The problem with a government-enforced minimum wage is it will create a domino effect. If you raise the minimum wage, then it’s going to raise the price of products and services and small business owners will have to lay off staff to still be profitable. Larger companies are automating to reduce staff numbers. So, some employees will make more money, but others won’t have a job.
When it comes to the morality of minimum wage, it is not vicious, cruel or immoral for an employer to make you an offer that you consensually agree to. In fact, it is vicious, cruel and immoral for a third party, like the government, to get involved in that relationship. If employees don’t like the wage or benefits being offered by the employer, then they don’t have to work there.
The three deciding factors in getting a decent job are: to not have kids before marriage, to get and maintain a regular job, and to graduate high school. With these three steps, and these three steps alone, not only will you remain out of poverty but almost definitely, get better paying jobs.
With this in mind, an economy can be created with either an enormous level of low level and low wage jobs or an economy in which growth from position to position is actually possible.
We should all be able to agree that wages need to increase. The difference is the way to make wages increase is to have a fully consensual relationship between employer and employee. The root of the morality is: you should never force an employee to work for an employer at a given wage. By the same token, you should never force an employer to pay a given wage to an employee. Because that is a lack of consent on part of the employer and violates basic principles of fairness as well as freedom.
Capitalism and a free market is in essence forced altruism. Because if I don’t give you something that you want, then I will starve. I need to be able to offer a good or else I cannot survive; this is the basis of a free market.
People must arm themselves with some kind of knowledge of a skill that other people need, and usually the rarer the skill, the more you get paid. A job as a store clerk that a large majority of the population could do given minor training should not be equivalent to that of someone who can design complicated infrastructure.
One problem people often mention is income inequality. The CEO of Walmart makes $20 million annually. Since Walmart employs about two million workers, if you cut down that salary to zero then you just gave everyone an extra $10 for the year. You cannot make the poor richer, by making the rich poorer.