The issue concerning the minimum wage is a
Is the Minimum Wage High Enough?
The issue concerning the minimum wage is a
controversial issue in the contemporary society. Minimum wage refers to the
least amount of money employers can pay their employees (Berlatsky 41).
Kukathas asserts that “the federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 per
hour for the United States citizens, which is debatable as to whether it ought
to be increased or remain the same” (34). There have been dissatisfaction
concerns by majority of the workers in the U.S. This paper will look at whether
the minimum wage in the U.S. is high enough for the American citizens.
This wage would be adequate for teenagers by
working 15 hours per week, as they can have plenty for buying clothes, going
out to dinners, et cetera (Flinn 12). Teenagers have fewer bills to pay since
most of them do not have someone to look after. Nevertheless, what about for
adults who have bills and family to cater for, is this minimum high enough? For
an adult who is working at the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for forty hours
in a week, he/she will earn about $15,080 annually. This would put a two-person
household exactly on the poverty line whereas in a three-person household will
be put below the $18,287 poverty line. Therefore, working forty hours per week
at the current minimum wage job is not enough to sustain a family out of
The minimum wage is a superficial non-solution
for the intricate poverty concern in the United States (Flinn 44). Therefore,
raising the federal minimum wage would bring a minimum wage income that is
above the poverty line for American families. This would index the minimum wage
in a manner that it automatically increases for every inflation year, hence
retaining its real value as well as safeguarding full-time minimum wage from
resulting in poverty. According to Flinn, there is no state within the nation
where one can manage to pay for a two-bedroom apartment at a fair market rent
by working for 40 hours weekly at the minimum wage (Flinn 54).
Increasing the minimum wage would not work. By
increasing the minimum wage to, let us say $11, would have modest consequences
on employment. Increasing the minimum wage would increase operational costs of
businesses that employ people at the minimum wage, which would then be
compelled to cut down on their employees (Kelsey). This is because businesses
exist solely for the purpose of making profits and the sales recorded by these
businesses would not be adequate to make any profits for them. Alternatively,
they would be forced to inflate the price of their goods and services so as to
cater for the increased salaries. This inflation would make the same goods and
services unaffordable to the same workers. If workers cost more than they are
worth, businesses will not employ them.
The minimum wage of $7.25 is equivalent to two
gallons of gas, a single fast food meal, or even a simple school supply.
Working at the minimum wage at the present rate, one ought to work for one hour
so as to earn the $7.25 that is able to supply one’s daily necessities for
living in small proportions. This concern was experienced before and it was
solved with an agreement that saw the minimum wage being increased from $5.85
to the present $7.25. Even though that was a representation of a high increment
in salaries, the question remains, was it adequate enough? According to
Berlatsky, “the minimum wage ought to be increased so as to revive the U.S.
economy out of the recession period completely, bring families together, as
well as to create a nation of prosperity” (23).
The United States is majorly held together by
families, which forms a significant foundation on which the nation’s principles
were founded upon. With the present minimum wage of $7.25, 73 percent of the
working population live in poverty (Flinn 32). Most people might tend to make
an assumption that most of the minimum wage workers are either teenagers or
students who are college bound. Nevertheless, this is not true as different
studies have indicated that at least 50 percent of the minimum wage workers are
over 25 years old (Kukathas 12). This implies that they have an influence on
the performance of the nation’s economy and may decide its’ destiny. As a
result, an increase in the minimum wage would offset the economy from a
low-point and ensure that the economy prospers. According to Flinn, a typical
family that is comprised of four individuals would lead a comfortable life
today if they earn $8.45 per hour so as to cover for all the expenses. This
plain change will benefit the general population of our nation.
A higher than $7.25 minimum wage can be very
good for the performance of the U.S. economy. The higher minimum wage will
increase the disposable incomes of workers, which is greatly required to boost
demand as well as get the economy going. In addition, it would reduce turnover,
cut down the cost that low employers inflict on the taxpayers, along with
pushing businesses towards a high-road that is characterized by high
In spite of these positive advantages, and the
miserable truth that the minimum wage is worth far less today than it was in
the late 1960s, there are arguments that a higher minimum wage will result in
employers cutting their employment levels so as to manage costs, therefore
leading to unemployment. With today's unemployment rate stuck over 7 percent,
it is anticipated that the sorts of contentions that relate rise in the minimum
wage with unemployment to soar to new levels. Nonetheless, it is clear that: increasing
the minimum wage does not have the undesirable impacts that most critics claim.
A huge assortment of academic examination finds that raising the minimum wage
does not bring about employment misfortunes, actually amid periods when the
unemployment rate is high. Commentators of the minimum wage, nonetheless,
regularly clutch the case that raising the minimum wage will prompt
unemployment and at last hurt the general economy, intensifying the issue of
high unemployment. The contention that raising the minimum wage will build
unemployment is to some degree far-fetched since the minimum wage affects a
moderately little impart of the general workforce, which is itself gathered in
specific commercial enterprises, for example, restaurants and demographic gatherings,
for instance, adolescents.
The minimum wage must be raised in light of
the fact that the cost of living has gone up impressively. Education is
fundamental if one wishes to work, and the cost of education has expanded
definitely in the previous years. firms, as well as business organizations
ought to be required to pay laborers a more deserving wage for their services,
and that is more than the present minimum wage. An expansion of the minimum
wage would raise the wages of numerous workers, in addition to benefiting the
impeded laborers. Since the cost of living has soared, it has turned out to be
practically difficult to raise a family on a minimum wage work. An individual
living on his/her own particular will find it intricate to survive on the
current minimum wage work either. Their living cost would simply be excessive.
The income of minimum wage workers is pivotal to their families' prosperity.
The cost of education is a imperative thing in the contemporary world. Despite
the soaring cost of education, a decent education is key in today's reality. It
is difficult for children to better themselves if their guardians are not able
to pay for their education.
In conclusion, the controversy surrounding
minimum wage is not set to end soon. However, the real concern of a minimum
wage is that if it is very high to bite, individuals will end up not getting
employment. On the other hand, if it is low enough not to result into
significant unemployment, then it will not have any effect. There are merits as
well as disadvantages of raising the minimum wage.