Minimum Wage is The Bare Minimum

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Minimum Wage: The Bare Minimum


"They work hard every day; they stock our store shelves, wash dishes at our restaurants, clean our offices at night, care for our kids during the day...They have in common the minimum wage. And they need a raise, and as you saw, they deserve a raise" (Clinton). President Clinton made this speech on the south lawn of the White House at 10:30 a.m. on the 8th of March 2000. He argued for the minimum wage hike to go into effect. He argued for the population of the United States who worked at the federal minimum wage. But was his argument feasible? Would it be practical to raise the federal minimum wage from its current status of $5.15 an hour, to $6.15 an hour?

President Roosevelt instated the first minimum wage on June 25, 1938. It created a law which made it illegal for employers to pay their workers under .25 cents an hour. While this law made it easier for workers, businesses and industries of the time found themselves lower on their supply of money, and higher on demand of workers. Economists predicted that the Great Depression (already in its ninth year) would get worse, and that Roosevelt would lose popularity among his peers. Little did we know Roosevelt lost 80 seats in the house that year, and the Depression worsened (Folsom).

Now, the economics of raising the minimum wage has seen many more positive effects, or according to our president and the National Economic Council. "Since the minimum wage was raised in 1996, our economy has created over 10 million new jobs. The unemployment rate is at its lowest point in 30 years" (Clinton). The figures seem to be all in the right to just raise the minimum wage once again.

On March 10, 2000 the House passed a minimum wage increase from $5.15 an hour to $6.15 an hour over the next two years. The only problem with the bill was that the Republicans succeeded in passing a $112 million dollar tax cut bill piggybacked to the minimum wage amendment. President Clinton promised to veto the bill just because of the included tax cut. Republicans say the tax cut was to benefit the businesses being affected by the new minimum wage law. Until the republicans and the president can reach an agreement over how to pass the minimum wage increase law, the wage stands at its mere $5.15 an hour (Dateline).

A major problem with raising the minimum wage doesn't even come from our government. Black teenagers and other minorities have a predicted chance of losing their jobs, along with many other entry-level workers. They are also prevented from getting many other jobs also because of the simple supply and demand ratios. When our government raises the minimum wage, they make it illegal for the employer to pay the employee under a certain, mandated limit. If a job is not worth the minimum wage and doesn't aid the company to create more of a profit in the long run, then the worker is forbidden from keeping or getting his job. While the average...

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