The Pros And Cons Of Raising The Minimum Wage

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Since 2009, the minimum wage has been sitting at a rate of $7.25 per hour. Though many congressional members who oppose the idea of raising the wage because of the economy being too weak, more than 21 states have already set a higher hourly minimum wage. And along with it, thousands of low-wage laborers have organized multiple protests and rallies chanting for higher pay; the pressure is piling up against Congress to change the federal minimum wage to a livable rate of at least $10.10 an hour. The political debate on whether or not to raise the rate has been jumping back and forth from Democrats to Republicans and from corporations to small business owners. Large business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who promotes the welfare …show more content…
But the debate has been never ending if a higher minimum wage would cause job losses or make it harder for less qualified people to get a job. A majority of economists agree that there is a considerable amount of variables that affect the workplace, but like anything else, companies must decide how to control the impact of a higher minimum wage. From a nationwide experiment conducted by the University of Massachusetts between fast food chains with different minimum wages a conclusion was come to that “for the kinds of minimum wage increases that we have seen in the U.S. in the last 20 years, there is not much evidence of any measurable job loss,” concluded Arin Dube, an economist of the university. Dube also explained two possible solutions; “employees may stay on the job longer, reducing employers’ turnover costs….employers could also be passing on some of the increased labor costs to customers by raising prices…and if customers continue to buy…what they were buying before, then there is less impetus to cut employee hours or the number of jobs” (Dube qtd. by Mantel 78). Though with minimal job loss reported, the majority of jobs that were terminated were held by teenagers, which consume over half of the part-time jobs earning minimum wage, according to the United States Bureau of Labor …show more content…
According to the United States Census, 15% of the almost 47 million Americans live in poverty today. This means at least three out of every 20 people are considered to fall below the poverty line. Adversaries about raising the minimum wage say it will help an excessively large number of low-wage laborers sitting in middle-class households and employed in part time positions. Supporters argue that a large percentage of those individuals and their families would be considered poor if it weren 't to the governments critically low poverty thresholds. If the minimum wage were to be raised, one problem would still not be addressed. The problem of the class of Americans that are still unemployed. David Cooper, an economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, feels that “if you really want to address poverty, you have to help a lot of people who aren 't working right now, and increasing the minimum wage is not going to do that” (Cooper qtd. by Mantel 79). Although the situation of unemployment would not be addressed immediately, Dube’s research did prove that over a period of time after some adjustments of raising the minimum wage, the amount of available jobs started to increase. Another factor that is driving poverty rates up is not the fact that workers’ wages are too low, it is because they aren’t receiving or given the opportunity to get more enough

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