Should the minimum wage rise or stay?

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The main problem of raising the minimum wage is the inflation. Why not simply freeze prices where they are, right? It wouldn’t be possible since in a capitalistic market, prices are continuously going up, down, and or remain stagnant to create a greater demand for certain goods. If people have a few more dollars to spend, that would contribute to spending on a consumer. It would be inevitable for there to be an increase in products, because the business also has to pay more for labor and maximize its profits by firing employees as well, if they need to. The minimum wage should rise a dollar per year till it reaches $15 as minimum wage to also match the inflation rate of the dollar since last time the wage rose. Yes, an inflation in the economy would occur, but if implemented effectively, it can help a lot of people regain their lives, be proud of working, and ultimately be healthier.

In the article from CNN, “Here’s what hourly workers and small business owners think of a $15 minimum wage”, Alaa Elassar interviewed small business owners and hourly minimum wage workers on their take of this issue. Bettie Douglas is a 53-year-old cashier at “Which Wich Superior Sandwiches” in St. Louis, Missouri. Making $10 per hour, she states how she doesn’t want a handout from the government but instead a livable wage to be set. She says she lives paycheck to paycheck and experiences difficulties in her household as items are breaking such as her heater and she can’t afford a technician to fix it because of her salary. Chuck Van Fleet owns a restaurant named “Vino Grille & Spirits” in Fresno, California. Chuck is against raising the minimum wage since it would cause an inflation and would cripple businesses. One interesting thing about Fred is that he believes that people should understand that some jobs aren’t meant to provide a living wage. This is an example of a business owner that acknowledges that some jobs are temporary and since the work is minimal, they don’t see why a higher wage should be implemented since it would affect the owner’s personal income. Also, it can be counterargued to Chuck that if a certain type of employment isn’t permanent, it should be helping the employee “get back on their feet”.

Within raising the minimum wage, there are many factors that come with it. Since not every business can afford to have higher labor cost and by implementing higher labor cost, it could drive a business to lower profits, which can result with an employee losing future paychecks due to termination, because said establishment can’t reach its needed levels of profit to be able to keep that person employed. The main reason people argue against raising the minimum wage is because inflation, and the claim that business will go under and end up in bankruptcy if so happens. But is it true? Small business can experience big disruptions by this act which could make a business either have to fire employs in order to remain open or have to change its foundations which could affect the good for the consumer. The main reason it is argued for a minimal wage is so that people can have “livable” wages, it is commonly argued that if raised, people will lose jobs, but statistics online don’t help them prove that point. Raising the wage can help stimulate the economy and help increase lifestyle for the minimum wage workers. Increasing the minimum wage would also help promote a more racially equitable economy.

Raising the minimum wage can help in putting an end to years of discrimination in the workplace. Minorities would be able to benefit the most from this minimum wage rise (Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025 would lift the pay of 32 million workers), since minorities tend to be the overall majority to work in businesses that pay the minimum wage. Also, essential and front-line workers would be another sort of group that would experience this boost the most. Over 30 million would receive a direct or indirect pay increase by 2025. 20 million infrastructure workers would be the ones directly affected with raise in their wage, for which they make up 2/3 of the employers that would feel this raise. Will raising the minimum wage help the economy grow and create a more equal society or will it drive itself to an economic collapse while attempting to make human life more equal?

Works cited:

Cooper, David, et al. Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $15 by 2025 Would Lift the Pay of 32 Million Workers, 9 Mar. 2021, https://www.epi.org/publication/raising-the-federal-minimum-wage-to-15-by-2025-would-lift-the-pay-of-32-million-workers/#:~:text=The%20Raise%20the%20Wage%20Act%20would%20help%20eliminate%20poverty%20wages,million%20children%E2%80%94out%20of%20poverty.

Dunkelberg, William. “$15 Federal Minimum Wage Attacks on Small Businesses.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 14 Apr. 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamdunkelberg/2021/04/12/15-federal-minimum-wage-attacks-on-small-businesses/.

Elassar, Alaa. “Here’s What Hourly Workers and Small Business Owners Think of a $15 Minimum Wage.” CNN, 9 Mar. 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/09/us/15-minimum-wage-employees-small-business/index.html.