This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

A Higher Minimum Wage May Help Workers

1933 words - 8 pages

With President Franklin Roosevelt’s cries for “A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work,” the Fair Labor Standards Act established minimum wage in 1938 (Grossman). Overtime, the minimum wage has been raised in order to account for inflation (BLS 14). However, what the overall economic impact of raising the wage will be is once again a daunting and extensive question. The controversy over raising the minimum wage seems to come from often conflicting economic opinions. While raising the minimum wage is done with good intentions, critics argue that a higher minimum wage will harm those it is actually trying to help. Raising the minimum wage, while a controversial issue, will have an overall economic impact that reaches not only minimum wage workers, but also to small businesses and to the prices of commodities.
There is nothing new about raising minimum wage. Congress has raised the minimum wage five times over the past four decades alone in an effort to keep minimum wage up-to-date. Yet, inequality between workers has risen since the last decades of the 20th century (Parks 701). For example, minimum wage is worth 31% less than it did at its peak in 1968 (Harkin 16). Recently, Senator Tom Harkin introduced the Rebuild America Act to increase federal wage to $9.80 by July 1, 2014 (Hall and Cooper 1). There will be three incremental increases in minimum wage of $0.85 for a total raise of $2.55, including tipped workers (1).
The minimum wage increase will affect 3.7 million minimum wage workers directly (Sherk para. 11). Not only will a raise in minimum wage affect minimum wage workers but also a total of a projected 28 million workers (Hall and Cooper 2). Those paid minimum wage tend to fall under certain demographics. Minimum wage workers tend to be young. They are more often women, and typically possess little education.
Minimum wage jobs are meant as a starting place for many young people entering the workforce (Sherk para. 18). Many of these workers are young adults with about a half under the age of 25 (para. 11). Still, the other half of minimum wage workers are over the age of 25, many with families. About 28% of those affected by the minimum wage increase are parents and 23% are married (Hall and Cooper 5; Sherk para. 16).
Women will be disproportionately affected by an increase in minimum wage. Women make up 54.5% of minimum wage workers (Hall and Cooper 2). In fact, women were twice as likely as men to hold jobs with an hourly rate at or below minimum wage (BLS 1). In 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 3% of workers were men who held minimum wage jobs. About 6% of women held minimum wage jobs (1).
Many minimum wage workers are uneducated. About 22.6%, of workers have less than a high school degree (Hall and Cooper 4). Surprisingly, 42.3% of workers at or below the federal minimum wage have “some college, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree or higher” (4). Minimum wage jobs are, in theory, used as a learning...

Find Another Essay On A Higher Minimum Wage May Help Workers

Does London Need Its Own Higher Minimum Wage?

1165 words - 5 pages , 2013), and try to reach a conclusion on whether or not this is a worthwhile argument. According to (Ussher, 2013), raising the minimum wage for adults from £6.31 per hour to £6.75 per hour and applying this in 2013-2014, the higher rate would raise the employment income for approximately 175,000 employees in London to roughly £800 a year. Furthermore, it will save the taxpayer around £62 million per year (Ussher, 2013). One could argue this is a

Workers Need a Living Wage Essay

3173 words - 13 pages in a general sense, it still very much applies to today's workforce. In order to mollify the harsh realities of today's unacceptable minimum wage, it must be taken upon the workers, themselves to fight for equality in the corporate world. And they have done just that. ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social

Minimum Wage: A War on Business

1063 words - 5 pages words, increasing the minimum wage is unproductive. By increasing wages, it would have the same effect on the prices of products and services. As a result, any increase in the paycheck of a minimum wage worker will go directly to the higher costs of the things they buy. On the contrary, workers who are already making above minimum wage would also be financially impacted, because they too will experience higher prices for goods and services

A Minimal Earner on Minimum Wage

852 words - 4 pages world, giving everybody more money would be wonderful. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, and money doesn’t grow on trees, says a Yahoo! Finance editorial by Robert Weinstein. “What proponents actually need is Santa to be real. The only problem is that Santa isn’t true, and there’s no such thing as a free lunch. I think if we can work around the lack of Santa and free lunches, the minimum wage plan may have merits.” (Weinstein) Without

The Effects of a Change in the Minimum Wage

1440 words - 6 pages implement a hiring freeze, cut its workforce, or make the employees it does have work harder for their buck. If the firms decide to cut workers or stop hiring, then the exact people the minimum wage increase was designed to help, may actually be pushed further into poverty by having their job taken away. Than again, those who are considered skilled enough by their employer to retain their position will be rewarded with a raise. So the effects of

