Arguments Against The Minimum Wage

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The minimum wage is the lowest wage permitted by law to be paid to a working

individual. It creates a standard by which everyone is guaranteed to be paid for their work. In

America, working at the minimum wage is also a sure guarantee that you are a part of the

minority working class. The minimum wage has at different times been a common practice in

certain parts of the world for centuries, it wasn’t however until 1938 that the Fair Labor Act was

passed in America, establishing a minimum wage in the American workforce. In an effort to

lessen oppressive child labor and exploitation of workers, President Franklin Roosevelt signed

the act which set the current minimum wage to 25¢ and regulated child labor. However, between

now and
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Although it is not a bad thing, if the American government and large corporations conform to

these protestors whims they are knowingly attempting a brief and feeble fix to the larger problem

which we know is inflation.

The minimum wage is an ineffective system, and to those who must rely on it, the

minimum wage holds no dependence. According to CBS news an adult living in San Francisco

must earn at least $12.83 to even scrape by with “not much of a living”. With a federal minimum

wage of only $7.25 the majority of workers are not even earning enough to cover living costs.

They are forced to either work more than one job, or go into debt. This is where the inefficiency

of the minimum wage really becomes apparent. Economist Jared Bernstein, who works with the

Cooney 3

government in economics, states in his article from New York Times, “... that increasing
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However these studies are based mostly off past increases in minimum wage, the

inconsistency of such studies are called out by Professor of Economics John T. Harvey in an

article he wrote for Forbes Magazine, “The results of economic studies of the effect of minimum

wage laws on employment are actually very mixed. Some show that employment rises, some that

it is unaffected, and some that it falls. Furthermore, they are often statistically insignificant”.

Harvey’s point is that the governments predictions aren’t guaranteed to increase employment,

and that it’s possible that increasing the minimum wage could produce more unemployment.

Harvey is also on the side that raising the minimum isn’t the solution, he is quoted saying that

“Raising minimum wage is a band aid.” (Forbes). I couldn’t say it better, just like a band aid,

raising the minimum wage is just a quick and easy way of covering up a problem. The answer

can’t lie with increasing minimum wage, rather it is found in eliminating inflation. With products

and services becoming more and more expensive workers can’t even afford the costs of

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