Top-Rated Free Essay

Controversy On Minimum Wage

Good Essays
Heather Surface
Writing Seminar
Lex Brown
10/13/2013
Controversy on Minimum Wage A minimum wage is an hourly wage rate that is set by law. The minimum wage was introduced during Roosevelt’s presidency in 1938. This was the time of The Great Depression where unemployment was at 19%. Today it is around 9%. As early as 2010 the minimum wage in the United States was $7.25 per hour. Now, only 3 years later, it is up to $7.85. Some feel as if minimum wage should be raised to decrease the amount of poverty in America whereas in reality, a higher minimum wage would only hinder low class Americans. Higher minimum wage would actually prove detrimental to the poor, the lower class will still fall below the poverty line, and raising the minimum wage will not target the desired demographic. Contrary to popular belief a higher minimum wage would harm the poor. Researcher David Henderson explains that a higher minimum raise would force employers to be more particular when hiring employers. Many teenagers and young adults would be passed up for an employee who is older and can provide for better hours. The amount of people an employer is going to hire will decrease because of the amount they have to pay each employee. This is cutting people out of jobs. A job at $7.85 is better than no job at $9 an hour (Henderson). Holly Skylar, author and researcher disagrees. Skylar believes that in order to pump prime the economy more money needs to be put into the economy. Regardless of how much a minimum wage worker makes, they are still a worker, and workers are consumers. If workers are making money, they are spending it, which then in turn, cycles its way back into American businesses (Skylar). Regardless of the amount of money being made per hour, if an American worker doesn’t have a job, money will not be spent. Minimum wage is not meant for the four person family. The cost of everyday living for those with a family of four is too expensive with only a minimum wage job. Senior Jason Furman, a senior at Brookings Institute, presents facts that are clean-cut when it comes to the living cost with a minimum wage job. Even with the $7.85 minimum wage a family of four still falls $1,335 below the poverty line. In addition a family with a full-time minimum wage job who is receiving government aid and food stamps would still not be lifted above the poverty line with a minimum wage increase (Furman). Skylar agrees that the cost of living is just too much for some families today. The top 1% control 39% of the wealth in America. Even a family with two steady paychecks struggle to afford a home, college, healthcare and retirement once normal for middle-class households with one paycheck. American’s are having trouble affording necessities and the cost of living in America today is not helping (Skylar). No matter what the minimum wage is, poverty will still be a problem in America. The raising of the minimum wage will target the wrong demographic in America. The raising of minimum wage will most directly affect teenagers and middle aged workers. This demographic is mostly related with minimum wage jobs because they have a small resume which then requires them to work low skilled jobs. Raising the minimum wage just %15 will put up to 590,000 teenagers out of work (Henderson). James Sherk who is in labor policy for the Heritage Foundation adds that most minimum wage workers are of the ages 16-24. Of the minimum wage workers three fifths of them work part time. A mere one of every five minimum wage workers live below the poverty line. Three fifths of those living below the poverty line work at all (Sherk). The following shows that a minimum wage raise would not target enough of those living under the poverty line, which in turn would not affect poverty. The problem of poverty in America goes much deeper than just the minimum wage. A lot more goes into poverty than just the amount the average American gets for their hourly wage. Ultimately, a raise in minimum wage would not be affective because it harms the poor, costs too much to live, and is targeting the wrong demographic. Poverty will always exist in America. If reducing the amount of Americans below the poverty line is what is being sought, there needs to be a lot more effort put in elsewhere than just the minimum wage.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Minimum Wage Controversy

    • 876 Words
    • 4 Pages

    the minimum wage controversy has been a topic of debate to whether it produces positive or negative effects on society. To begin with, the need for a country to have a minimum wage law was stressed by the international labour organization in 1928. Twenty years later, Australia and New Zealand passed the act and we have been using the term “minimum wage law” ever since. At this point more than 90% of all countries have some kind of minimum wage legislation. Supporters of the minimum wage say that…

    • 876 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    raising minimum wage; in fact, people feel ambivalent about it. Over the years minimum wage has not been mercurial; indeed, it has always been low, making people under the poverty line struggle by not being able to provide the essential necessities for themselves. Raising minimum wage would help quell people living at the poverty level. I believe raising minimum wage would help people at the poverty level become more resilient at the fact that their pay would increase. Hopefully raising minimum wage…

