Minimum Wage

Topics: Minimum wage, Basic income, Fair Labor Standards Act Pages: 5 (1906 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Minimum wage is defined as the lowest possible income that an employer can legally pay an employee. This ensures that all people are fairly paid and not defrauded by companies or businesses. Minimum wage is now a staple in 90 percent of countries in the world (Minimum). Even with these minimums, a person’s lifestyle is hard to maintain. Sustainability, in my opinion, is the ability to keep or maintain a certain amount of physical or mental property. In this light of sustainability, minimum wage is not a sustainable amount of money in which to survive with a basic quality of life. There are many supporters and objectors to the minimum wage debate. Supporters say that increasing minimum wage increases the workers earning power and wages. Objectors say that increasing minimum wage only leads to unemployment due to small companies’ inability to pay workers. Also the increased inflation rate of goods only hurts the economy, which leads to many jobs being lost, mainly the jobs held by minimum wage patrons. Although this is a heated debate there is one thing to which both sides agree; something needs to be implemented so that workers are not exploited by businesses. Economists are exploring the viability of minimum wage, the standard minimum wage payments, and if there is anything we can do to keep the world on an equal playing field.

There are many thoughts and opinions on minimum wage. Minimum wage was put into practice to keep businesses from taking advantage of the “small people.” Most of the workforce making minimum wage is “young adults” because companies feel that they can take advantage of them. The main reason that businesses exploit these workers is because many of these people have not entered or finished college. Of the total affected workers, 81% are adults. Of these 81% adults, 63% are women and 37% are men. This shows that companies still have gender discrimination in the workplace. Companies are not only paying people ridiculously small amounts of money but are also exploiting women of America. Businesses are taking advantage of all human kind in the long run. Montgomery states that, “From the business perspective, wages come in as one of the most expensive running costs, and have to be paid whether you are taking money that day or not. However, if there were no minimum wage, there is no doubt that many unscrupulous businesses would exploit staff wherever they could” (Inflation). Of these adult workers over half, 53%, work full time and another third, 31%, work between 20 and 36 hours per week. This statistic shows that 84% of adults on minimum wage work at least 20 hours a week. Bryan says that when minimum wage increases, it is a huge benefit because this usually adds a 10% increase to a final salary. This will directly affect millions of people in our workforce. He says that the increase might make the minimum wage now a “living wage.” Living wage is defined as a real wage that is high enough for the worker and family to survive and remain healthy and comfortable, this is sometimes called meeting basic needs (Investor). This would be a massive improvement in Americans’ wages because so many people are living in poverty. The one problem with the living wage debate is that living wage is not classified as minimum wage, so when minimum wage raises, this will not affect he living wage standards.

There are many supporters and antagonists to the minimum wage debate. Supporters say that minimum wage increases the standard of living for the poorest of people. This is a true statement, but the opposition says that this only drives up the standard of living and inflation rate in the world. Inflation is defined as the overall general upward price movement of goods and services in an economy, usually as measured by the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Index. Over time, as the cost of goods and services increase, the value of a dollar is going to fall because a person will not be able to purchase as much with that...

Cited: Allen, Jodie T. Negative Income Tax. Library of Economics and Liberty. 01 Nov. 2011.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: on (not) Getting by in America. New York: Metropolitan, 2001. Print.
"Inflation" Investment and Financial Dictionary by Web. 01 Nov. 2011. .
Montgomery, Sandy. "Inflation Hits Low-Paid Staff." LexisNexis. Web. 01 Nov. 2011.
Morgan, Spurlock. "30 Days." 30 Days. FX. FX Networks, 15 June 2005. Television.
The U.S. Department of Labor. Web. 01 Nov. 2011. .
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