A $9.50-an-hour federal minimum wage sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? You get a raise without making yourself more valuable or taking on more responsibilities!

I hear a lot of figures being thrown around. What I find frustrating is that the vast majority of the people proposing this increase are not the ones who have to pay it, and will not feel any of its side effects.

I have many issues with being told how to run my business by people who have no idea what it takes. I’ll focus on one point: teenagers.

I hire many teenagers; they comprise 15 to 20 percent of my staff. For most of these young people, I am their first employer.

They start this job with no experience, and they take the longest to train. They can only work limited hours. They have to be scheduled around school, sports, family functions, etc., and most don’t last a month.

I have seven on my staff now, and most are very good employees who all make more than minimum wage, but none are worth $9.50 an hour.

If I were looking to hire for an entry-level position at $9.50 an hour, I would not hire anyone in high school, under 18 years old or with no work experience, and I’m not alone. Go to any retail store and ask the owners if they are going to hire “kids” at $9.50 an hour.

I hire them now because I like to be able to hire them for their first job. I like to teach them about dependability, reliability and work ethic. I like to see their excitement when they earn their first paycheck.

The effects of a higher minimum wage will be a young generation jobless and unschooled in the stepping stones of becoming a productive worker.

Ed Anania

owner and operator, Anania’s

Portland