    • 129 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Minimum Wage

    • 601 Words
    • 3 Pages

    recommended raising the minimum wage to benefit workers who cannot support themselves and their families with their current salaries. The articles, Why We Need to Raise the Minimum Wage and Why We Shouldn’t Raise the Minimum Wage tell us that there were some controversies in raising the minimum wage. As an economics major, I believe it is a bad idea to raise the minimum wage because it creates more unemployment, and it will reduce entry-level jobs. Since increasing minimum wage is not the solution to…

    • 601 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Minimum Wage

    • 1523 Words
    • 7 Pages

    be true that wage rate contribute to unemployment but this essay will discuss wage rate and explain how it could contribute to unemployment if it is below full employment. Thus it will define and discuss minimum wage as it is set above the equilibrium because above the equilibrium it is believed that it leads to unemployment. In explaining the minimum wage this essay will use a graph to illustrate impact of an imposed of a minimum wage. The advantages and disadvantages of minimum wage will be also…

    • 1523 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Minimum Wages

    • 2234 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Minimum wages A minimum wage is the minimum amount of compensation an employee must receive for performing labour. In economic term, minimum wages is the price floor of the pay of the labour that set by the government. The minimum wages rate normally was fixed by legal authority as such, it is illegal to pay an employee less than the minimum wage. Our economic transformation goal is to make Malaysia a high-income nation by 2020, with a per capita income of US$15,000 a year, however there are still…

    • 2234 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Minimum Wage

    • 1808 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The Minimum Wage: Who does it really affect? A very controversial question that often comes up is whether or not we should increase, decrease, or eliminate the minimum wage. The Last time we saw a change in the federal minimum wage was July, 24 2009. It was set to $7.25 and we haven’t seen a change since. “The average cost-of-living increase over the past decade is about 26 percent. This means that an item purchased ten years ago would have cost about 26 percent less than it costs to purchase that…

    • 1808 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Minimum Wage

    • 2249 Words
    • 9 Pages

    The Minimum-Wage Controversy The minimum wage sets a minimum on what employers are allowed to pay workers. In the United States, the federal minimum wage began in 1938 when the government required that covered workers in covered industries be paid at least 25 cents an hour. At that time, the minimum wage was about 40 percent of the average manufacturing wage. The minimum wage was raised occasionally, and by 1996 it had reached $4.25 per hour, which was only 33 percent of the average manufacturing…

    • 2249 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Minimum Wage

    • 1384 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Tyler Spence Carriveau English 1301 November 5, 2013 Argument Rough Draft Do minimum wage workers deserve a better paying wage? Perhaps a wage that they are believed to be able to live off of? Will raising the minimum wage help those it really intends to? With unemployment pushing 8% nationwide and costs rising, nationwide people are pushing for minimum wage to be increased. The minimum wage was established by Franklin Roosevelt as part of the New Deal in the 1930’s. The Fair Labor Standards…

    • 1384 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Minimum Wage

    • 1748 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Organization, Minimum wage defines as the lowest basic wage guaranteed by the law as an attempt to put a floor under the wages of a particular subgroup of working population. The progress of minimum wages policy was started after the National Wages Consultative Council Act gazette on 15 September 2011. This provision replaced the Salary Determination Council Act 1974 which is seen not effective to protect the workers welfare in general. The provision aimed to determine and standardize the wage structure…

    • 1748 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Minimum Wage

    • 1297 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Analysis on Minimum Wage in Indonesia “Comprehensive Negative Impacts Analysis of Minimum Wage for DKI Jakarta” [pic] Andhika Putra Sudarman 1106055822 Fakultas Hukum Universitas Indonesia Depok “If the Minimum Wage of DKI Jakarta is set to Rp10.000.000,00, will everybody prosper?” Laborers in DKI Jakarta demonstrating for an increase of minimum wage[[1]][[2]] is not a rare thing to see. The reason is because they can no longer meet their needs with their current wage. However, minimum wage has been…

    • 1297 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays