Minimum Wage. Essay

1242 words - 5 pages

Minimum WageWhen was the last time a "value" meal from McDonalds, let alone any other fast food chain, did not cost five dollars or more? When was the last time premium gas was under a dollar a gallon? It's hard to remember, isn't it? Wouldn't it be great if everything cost a nickel, like back in the good old days? In Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich, explores the minimum wage and the trials one goes through trying to live off the minimum wage. She goes on to explain that many of her coworkers live in motels, which she eventually has to do, in order to live. She tells how it is virtually impossible to live comfortably working one full time minimum wage paying job. Raising the minimum wage results in higher costs, inflation, etc... Therefore making it more and more difficult to support oneself off of a minimum wage salary alone. According to the laws of economics, it's not logical for things to have gotten more expensive; competition should drive prices down. Then why have prices continued to rise over the years? The continuing demand of more money for less work has forced Uncle Sam to raise the minimum wage innumerable times in the last half century, which results in higher prices for the rest of us. However the raise in minimum wage is not the only factor which causes inflation, the premise of this argument is based on the minimum wage and its responsibility to the raising of prices for Americans.Additionally a raise in the minimum wage results in a raise in the cost of living, it also causes the dismissal of hardworking people who are happy with their current income. When the firing axe starts to fall, seniority often determines who goes and who stays. The more a single employee costs a business an hour, the fewer employees the business can afford to employ an hour. This results in the dismissal of employees to compensate for a raise in labor costs, which creates a smaller staff, which results in slipshod service. Although most reasonable people would rather pay more for better service, the plain fact of the matter is that the service hasn't really gotten any better. The service is better than it was when there weren't enough employees so people assume the service itself has gotten better, while the truth is that the service is just as haphazard as before. The laborers are simply replaced because of a need for more employees, more often than not by people who have never worked in those positions before.By having a staff that is constantly fluctuating, the business hurts itself. The service is hurt because the new employees are in need of training, and in the end it is the consumers, who feel the real pain. The pain we experience is that of rising costs in the market it's that sharp pain we feel every time we reach for our wallet, but it is in no way as painful as the fact that we give bonuses for no reason in the form of raises in the minimum wage.The argument that minimum wage should be raised says people need more money to make a living...

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