are for so many college students.
These are the unintended consequences of legislation that impedes upon the free market. Sure, you may have gotten a slight raise at your restaurant or your retail store because of the new minimum wage law. But it's not your boss paying for it--the cost is always passed on. Unfortunately for my librarian friend and the students he is trying to help work and study in his library, trying to improve their lives, they are the one paying the price.