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Should The Minimum Wage Be Increased?

1744 words - 7 pages

As of February 2014, there are approximately 155 million civilians in the United States work force [1]. Even with a minimum wage established by the federal government, working class civilians that work under the federal minimum wage of $7.25 are struggling with day to day life, including mortgage payments, food payments, and children. President Barack Obama addressed the many individuals and their families working full time under the federal minimum wage in the poverty level during his annual 2014 State of the Union Speech. President Obama made a proposition during the speech to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10, a $2.85 increase from the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.
An increase to $10.10 would be the second-largest one-year change in minimum wage. The amount would fall second to the 1950 wage increase from $0.40 to $0.75. It is also one of the largest minimum wages yet, with the largest being 1968's $1.60 per hour, equivalent to about $10.71 now [8]. President Obama has increased the federal contractor minimum wage to $10.10, as an antecedent to a hopeful minimum wage increase that would expand the $10.10 wages to American civilian workers. The amount would be increased to the amount of $10.10 gradually over the years until 2016 [2]. Should the US increase the federal minimum wage to the amount of $10.10 in all states?
“Nobody who works full time should be raising a family in poverty,” President Obama states. Many other people agree that any American working full time should not live below the poverty line. A minimum wage increase would decrease the national poverty levels substantially, with roughly 900,000 people lifted out of poverty. If 900,000 people are lifted out of poverty, it would decrease the total amount of families in poverty by approximately 2 percent [6]. The result of a minimum wage increase to $10.10 would raise the wages of approximately 16.5 million low-wage American workers if this increase is put into effect. Additionally, there would be another eight million workers that make just over the minimum wage that would receive an indirect increase increase in wages. This would results from lower wage employees making higher wages, resulting in experienced employees receiving higher wages for compensation. This is called the “ripple effect.” The people that will profit from the paycheck increase are not limited to the people at or below the poverty level. Because of the ripple effect, middle class families will also be benefiting from the paycheck increase An estimated total of 31 billion dollars added to paychecks would result if the increase is made. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the real net income would increase by five billion dollars for families under the poverty level.
With the wage increase, the economy may grow under the new wages. More people would be able to support themselves and their families, with extra spending money. This would lead to an increase in sales that may...

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