Minimum Wage

Should Minimum Wage be Increased?

Sarah Jackson
January 31, 2020

Should Minimum Wage be Increased?

Minimum wage is always a topic of debate, and many people are directly impacted by whatever the wage is determined to be. People with no valuable skills who work believe they should be paid more, and their employers, as well as the rest of the job market, disagrees. There have been protests to raise their pay, and both sides have been battling for as long as there have been laws regulating pay. There are solid arguments for either side, but the question stands; should minimum wage be increased?

What is Minimum Wage?

Laws were passed in 1938 in which the federal government determined that there needs to be the lowest possible value to pay workers. At the time, that value was decided to be $0.25 an hour, and since then the value has increased, typically every 5 years. However, the last time the federal minimum wage was adjusted was in 2009. The difficulty of the job doesn’t change but the workers get paid more. The current value stands at $7.25 an hour, or right around $15,000 a year working full time. These laws were created to ensure that if you are employed in America, and you work full time, you should have enough money to live; called a “livable wage”. Job difficulty or employability of the worker is never a factor when it comes to this value. The reason the wage was increased in the past was to keep up with inflation. Whether or not we are due for an increase is up to debate.

We are Due for an Increase

As previously mentioned, there hasn’t been an increase in 11 years upon the writing of this article. Due to inflation, what would cost $1.00 in 2010, now costs $1.22. Using that same math, something that cost $7.25 in 2019, now costs $8.86. That means that the dollar is worthless and less powerful. Today’s average consumer faces more regular monthly expenses than people in 2009. The popularity of cell phones, home internet packages, and monthly subscription services didn’t exist in 2009, and they all come out of that same minimum wage. The wage was established to be fair in 2009, and a lot has changed since then. Big greedy companies want to pay their workers as little as possible just so they can keep all of the money for themselves, and that isn’t fair. There needs to be an increase in the minimum wage.

Increase Would Hurt the General Public

The people who work for minimum wage are lazy and unmotivated, so they should not be paid more. If they want their pay to be higher, they should get an actual job. It has been proven in the past; when pay increases, people spend more money, and prices for goods and services increase. This means that if the people working no-skill jobs get an increase, hard-working engineers and doctors have to pay more for bread, even though engineers and doctors never get wage bailouts. Secondly, payroll, which is what they call wages paid to employees, is typically the highest expense for a company. By increasing the minimum wage, the employer will have to pay their employees more, and the employer will have less money to take home or put back into their business. If the worker makes more money, the employer makes less money, and then small businesses have to close down so their minimum wage employees can continue blowing their money on restaurants and new cars they can’t afford. Mom-and-pop stores will close down until only Walmart is left. A wage increase for the poorest people hurts the hard-working Americans. After all, it isn’t that hard to get a second job if you want to settle for minimum wage.

Should Minimum Wage Increase?

There are compelling arguments on both sides. One side wants a hand-out, so they don’t have to work as hard. The other side values hard work and thinks about the general public and the lasting effects of raising the minimum wage. What do you think? Comment below, should minimum wage increase?



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