Proponents for the raise in the minimum wage argue that the current minimum wage, placed by the federal government, is too low for any American to live on. Therefore, a much higher minimum wage will significantly assist in the creation of jobs and growing of the current economy. The reducing value that is currently being experienced as a result of this minimum wage is one of the causes of the inequality experienced in the society in relation to wages among the low-income workers and middle-income workers. In addition , most of the Americans, and this includes a smaller section of the self-described conservatives, are in full support of raising the minimum wage.
The opponents of the debate to raise the minimum wage claim that most of the businesses are not able to pay their employees more than the minimum wage set by the federal government. For that reason, by doing so, they will be operating on loss or forced to close down, reduce the number of employees they hire, or lay off some of the employees. On the other hand, increases in minimum wages have been observed to make it more challenging for low-skilled employees with no or little experiences to be employed or go up the ranks in the workplaces. At the federal level, raising minimum wages is likely to hurt particularly low-income communities ( Shierholz, 2009) . Looking at the two sides of the arguments, the one in support of a raise in minimum wage outweighs that against an increase in minimum wage. Some of the main arguments include;
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“ A Raise Will Be Good For Families .”
According to some of the economists, an increase in the minimum wage is likely to increase the incomes of about twenty-eight million Americans ( Wihbey, 2014 ). Women will be the main beneficiaries now that they tend to be employed more in jobs that pay lower wages as compared to men. The economists have continued to argue that increasing the minimum wage will be a family friendly policy.
With families having more income, some people are likely to choose to retire, some will get back to school and have more children. It is such reactions that will make it easier for those people who really need the jobs find them. Working families will also have enough time for community life, and this includes active participation in politics ( Lipton, 2014) . More citizens are likely to begin to reclaim the political organization at the middle-class that they used to have. Now that the income-tax revenues and payroll would rise, the deficit will consequently reduce, and Social Security worries will be at their minimal.
In order to get the economy of the nation back on its track, the spending power of Americans has to be in the hands of the people who spend in the real economy. This means that money should not be in the hands of the super-wealthy Americans, but the regular Americans as this people tend to invest in financial products or hoard wealth ( Harris and Kearney, 2014). The issue of minimum wage is not just an issue of income inequality but about how the economic system has been hijacked to the level that it has become less productive as compared to the past and redistributing more of what appears to be working for them.
The issue with the current economy is that the increasing gap between productivity and the real wages has gone against the traditional relationship that existed between consumption and real wages. Therefore, if the productivity of each employee is strongly increased , yet the capacity of the employees to purchase, and this involves the actual wage lagging behind, there is no way that the process of economic recovery which depends on growth in spending will be able to sustain itself ( Gorry, 2014).
This means that policies need to be directed more towards programs that are intended to raise the minimum wages. Trickle-down economics has been observed to be largely counterproductive now that it places more resources into the hands of the people with fewer propensities to spend and hence keeping the economy moving.
During the beginning of the post-war period, especially in the 1950s and 1960s, entrepreneurship mainly focused on increasing their productivity capacity and putting employees to work and not coming up with financial Frankenstein products such as credit default swaps ( Halvorson, 2014 ). Currently, high levels of incomes coming from the financial sector capture an increasing national income share and use it to include financial assets in the financial market which has been observed to add almost nothing to the final output.
A raise in the minimum wage will most likely have huge improvements when it comes to the challenges that are related to working poor, and this may allow them to get out of the debt treadmill and have a better chance of getting to the revitalized middle-class in the long-run. Also, corporate profits are likely to experience little challenges, and some organizations at the lowest end are likely to disappear ( Hall and Gable, 2012).
Corporate profits acting as a percentage of the economic output of the nation are already at the highest records levels. This raises concerns as to whether such profitability levels can be sustained . Businesses have a lot of capacity that has not been utilized now that most people are not in a position to buy services and products.
On the other hand, relying on food stamps has increased by more than 14 million in the same period ( Karp, 2014 ) and that financial engineering has assisted in coming up with a significant escalation in relation to the debt arising from the private sector, especially consumers.
A better minimum wage will also greatly assist in mitigating the exploitative, abusive working practices of some of the employees taking advantage of the existing low minimum wage rates to seek cut-rate assistance. These kinds of employers in most cases use undocumented labor, which undermines further the working poor in America ( Lowrey, 2013).
Justice for the Working Americans
Most of all, a major jump in the minimum wages is likely to be a reparation. This is because class welfare in the United States has been undertaken already on behalf of the one percent. The past thirty years have experienced a great redistribution of personal and national income favoring profits for the rich . Also, there has been a dramatic reduction the economic performance in the United States ( Mantel, 2014) . To raise the minimum wage is likely to be the least that the nation could do for the people who have been experiencing an economic crisis. This will be seen as an act of justice to the working population.
In general, opponents against a raise in the minimum wage argue that such a move will increase the burden on employers, particularly small organizations and this will lead to a slower growth and decreased employment levels. On the other hand, the proponents on the other hand claim that an increase in the minimum wage cannot keep with inflation and that most of the minimum wage employees are improved.
From the above discussion, the gains from a rise in minimum wages extend beyond those that is meant to help. More money for the low-wage employees implies more sales which create more jobs and faster growth. One of the principal reasons why the current economic recovery is weak is that most of the Americans do not have the purchasing power that is meant to keep the economy moving again.
Gorry. A., et al., (2014). “ Minimum Wage, Maximum Harm” US News & World Report . Web. 12, April 12, 2017
Hall, D., and Gable, M., (2012). The Benefits of Raising Illinois’ Minimum Wage: An Increase Would Help Working Families and the State Economy. Economic Policy Institute, Issue Brief #321.
Halvorson, C., (2014). “ The Pros and Cons of Raising the Minimum Wage ” www.wheniwork.com . Web. 12, April 12, 2017
Harris. H., and Kearney. M., (2014). “The Ripple Effect of a Minimum Wage Increase on American Workers.” w ww.brooking.com . Web. 12, April 12, 2017
Karp, G., (2014). “ Minimum-Wage Debate Rages On .” www.chicagotribune.com . Web. 12, April 12, 2017
Lipton, E., (2014). “Fight Over Minimum Wage Illustrates Web of Industry Ties.” The New York Times . Web. 12, April 12, 2017
Lowrey, A., (2013). “Raising Minimum Wage Would Ease Income Gap but Carries Political Risks.” The New York Times . Web. 12, April 12, 2017
Mantel, B., (2014). “Minimum Wage: Would Raising the Rate Be Good For the Economy?” 24.4. CQ Researcher . Web. 12, April 12, 2017
Shierholz, H., (2009). Fix It and Forget It: Index the Minimum Wage to Growth in Average Wages . Economic Policy Institute, Briefing Paper #251
Wihbey. J., (2014). “ Effects of Raising the Minimum Wage: Research and Key Lessons." w ww.journalistresource.org . Web. 12, April 12, 2017