Raising the Minimum Wage: A Counter-Intuitive Solution

1026 words - 5 pages additional dollars in operating costs, the effect on cost of living would have a negative effect, thus being counter-intuitive to the minimum wage increase. If only 2.9% of American workers work on the minimum wage (Sherk), is it worth raising their wages only to increase the cost of living for everyone else? While many argue for a minimum wage increase in order for a 'living wage', not having employment as a result of a minimum wage increase

A Minimum Wage Increase Will Stimulate the Economy

1683 words - 7 pages an increase in minimum wage, where 72 percent claim it would hurt unemployment levels (Asbury). According to this claim, more than half of economists argue that if a rise in minimum wage is to occur, unemployment will soar among the country. Businesses will be prone to lay off employees or hire fewer workers because of higher costs and will lead low-skilled workers to be jobless. An increase in pay will leave those laid off without any jobs to

Increasing Minimum Wage

1200 words - 5 pages getting a job because the minimum wage is higher, they may go on welfare to survive. Without a job, they will become dependent on government to take care of them. Rather than creating good work habits and improving their opportunitiesto get a better paying job, they will be at a dead end. High unemployment rates for teenage workers are because of the minimum wage and the fact that over qualified people can only get a job for minimum wage. The minimum

America's Minimum Wage Problem

1322 words - 6 pages wage workers to make higher incomes and would overall strengthen the economy, pulling Americans out of poverty. Americans may hold a minimum wage job if they do not have money to attend a college or university to obtain a degree in order to find a career. On the minimum wage, it is impossible to afford healthcare and education without making sacrifices. In “Affording Health Care and Education on the Minimum Wage,” John Schmitt and Marie-Eve

Raising the Minimum

1636 words - 7 pages . Sixty percent of the poor in the U.S. are unemployed and only 20% work full time (Cook). Merely one in five minimum wage workers live at or below the poverty line (Cook). This may occur because the majority of minimum wage workers are teens, not parents trying to support their family. Families are poor not because their wage is not high enough, but because they do not have full time jobs (Sherk). A higher minimum wage would result in job loss

The Benefits Of Raising The Minimum Wage

970 words - 4 pages run out of business. Currently unemployed citizens are also negatively affected by the increase in the minimum wage because since the wage is higher, firms will hire fewer workers than they did before the minimum wage increase. There has been a significant amount of discussion regarding the value Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to. Some argue that increasing the minimum wage will eventually cause more spending by the minimum wage workers

Similar Essays

Minimum Wage Workers Essay

2559 words - 11 pages . Cooper, David, and Dan Essrow. "Low-wage Workers Are Older than You Think: 88 Percent of Workers Who Would Benefit From a Higher Minimum Wage Are Older Than 20, One Third Are Over 40." Economic Policy Institute, 28 Aug. 2013. Web. 10 May 2014. Desilver, Drew. "5 Facts about the Minimum Wage." Pew Research Center, 4 Dec. 2013. Web. 9 May 2014. DOL. "History of Federal Minimum Wage Rates Under the Fair Labor

America Needs A Higher Minimum Wage

1042 words - 5 pages Nearly fifty million Americans live in poverty, and a vital reason is the diminishing value of the minimum wage. First established during the Great Depression, under the Roosevelt Administration, the federal minimum wage was designed to lift millions of American workers out of poverty. Unfortunately, it was has not developed to cope with today’s rising inflation and modern increasing standard of living cost. Since its inception , the nation

The Effects Of Higher Minimum Wage

1959 words - 8 pages The Effects of a Higher Minimum Wage When I was eleven years old my parents told me that they could not afford to buy me new school clothes that year. So, in my desperation for some new school clothes I started working. I did odd jobs on farms for family and friends, as well as babysitting. I worked that whole summer of my 6th grade year, and I continued to work every summer up until my senior year in high school when I started to work full

Government Intervention To Help The Working Poor: There Is A Better Option Than Raising Minimum Wage

2554 words - 10 pages the earned income tax credit add extra money into the pocketbooks of low wage workers. When the minimum wage is raised all workers, although a small percentage of the workforce, who are paid the minimum wage now have extra money every hour worked to survive on. Some argue that with a higher wages come: pride, dignity, lower turnover, higher workforce morale, and more efficiency. All of this may save the company money in the long run thru