Raising the Minimum Wage

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Philosophy

Document 1

Therefore, the issue of minimum wage sparks debates on the most appropriate amount to satisfy both sides of the economy. The proponents of an increase in minimum wage argue that the wage has not been up-to-date with inflation and that many minimum wage employees are impoverished. Opponents claim that increasing the minimum wage will burden employers, causing a decreased growth of the economy and increased unemployment. Raising the minimum wage would not only lift people out of poverty, but it would also lift the spirits of these people by rewarding them fairly, hence, strengthening businesses and the economy at large. One of the main reasons why the minimum wage should be raised is the increased cost of living caused by inflation.

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A study done by Gallup in 2013 to measure the minimum wages and economic well-being of people in 24 countries around the world concluded that regardless of the size and economic situation of a nation, an increase in the minimum wage results in better living standards for people in that nation (Sawhill & Karpilow, 2014). From this study, it is logical to deduce that a higher minimum wage benefits many people in a country. It puts more money in people’s pockets which they will put back into the economy by buying goods and service in their communities. Therefore, raising the minimum wage benefits individuals as well as businesses, improving the economic well-being of a nation. Raising the minimum wage would also help in reducing the race-and-gender income inequality.

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When the minimum wage is increased, more money goes into the pockets of those people at the bottom level of the income distribution. When these people have adequate earnings to take care of their needs, there will be a minimal necessity for the government to invest in social programs aimed at improving the living standards of the people. When the government spends less on such social programs, it can divert the funds to finance the development of other social amenities and infrastructure such as roads and health facilities. The development of such amenities improves the living standards of people and enhances the economic well-being of a nation. Furthermore, when the government reduces expenditure on such social amenities aimed at the poor, it might result in slightly lower taxes for other Americans.

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Also, increasing raising the minimum wage would give these companies a reason to use automated machinery, technology, and processes to increase productivity rather than human resources. This would further work to reduce the number of people employed. For this reason, opponents of raising the minimum wage maintain that a lower minimum wage is better the economy. Another argument against raising the minimum wage is that it would increase the high school dropout rate. Those of this opinion argue that a higher minimum wage would attract students from school into the job market. From the arguments presented by both sides, the argument for raising the minimum wage is more compelling. The minimum wage should be raised. A higher minimum wage would strengthen the economy, improving the living standards of many and lift many Americans from poverty.

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