Minimum wages and class inequalities

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Religion

Document 1

At present, the minimum wage still stands at $7. 25 per hour and for all intense and purpose, Congress is not willing to approve any increase to the current wage issue. The truth is that, raising a minimum wage results in an improved socioeconomic status of Americans as everybody gets a good chance to make positive and influential decisions about life. Richard Reich, stated in his writing “The Rise of the Working Poor” that, failing to raise minimum wages to account for inflation means keeping low-income workers impoverished. The statement indicates that maintaining the minimum wage at a rate that allows only a specific socio-economic class to make greater life decisions like education and acquisition of basics widens the poverty gap and results in two classes that cannot make the same economic decisions.

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The wages make families live paycheck to paycheck with no savings to fall back on in case of an emergency and sometimes having to choose where to allocated biweekly pay-check income. Head of households are put under great pressure and continued stress. Most of these families depend heavily on government-funded programs such as public daycares, public schools, food stamp programs just name a few. Both parents are given little choices; they both must join the workforce. As increased minimum wage will lead to job growth, at least every American will be able to secure employment, boost up their spending and reduce overreliance. Thus, increasing the wage means that families will have enough money to spend on education, which will later have positive health effects on family members as communities will grow empowered.

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Educating children means empowering them for a better life. Sara Goldrick-Rab further examines the economic challenges faced by college students as a result of limited financial resources. In this case, the financial aid systems applied in the United States colleges contain adverse effects that threaten the ability of students with limited resources to attain a better education. Goldrick-Rab asserts that the college bill added up to the students' limits their ability to attain a meaningful degree for a guaranteed better life (Goldrick-Rab 744). On the other hand, keeping wages higher, middle and low-income earning families are able to meet their needs and support their children properly at school, allowing such students to complete their education. Students who complete their education with limited psychological issues end up securing better jobs, make reasonable decisions and get financially stable, thus curbing class inequality.

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Raising the minimum wage further results in decreased government spending on programs meant to benefit middle and low classes in society as every community or family will be able to make sound financial decisions. According to Reich, a study by Omhum confirmed that more middle-class families depend on government-funded programs for their sustenance. A family of four that makes $15,808. As Reich mentions “CEOs seeking profits in a lackluster economy have continued to slash labor costs, often by outsourcing the work, substituting automated machines, or forcing workers to accept lower wages” (Reich 751). This increasingly makes the rich in such firms to accumulate more as the poor continue living an impoverished life, hence increased class inequality. Therefore, having a positive discussion about minimum wage helps to sensitize the poor by making companies change their policies for the betterment of the poor, thus curbing the gap between the poor and the rich.

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