Minimum Wage Debate Analysis

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Over the past few years, the federal minimum wage has been the subject of much political and social debate. The federal minimum wage was passed in 1938 to provide a standard of living and fair wages to low-skilled workers. Throughout its history, the federal minimum wage has been adjusted periodically to maintain its real value, which is continually lost due to inflation. Republicans oppose an increase in the minimum wage because they believe it will increase unemployment and harm our economy. On the other hand, Democrats support the raise by citing evidence from past minimum wage increases, in which there was little to no effect on unemployment rates. In addition to this argument, the two parties debate how much a minimum wage increase will …show more content…
The common belief is that low-income families must have minimum wage workers in order to live in poverty, but recent research has actually proven this to be false. David Neumark provides that “57% of poor families with heads of households ages 18-64 have no workers” (2). This means a majority of these families are in poverty because of unemployment, not the minimum wage. A study revealed that many minimum wage workers are in poverty because they are unable to find full-time work. Also, economists have determined that the proportion of benefits from a minimum wage increase heavily favors non-poor families and have proposed alternative methods to bring greater benefits to those in …show more content…
The Republicans surveyed stated that they would support an increase if it lowered spending on government assistance programs (Levy n.p.). With the upcoming presidential election, more and more emphasis has been put on the presidential candidates’ opinions on the minimum wage in our country. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has supported an increase to $12 an hour by the year 2020, while other Democrats, such as Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, support $15 an hour. Republican candidates Jeb Bush and Scott Walker both believe that the minimum wage should be set by the states because of the wide variety of living costs across the country (New York Times n.p.). The Democrats argue that this is an ineffective way to regulate minimum wage because numerous states are still at the federal mandated $7.25 an hour, despite having living costs far beyond this wage floor. Both Donald Trump and Marco Rubio have taken stances based on the effect a minimum wage increase will have on businesses. Trump believes that raising the minimum wage will make it harder for American businesses to compete with cheap foreign labor. Rubio expresses concern with making workers more expensive than machines that can do the same job. As presidential hopefuls voice their wide variety of opinions on the minimum wage law, it is important that we

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