3.1 essay

Topics: Minimum wage, Wage, United States Pages: 6 (1647 words) Published: September 25, 2014
RHE 306
August 7, 2014
Raising the Minimum Wage Means Raising Prosperity
During his state of the union address, President Obama made a call for a fair minimum wage of $10.10 an hour that would improve the lives of millions of Americans. One of those lives is Trion from Atlanta; Trion is a single mother that has a 5-year-old daughter with asthma. Trion’s minimum wage job is often spent on rent and other necessities, leaving little money to save for her daughter’s medicines. She shares her concern about the possibility of her daughter having an asthma attack that could end up in the emergency room (Harris). Raising the minimum wage will help people like Trion. In addition, the raise of the minimum wage could help the economy by producing more jobs, close the gap of gender wage inequality, as well as creating a better standard of living to Americans. Although many opponents argue that it does not help the people that need it the most, the raise of minimum wage has several benefits that cannot be overlooked; thus the United States should raise the minimum wage nationally to $10.10 an hour.

People that disagree with President Obama express their disagreement by stating that raising the minimum wage does not help the targeted people he mentions in his speech. The opposing side notes that there is proof that an increase in minimum wage does not directly benefit the most in need. However, supporters state that it still benefits a large number of Americans. One of the arguments that the opposing side likes to argue is the assumption that the majority of the minimum wage workers are not the head of households and contribute to a small share of the family's income (Neumark). The implication of this is that many low-wage workers that would benefit from an increase are teenagers. However, in reality 88% of those low wageworkers are over 20, making this assumption false since teenagers make a relatively small percentage in the total minimum wage workers. Another misleading point is that minimum wage wouldn’t make an impact to the poor because “about half of poor families have no workers, in which case a higher minimum wage does no good” (Neumark). However this argument is more complex than that. By increasing the minimum wage, the working poor would make extra money to spend and invest, making the economy flourish. In addition, this influx of money would create more job opportunities therefore resolving the problem of half the poor not having jobs (Shumlin). Finally, both arguments that are presented as reasons against an increase in minimum wage that can easily be discredited because the data is either misleading by looking at the family’s income instead of the individual or create a barrier by ignoring the fact that raising the minimum wage would create more jobs in the long run.

As stated previously, one of the main benefits of raising the minimum wage is that it helps the economy by creating more jobs. One common misbelief about raising the minimum wage is that it leads to higher unemployment rates. What critics like to ignore is that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour nationally provides 28 million Americans with more money to spend and to invest (Shumlin). This new influx of money builds a greater demand of goods creating more job opportunities to those that don’t have one. Furthermore, a study from Gap Inc. shows that an increase in minimum wage also causes work productivity to increase because of the new incentives that are given to the employees. Governors Peter Shumlin and Dan Malloy “conclude that raising the minimum wage makes workers more productive and therefore helps businesses retain profitability”(Shumlin). This new productivity helps small businesses by not only giving them more revenue but also by reducing turnover rates as well. The hiring and training of new personnel can be expensive to small business. By raising the minimum wage, employees from small businesses are most likely to stay with...


Cited: Boesler, Matthew. "Here 's How America 's Minimum Wage Stacks Up Against Countries Like India, Russia, Greece, And France." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 12 Aug. 2014.
Harris, Seth. "Back on the Road: Living With the Minimum Wage." Work in Progress Back on the Road Living With the Minimum Wage Comments. N.p., 14 Mar. 13. Web. 07 Aug. 2014.
Meyerson, Harold “A Higher Minimum Wage Might Boost Job Creation” The Washington Post. N.p., May 21, 2014.
Neumark, David. "Who Really Gets the Minimum Wage." The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 6 July 2014. Web. 05 Aug. 2014.
"Remarks by the President on Raising the Minimum Wage." The White House. The White House, n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2014.
Shumlin, Peter, and Dan Malloy. "No Brainer: Three Reasons Why a $10.10 Minimum Wage Is Good for America." Www.cnn.com. N.p., 5 Mar. 2014. Web. 5 Aug. 2014.
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