The Minimum Wage Must Be Raised

2148 words - 9 pages

"Plain and simple, Congress must act to meet the needs of our constituents. We can do that by strengthening families and increasing the minimum wage."
-- Paul Tonko

Poverty continues to grow in America. The average minimum wage in the United States is $7.35 an hour- far too low in today’s society. Key expenses, for example, gas and housing prices, have gone up significantly since the minimum wage was last changed in 2007 (Wagner 52). The laws creating the minimum wage were intended to improve the standard of living and decrease poverty. Raising minimum wage is a vital step in decreasing poverty and giving every family the opportunity to survive and succeed. Millions of hard-working Americans are below the poverty line and need an increase in pay. Minimum wage must be raised because it will diminish poverty and assist the working class to support their families.
In 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt produced a progression of economic policies called The New Deal. One of those policies which, became known as the minimum wage, guaranteed that all workers in America earn enough pay to provide for their families. The New Deal marked the beginning of federal control of wages to make certain every worker be able to earn a living wage. The economic system was created by people, is maintained by people, and is constantly modified by people (Cunningham 52).
In order to sustain a vibrant economy, the government needs to help the poor with their resources. The poor are poor not because they don’t work, but because government has failed to provide wages that American families can survive on. Cost can be an issue but the cost to subsidize the workers with low-wage jobs are higher (Kukathus 49). Acknowledging ethical and religious traditions needs to be taken into consideration. In Judaism and Christianity God says people in a community need to help the poor exist in that community. Our current minimum wage laws never address the increase in gas, housing and healthcare costs the working class struggle to pay for. If government has the opportunity to get millions of families out of poverty, then why not take that opportunity to help people help themselves.
In fact raising wages at the local and state level shows an increase in employment and a decrease in families on welfare (Morris 22). Beginning in 1995 a living wage movement has continually tried to persuade local and state governments to increase the minimum wage. Activists from church groups and non-profit organizations have shown growing interest in influencing hundreds of cities across the United States. For example, after Santa Fe, New Mexico’s minimum wage went from eight dollars and fifty cents to nine dollars and fifty cents employment increased in the city’s hotel industry (Hart 251). Many of these organizations have fled to some of the major cities in America and demonstrated their point of view in influencing the minimum wage levels. In contrast, raising the minimum wage may...

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