Inconclusion, it is safe to say that the benefits of raising minimum wage outweighthe negatives of it. The economy, the people, and the government will all see apositive impact and that is the main goal of a higher minimum wage.
HillaryClinton once stated, as cited by MSNBC, “I favor a $12 an hour minimum wage atthe federal level” (Clinton). A $12 minimum wage is in fact a good federallevel wage that should be implemented in the near future. Due to the fact thatthe current level is about $7.25 an hour, raising it by about five dollarswould be a god start of increasing wages. Too many people work full time andstill live in poverty. With the help of higher minimum wages, more people willbe able to not only live more comfortably, but the hard work put in by peoplemaking these wages would finally pay off.
Overall,controversial topics such as a rise in minimum wage should not just be brieflythought of, but thoroughly examined as it can affect not just the people makingthose earnings, but the economy and government as well. Many people againstrising wages would argue that it only would hurt the economy and raise povertylevels. On the other hand, those in favor of higher wages expect it to raisethe amount of consumer spending, and help low income families greatly. Based onthe evidence provided, minimum wage should be increased to further benefitsociety as a whole. In the past, cities and districts who have raised theirminimum wage rate have proven that they benefitted from it despite what thoseopposed have said.
For instance, Zachary Roth, writer for MSNBC, wrote thearticle, “No one knows if a $15 minimum wage will cost jobs”, and definitely isin favor for a higher minimum wage too. He elaborated on his argument byreferencing examples of cities who saw a positive impact from increasing theminimum wage. He stated, “Supporters of a raise note that after San Jose raisedits minimum wage to $10.30 in 2012, its fast-food industry saw an increase inhiring. San Francisco had a similar experience after going to $12.
25 in 2003″(Roth). These are just two instances of how cities who raised their minimumwage not only put more money in the pockets of people already working for aminimum wage salary, but also saw a boost in jobs. The opposing side arguedthat jobs would be lost as a result, but it is clear that, that is notnecessarily the case. Similar to the effect on povertylevels, government spending could change dramatically with a higher minimum wage.An impact on poverty levels would definitely result in an impact on governmentspending as well. Either less government spending would be necessary, or morewould be required. Those in favor of higher wages claim that those on welfarewould decrease as a result. Due to the fact that federal minimum wage is lowerthan welfare, employment is affected.
CK Thompson, writer for CNN, made a claimstating, “Welfare pays more than minimum wage in 35 states” (Thompson),ultimately giving Americans an incentive not to work. Welfare being more thandouble the amount of federal minimum wage causes many families who rely on thismoney to not work and just collect the government funding. A higher minimumwage, closer to the welfare wages, would cause more people to find jobsultimately decreasing the amount the government has to spend. Contrary to thattheory, the opposing side would argue that government spending would alsodecrease, but not to benefit society. People earning higher wages would bemaking a higher income, resulting in the loss of the government assistance thatlow-income families rely on. Jana Kasperkevic, a write for The Guardian,emphasized the effect minimum wage would have on people depending on governmentassistance. She said, “The higher the minimum wage gets,the less in benefits the family is eligible to receive” (Kasperkevic). A familyearning more money would result in people not qualifying for the funding theyneed to live off of.
A higher minimum wage does not necessarily mean a high wageand that’s what those opposing higher wages would argue. Equallyimportant to the impact on the economy, higher minimum wages would definitelyimpact people living in poverty. There are multiple possibilities that couldhappen to poverty levels with a higher minimum wage.
One of those possibilitiesbeing the rise in poverty levels across the country. As minimum wage rises,other factors such as employment rates and the amount of hours in a shiftemployees receive decrease. Dan Springer of Fox News described the effect ofworker’s salaries in Seattle after the city raised its minimum wage to $15. Hesaid, “The workingpoor are making more per hour but taking home less pay” (Springer). Workers inSeattle, as a result of a higher minimum wage, receive either loss ofemployment or less hours in their shift. Causing them to bring home smaller paychecks than before. If that was the affect in Seattle, many would argue that ona national level, the losses could be even more severe. Making the nationwidepoverty level increase as many people either lose their jobs, or hours on theirshift.
