The minimum wage has, since it was instituted in 1938 been a point contested by many. I believe that the minimum wage needs to be increased (Burgess ,574). There are many arguments in favor of this position. The fact that the current minimum wage barely keeps many families fed, clothed, and with a roof over their heads is very concerning. In addition, it forces many college students to take out extremely heavy school loans with no hope of paying said loans back for years to come and has only allowed American citizens to maintain basic living conditions. Finally, it is slowly causing people to spend less and less money. These are the most relevant and persisting arguments in favor of raising the minimum wage from its current federal rate of $7.25. For America to continue its economic stability and comfortable living situation, the minimum wage must be raised immediately. Many parents earning minimum wage salaries struggle to provide a stable living environment for their families.
All over America there are families barely surviving on the current minimum wage. “Raising the minimum wage… would ensure… that a family of four with a parent working full-time at the minimum wage does not have to raise its children in poverty.” (Furman and Parrot) Fear and worry are very strong and powerful emotions that are often caused by monetary issues. If minimum wage was raised part of that fear and worry would disappear and a mother or father would be able to rest easy knowing they could provide for their family. A surprising fact is that 2/3rd of people earning the minimum wage have been below the poverty line since 1959 (Sanghoee). If people have lived below the poverty line since 1959 then there must be something wrong with the standard minimum wage. Just as adults struggle living with minimum wage, college students do as well.
Today college is a much more competitive and costly pursuit. If you want to have a decent job that pays well you have to go to college. An anonymous college student said, “If the… minimum wage goes up, then I would either make $200 more a month (which I could put towards loans or, better yet, actually saving), or I could work about six or seven fewer hours a week, giving me more time to focus on my education.” College students have to spend so much money to go through college that by the time they graduate the majority of the money they make over the better part of a decade goes to paying off student loans. If minimum wages were increased college students could put their time and money towards better endeavors. Instead of coming out of college with $20,000 in loans, they would come out with several thousand dollars less in loans. Further more it would allow them to save for their children and give them a sense of financial confidence in a very demanding economy There are very simple ways that employers can afford to hire more people with a higher minimum wage. John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research gives many examples of this. One of the most promising and likely solutions that Schmitt gives is cutting wages for higher paid workers. One survey found that half of employers faced with a minimum-wage hike “would delay or limit pay raises/bonuses for more experienced employees.” (Schmitt). This simple thing would allow for more people to have better paying jobs. Raising the minimum wage does increase the likelihood of employers hiring less people to do more work. The minimum wage provides for a means of living for even many people who are considered lower-middle class.
For many families the minimum wage is the only thing keeping them from being homeless. “The minimum wage has helped to maintain a basic standard of living for our lowest-income working.” (Kai Filion)