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Minimum Wage Increase Essay

1537 words - 6 pages

A heated discussion that has only gained momentum in the year 2014, is the topic of minimum wage, and whether or not it needs to be increased. Both the state and federal levels of government are trying to push for an increase in minimum wage, effectively raising the amount people can earn, particularly those who find themselves within the lower class. Once again, at both a state and federal level, they face various amounts of opposition, who either disagree with the number being proposed, or any increase in general. Considering the upcoming bill in Massachusetts legislature about increasing the minimum wage, this is an issue that could potentially affect my future, and numerous others, either in my state or the country as a whole. Thus I believe that the minimum wage should be increased, resulting in a lower poverty rating and increased stability for the working lower class.
With the election of President Obama in 2008, the minimum wage discussion was finally opened up on a national, federal level. When he came into office, the average minimum wage of the nation was seven dollars and twenty-five cents, which he hoped to rise to nine dollars. The president wants to raise the minimum wage for numerous reasons, but a primary one is one used during minimum wage’s initial inception to the United States. In 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which effetely made minimum wage twenty-five cent an hour. The reason for this action, is the same now as it was in 1938, to ensure that workers could make a decent salary on which they could live on. A recent trend is that the productivity of works has gone up, but yet their wages remain the same and corporate profit has skyrocketed up. As noted by Time’s magazine, “If the minimum wage of the 1960s had increased with productivity, it would stand at around $15/hour. If it increased with inflation, it would be more than $10/hour.” Yet, the average remains seven dollars and twenty-five cents, causing a call for change by the president, and state legislature like Massachusetts. (Khan, 2013)
Massachusetts legislature which consist of a senate and house of representative have both voted and passed very similar bills that would increase the already above average minimum wage of eight dollar. While being similar, people like Shira Schoenberg point out the differences. “For example, the House would raise the hourly wage to $10.50, while the Senate would raise it to $11. Only the Senate bill includes an economic indexing provision so that after 2016 the minimum wage would rise each year at the same rate as the consumer price index for the Northeast.” This bill has been passed before, albeit it has been combined with a policy to support unemployment insurance system. This is critical for two reasons, as that additional policy will lower businesses expenses, as driving the minimum wage up will increase it, so it balances out. This leads to the second reason, because if the businesses...

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