(photo courtesy of google.com)
by AALIYAH DUNCAN ’19
“Proponents of a higher minimum wage state that the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is too low for anyone to live on; that a higher minimum wage will help create jobs and grow the economy; that the declining value of the minimum wage is one of the primary causes of wage inequality between low- and middle-income workers; and that a majority of Americans, including a slim majority of self-described conservatives, support increasing the minimum wage.” This quote was pulled from the editors of the procon.org webpage, a site that frequently discusses controversial topics.
Many working class Americans strongly disagree with the current minimum wage laws, more commonly with how low the federal minimum actually is.
At the moment, the lowest wage a business can legally pay an employee is $7.25 an hour.
Even if an employee was to work at least forty hours a week, his monthly pay would only be $1,160, which equals an annual salary of roughly $13,900. People who have children, for example, or are enrolled in college, find that this annual wage is not nearly enough to cover the costs of daily life. Overall, many would concur that feelings toward the current minimum wage laws our country has set in place are mostly negative, with some exceptions.
It is extremely difficult to survive in this economy making such a meager salary. Those in poverty, which is roughly forty-three million Americans, already have severe complications with providing for their families, and can usually only find jobs that pay minimum wage which does not suffice for an annual income. Minimum wage reveals the clear line between the poor and middle-class, a clear indication of the inequality issue in our country.
Another issue related to minimum wage is how our current president, Donald Trump, feels about the issue. When asked what he thinks about raising the federal minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour, he simply believes that those types of decisions should be left for the individual states to deal with. The problem with that is if minimum wage is raised or lowered at the choosing of the states, this could greatly affect the poverty levels in the country. States such as Georgia would legally be able to pay employees as low as $4.25 an hour.
Americans who believe that minimum wage is a reasonable hourly rate, mainly agree because most teenagers work minimum wage jobs. $7.25 an hour is decent enough for someone with no bills, children, or other major responsibilities. When considering these factors in an adult’s life, they would generally agree that minimum wage is not acceptable.
The overall solution to the minimum wage issue in our country is trying to be disputed through a number of suggestions from American citizens. Raising the federal wage to at least $11.00 an hour seems like a change that could be beneficial to our country as a whole, but may lead to excessive tax issues in the near future.
Raising the minimum wage would solve many issues including lowering poverty rates, creating more jobs, helping the inequality issue in our country, and improving the economy overall. While the discussion of tax increases and how raising minimum wage would affect the wealthy such as business owners, our government needs to find for a resolution that will benefit all and not some.