What do you think about the minimum wage being raised to $15? There are strong opinions on both sides of this argument. What do you as a Patriot believe about the minimum wage?
Why do we have a minimum wage in the first place? The minimum wage was conceived as a way to help bolster wageworkers and decrease class stratification. It was first introduced in the United States with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). Passed under President Roosevelt, this act called for the first national minimum wage of 25 cents an hour.
The Pros for $15 Minimum Wage
People who are for the minimum wage being raised to at least $15 per hour list the following reasons:
Raising the minimum wage would increase economic activity and spur job growth. The Economic Policy Institute states that a minimum wage increase from the current rate of $7.25/hour to even $10.10 would inject $22.1 billion net into the economy and create about 85,000 new jobs over a three-year phase-in period.
Increasing the minimum wage would reduce poverty. A person working full time at the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour earns $15,080 in a year which is barely above the 2015 federal poverty level of $12,331 for a one-person household under 65 years of age, but 8% below the 2015 federal poverty level of $16,337 for a single-parent family with a child under 18 years of age. Just raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would lift 900,000 people out of poverty.
A higher minimum wage would reduce government welfare spending. If low-income workers earned more money, their dependence on, and eligibility for, government benefits would decrease. If the minimum wage were increased to $10.10, more than 1.7 million Americans would no longer be dependent on government assistance programs.
The minimum wage has not kept up with inflation. In fact, since 2015, the minimum wage has lost 8.1% purchasing power to inflation.
The Cons for $15 Minimum Wage
People who are against raising the minimum wage up from $7.25 per hour to at least $15 per hour list the following reasons:
Raising the minimum wage would force businesses to lay off employees and raise unemployment levels. The Congressional Budget Office projected that a minimum wage increase to $10.10 would result in a loss of 500,000 jobs. If the minimum wage were raised, 38% of businesses surveyed said they would have to have layoffs.
Raising the minimum wage would increase poverty. If the minimum wage increases, many employees will see their hours decrease or their jobs discontinued altogether. This will in turn increase poverty.
Minimum wage increases would hurt businesses and force businesses to close altogether.
Raising the minimum wage would increase the cost of consumer goods. The cost of wages would be passed on to consumers.
Teenagers and young adults may be shut out of the workforce if the minimum wage is increased. Higher wage jobs will go to people with more experience and more education.
If the minimum wage is increased companies may speed up their production by using more robots and automation and eliminate or greatly reduce the need for employees.
The free market should determine wages. Small Business Network found 82% of small businesses surveyed agreed the government should not be setting wage rates.
Whatever side of this issue you fall on, people are joining in marches and protests all over the country on any given day to express their views. The Fight for $15 is an organized national group making headway. Keep an eye on the news and keep up to date right here at Patriot Planet!
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