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Minimum Wage, Should It Be Raised? Or Not?

1066 words - 5 pages

In our country today, poverty has slowly become a major issue, and has been debated from many different sides and arguments. President Obama, in his recent state of the union address said “Let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty”. Involved in this statement, he has a plan set out to raise the current minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, in an attempt to bring Americans currently living in poverty, to better lifestyles. The issue of the minimum wage has been prominent for a very long time now, and over the past 65 years has fluctuated everywhere between $3.09 to $8.67 but has averaged out throughout history at ...view middle of the document...

Now if you are only lifting 1.8% of people out of poverty with your grand plan, clearly there are better ways to go about doing this. That is not even addressing the issue that most people living in poverty are not working, therefore can not be helped by an increase in wages. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Historical Poverty tables, talking about the working status of people 16 and older. 67% of people living at or below the poverty line, do not work throughout the year. Where as 29% work part time jobs, and only 9% work full time jobs throughout the entire year. When you argue that a raise in wages will help low income, single parents trying to support their family, and survive off of minimum wage jobs. you cannot loop all minimum wage workers into this stereotype, in fact, just 4% of minimum wage workers are single parents working full time, compared to the 5.6% of all U.S. workers. Higher minimum wages do not address the main issue, that is most poor families live below the poverty line. Against what most assume, low wages are not their biggest problem right now. The biggest problem is that most of them don't work at all. Another thing that is contrary to the popular belief is that the working poor are the ones getting by on minimum wage. However, also according to the U.S. Census Bureau's current population study. more than half of the minimum wage workers are between the ages of 16 and 24. That means that a majority of these workers are young people that tend to work part-time, and a majority of them are enrolled in school at the same time. So a raise in minimum wage will be primarily benefiting suburban teenagers, not the working poor.
Another reason why raising the minimum wage will not help the issue of poverty in our country, is that by raising wages, it will be more expensive for businesses to have the employees that are...

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