Although this may have been the case in Seattle, it is still believedthat a higher minimum wage would actually benefit the nation’s poverty level. Familieswho are currently living in poverty could potentially earn more money tosupport them and their family if they have one. Many people aren’t makingenough money because the cost of living is becoming higher than what they aremaking. Affording to live comfortably without struggling is continuouslygrowing and a higher minimum wage is arguably the solution to decrease the rateof poverty. An article released by The Guardian, describes how many people,including a woman named Fran Marion, aren’t benefitting at all from low wages,and are actually struggling financially. In the article, Fran explains how shehas worked two jobs and still remains very poor because low – wages aren’tenough to support her or her family’s needs.
She stated, “My family is notbenefiting. I’m working so hard to come home, and still I have to decidewhether I am going to put food on the table or am I going to pay the lightbill, or pay rent” (Marion). She continued to describe her journey intohomelessness and the fact that she could not afford any insurance like millionsof other Americans. With the help of higher wages, workers like Marion, wouldbe able to better support her family and potentially not live in poverty. Thecost of living is continuously rising; therefore, it is arguably a good idea toraise minimum wage to meet the rising cost of living. Many people living off ofminimum wage are adults with bills and others to support who ended up living inpoverty. Making the cost of living more affordable for low-income Americans,opposed to the potential loss of jobs and hours worked, make an increasingminimum wage very debatable.
Poverty levels have always been an issue in thenation, and a higher minimum wage definitely could be the deciding factor ineither decreasing it or increasing it.Tobegin, raising the minimum wage would have a dramatic impact on the economy.Many people would argue that the resulting impact on the economy from higherminimum wages would be a good thing.
There are many people who would not onlydisagree with these statement, but would say that spiked minimum wages wouldharm the economy. A Fox News article containing a study on minimum wage stated,”a proposed minimum wage hike would cost thousands of jobs and millions ofdollars in lost income” (Fox). Meaning that they believe that a boost inminimum wage would result in many jobs having to lay people off. People gettinglaid off of work would be a result from smaller businesses not being able tokeep up with higher wages to pay its employees. Due to the fact that they can’tkeep up with their salary expenses, some businesses would be forced to lay offsome of their workers, ultimately harming the economy. On the other hand, it isbelieved that an economic boost could be the result of higher minimum wages. Manycities in the process of raising their minimum wage have shown that thespending done now grows with the minimum wage, boosting the economic spendinglevels.
Jonathan Tasini, author of the article, “America needs higher wages,not lower taxes”, would argue in favor of the economy being boosted if minimumwages are first. He stated, “70%of our economy is powered by consumer spending. That fact leads to thisclear observation: If people don’t make enough money, they won’t be able to buystuff” (Tasini). In other words, with a raise in wages the economy, which isdriven by the amount people spend, people would be able to spend more causing aboost in the economy. Those opposing arguments to the effect minimum wage hason the economy is what has driven this topic to be so controversial.
The lossof jobs versus the amount of spending people could do as a result of raisingminimum wage is basically what the argument is. Despite the controversysurrounding the effect on the economy, there would also be an effect on povertylevels as well. Imagine standing over a scorchinggrill for hours, taking care of the elderly, both lifting and transportingheavy loads, basically doing back breaking work; only to be making less than $8and hour. That is the reality for millions of people in the work force who areearning minimum wage. Whether or not minimum wage should be raised has been aquestion many people have been discussing for years and has become quitecontroversial. Those opposed to increased minimumwages would argue that a minimum wage salary is already sufficient enough, orin some cases even “too high”. In spite of the opposing sides, it is almostcertain that a rise in minimum wage will either positively or negatively affectseveral aspects of the country. For one, an increase in minimum wage couldresult in an economic shift.
Furthermore, the current poverty level within thecountry, with the help of a higher minimum wage, would either decrease or as aresult. Thirdly, a change in poverty levels caused by a higher minimum wagewould ultimately change the amount of government spending and those who receiveit. Minimum wage being raised would definitely be impactful not only the peoplereceiving those minimum waged salaries, but also the economy, their families, andeven the government funding.