Article Rebuttal: Minimum Wage
Over the years there has been much debate about raising the federal minimum wage. Some states have taken it upon themselves to set higher minimum wages than the federal minimum wage, because of the lack of action by congress. The supporters of the raising of the federal minimum wage have been more vocal lately. This is especially true since studies have shown, that the gap has grown between the wealthier population, and the middle class.
Recently President Obama, because of the lack of effort and action by congress, has used executive action to implement the raising of the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for new federal contracts, effective 2015. This, naturally, has brought out commentary, studies that support and oppose this, as well as predictions that are totally opposite of each other. (Davis, S.)
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) examined the impact of raising the minimum wage to two levels, $9.00 and $10.00 an hour. On February 18, 2013 the CBO report concluded that at $9.00 300,000 workers’ wages would rise over the poverty line; however 100,000 jobs would be eliminated by employers to maintain profitability. The impact of a $10.10 an hour minimum wage on these numbers would be 900,000 workers moving above the poverty line while 500,000 jobs would be eliminated. Numerically this seems to support the lower wage. The spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, said, in part “raising the mandatory minimum wage may help some but there are costs associated with this, such as fewer people working”. He also said, the country should be focusing on creating and not destroying jobs. (Davis, S.; Furman, J., and Stevenson, B.)
On February 19, 2014 the White House and congressional Democrats made statements that the CBO report were inconsistent with the views of economists. The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) said, “Zero is a perfectly reasonable estimate of the impact of the minimum wage on employment”. They further argued, that consideration was taken that rising wages boost productivity and reduce employee migration. It is important to note that the CEA members are appointed by the President, to advise him. Also, worth noting, the Democrats are making the minimum wage an issue they are highlighting in the 2014 elections. Public support for this initiative receives support across all facets of society through various polls, but Republicans oppose raising the minimum wage almost unanimously. (Davis, S.)
The findings in the CBO report have parts highlighted by both sides of the argument, where the data is skewed, or parts are overlooked to provide support of each view. There are two sides to this issue. On the surface things appear simple and the question is how does it affect each of us as individuals? Arguments could be made, and most likely will be made, that branch out and take the focus off of the true issues. I can see arguments for not raising the wage turn into this seen as...