Minimum wage is more crucial than you think.


Collin Turner, Reporter

Minimum wage was first introduced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the heat of the Great Depression during 1938. It initially stood at $0.25 an hour. As the years progressed, Congress made a number of increases to the wages until they reached the familiar $7.25 that we know today; however, many are struggling to survive due to how insufficient the wage is for successful living.

The federal minimum wage needs to be raised to guarantee that people can be able to sustain themselves.

The minimum is just too low to live on. Whether it is working a part-time or even full-time job every day, $7.25 cannot always leave a person with much money in their pockets after huge payments such as rent. According to Arindrajit Dube, raising the minimum wage would help with reducing poverty. With people earning more, payments could be paid off and leave significantly more amounts of money for spending. The wealth of those in poverty would quickly grow, allowing them to buy better things to better themselves.

With the minimum wage being increased, the number of jobs available would also grow with it. According to Hilary Clinton, the increase of jobs due to an increase in the minimum wage is highly expected and there should not be any unintended consequences because of it. Not only are the creation of jobs inevitable, but they are also very vital to ensuring a person’s sustainability. In a quote from Bernie Sanders, also from ProCon, he states that the purpose of a job is to lift people out of poverty, and it can never be achieved with a starvation wage of $7.25 an hour. The minimum wage has to be raised to become a living wage, a wage that people can truly live off on.

As people become more sustainable with an increased minimum wage, the economy will accommodate the increases in productivity by reflecting growth. According to Melissa S. Kearney, PhD, and Benjamin Harris, PhD, of the Brookings Institution, raising the minimum wage will not only help people working minimum wage jobs, but also the people who make slightly more than the minimum itself. Increasing the minimum wage of $7.25 will create a ripple effect, causing increases in other jobs as well to correctly skew them. This will cause a number of things. With the increase to wages as a whole, this would significantly increase the nation’s productivity, resulting in economic growth. The creation of jobs will be the cherry on top, pushing these results further.

Opponents to the raising of minimum wages claim that it would only lead to more poverty. According to David Cooper, businesses would become overwhelmed and forced to lay off workers, which in turn would lead to high unemployment rates. While that is a plausible claim, it has not been proven by any high increases to the minimum wage. Without having a chance to prove if the nation would truly benefit from a high minimum wage such as $15 an hour, there is no way to know the effects it would have on unemployment and poverty.

To compromise, there should be a test in a certain area of the nation where poverty and unemployment are common. In that area, the minimum wage should be raised for all jobs. Over time, data would be taken to see if an increase in minimum would truly be beneficial. This will also prevent a mass scale of poverty or unemployment that opponents fear will happen due to only a small area being affected.

The minimum wage needs to be changed. People need to be living on their income, not barely surviving. If there is to be no more poverty and unemployment, then there needs to be a major change in the minimum that people are able to make. It doesn’t make sense to be paid the minimum and not be able to afford the bare minimum. Many minimum wage workers today are rallying together to protest for change. The numbers are constantly growing each day, and we need to expose this great flaw still plaguing the citizens of America. Help raise the minimum wage today!