Raising the minimum wage isn’t as nice as it sounds

Raising the minimum wage isn’t as nice as it sounds

Raising the minimum wage isn’t as nice as it sounds
November 03
02:51 2017

The minimum wage was created to prevent unfair wages for workers, not to be a living wage. There has been a great deal of debate in doubling the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, however, doubling the minimum wage would hurt the people it’s designed to help the most. With the rise of the minimum wage, comes the rise of goods and services. As a result, inflation has continued to increase at levels parallel to the minimum wage.

If each worker was paid based on their individual value to the employer, the value of a dollar would go further and more people could earn living wages. The minimum wage is not supposed to be a living wage, it’s the minimum one legally can be paid. Adults working at the minimum wage must rely on government welfare to survive, which is exactly what the government wants. The more people depend on the government, the more powerful the government becomes.

The Democratic Party put the minimum wage of $15 in their 2016 campaign platform. However, the Heritage Foundation found that “businesses would respond to these higher labor costs by reducing employment of affected workers by over one-sixth, thus eliminating approximately seven million full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 2021. Forcing employers to pay starting wages of $15 per hour would make many less skilled workers unemployable.”

At $15 an hour, a full-time employee must create at least $38,700 a year in value to meet their worth to an employer. This incredibly high bar would make it much more difficult for less experienced and less skilled workers to find full time jobs. Increasing the minimum wage will lead to manufacturers to overseas, as they have done in California after their wage hikes.

Princeton economist Alan Krueger, the former Chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, explained that “the push for a nationwide $15 minimum wage strikes me as a risk not worth taking, especially because other tools, such as the earned-income tax credit, can be used in combination with a higher minimum wage to improve the livelihoods of low-wage workers.” I find it agreeable in that low-wage workers deserve less taxes and that the $15 minimum wage is a great risk.

Setting the wage at a certain number makes it much more difficult for workers to earn more pay as the business owners must budget for minimum wage increases. The minimum wage is not supposed to be a living wage, but a minimum-skill-pay-wage. Doubling the minimum wage would also swallow those that have earned a higher wage into minimum pay.

It’s easy to say that everyone deserves to make a living wage, because we certainly do. There is great economic disparity in America today and there should be no reason why the richest and most powerful country in the world has so many people in poverty and struggling to find jobs. However, when the government steps in and mandates wages, it creates the very same problems it was meant to fix, as can be said for most of the things the government tries to fix.

Featured illustration by Max Raign

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Garron Weeks

Garron Weeks

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