By Adriana Ruiz
Requiring businesses to pay employees a minimum wage of $7.25 in Texas is not necessarily a bad thing, said economics Professor Susan Spencer, who drew a crowd of more than 20 students to a Hot Potato lecture Oct. 8 in the Methodist Student Center.
Spencer used the topic “Minimum Wage War” to express her opinion on ethics in business, strikes, and the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
The topic was originally scheduled to be “The Effects of Legalizing Marijuana” but was changed because of scheduling conflicts.
Spencer said business owners have a right to make money and maximize profits.
“It’s not just whatever is good for the worker; the entrepreneur has a right to make some money,” she said.
Spencer said the government requiring businesses to pay a minimum wage is not a bad thing and the current wage of $7.25 is not necessarily too low.
Spencer talked to students about ethics and how big businesses take advantage of their employees.
She shared with students an experience her daughter went through when working as a waitress.
Spencer said that 20 years ago her daughter almost lost out on some money when a computer malfunction miscalculated employee earnings and management tried to get away with not paying employees the correct amount.
Spencer said, it was wrong and she called the restaurant manager threatening to call the Texas Workforce Commission.
“I told them we’re going to start with the Texas Workforce Commission and work up from that,” Spencer said.
When asked if she called the commission, Spencer said, “No, because they gave them their money back.”
Spencer also touched on insurance companies and how they work.
“Insurance companies need people who don’t need insurance to be paying into the pool so that pool will be there when you do need it in a catastrophe,” Spencer said.
Spencer answered questions on Obamacare and said she does not believe the care act will crash, but she does believe it will need many modifications.
Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was signed into law March 23, 2010, by President Barack Obama.
The Supreme Court upheld the law June 20, 2012.
It requires that all Americans have health insurance.