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Different Views: Should the Minimum Wage Law be increased to $15 an hour?

posted Mar 31, 2017, 4:24 AM by Jeffrey Wolf   [ updated May 24, 2017, 6:33 AM ]

The Minimum Wage Law has been a hot topic in politics for many years.  As of 2009, the Minimum Wage Law requires that people are paid at least $7.25 per hour.  Madeline Hoitink and Henry L. Clark explore the issue of increasing the Minimum Wage Law to $15 per hour in our Nite Crier series, Different Views.

The Minimum Wage Law should be increased to $15 an Hour.

The Minimum Wage Law should not be increased to $15 an Hour.

By: Madeline Hoitink, Co Editor-in-Chief

Posted March 31st, 2017

Over the past century, the minimum wage in America has been steadily decreasing.  The minimum wage of 1968 would be equivalent to a much higher minimum wage than the $7.25 per hour in today’s economy.  Although workers were generally paid more, the 1968 unemployment rate of 3.6% was still lower than America’s current unemployment rate of 5.0%.  This past occurrence is evidence that a higher minimum wage would be beneficial.  The minimum wage in America should be raised to $15.

First, a raised minimum wage provides more money for the workers -- people who will spend the money.  As a result, they will help improve the local economy by putting money into other businesses.  This increased spending would create more jobs, as larger profits encourage businesses to hire more workers.  In addition, decently paid workers tend to complete their work more carefully and efficiently, as they have more incentive.  The moral cause of America’s current minimum wage is also a major factor in the country’s debate on wage requirements.  No one should be in poverty while they are working full-time, even working at the minimum wage. However, the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is not enough to support a family, so many minimum wage workers in America are still in poverty.  Full-time workers fulfill adequate social responsibilities, so this should be enough for them economically, too.  With a family of two, the family’s income must be at least $30,135 per year to live somewhat comfortably.  With one working member of the family and with the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, this number is not reached; people have to rely on government aid (food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance), which comes out of the pockets of other Americans through taxes.  A $15 minimum wage would bring more Americans out of poverty and result in less government assistance.  The American government can then spend money on other improvements or focus on ridding the nation of debt, which would plague later generations if it is not decreased.

Due to its potential to increase the number of available jobs, chance to bring Americans out of poverty, and way for the government to spend money positively, a higher minimum wage of $15 would be advantageous to America.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of Slinger High School or the Slinger School District.

By: Henry L. Clark, Staff Writer

Posted March 31st, 2017

Recently, the Democratic Party and Liberal supporters have been pushing for wage reform and a raise of the federal minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. This is illogical and creates a huge economic danger for our country.

Hypothetically, if the federal government sets into law a $15.00 minimum wage, this is what Democrats suggest would happen; low income workers will have more money in their pockets to spend. In turn, the national poverty rate will fall and more people will be spending more money which will stimulate the economy. Now, the next logical step in this plan would be tons of people getting off of the government bandwagon of subsidies and federal aid because they would be making more money. This last part is counterintuitive to Democratic strategies as they prefer giving handouts to providing a hand up. The Democrats love entitlements, and want as many people as possible to be on them. That being said, this just goes to show how illogical their thought process is. They legitimize their ideology by professing it as morally correct.

Now, in actuality, this is what would happen. Immediately, employers who currently pay minimum wage to their employees would start to cut staff to cover expenses. This would cause, the unemployment rate to skyrocket. Since a large percent of the lower middle class and impoverished will not have jobs, they will have no money and the homeless rate will grow exponentially. Then, all of these homeless, jobless, and poor Americans will turn to Uncle Sam for subsidies which is exactly what the Democrats want. All in the name of “progressivism”. In addition, costs for goods and services would rise to cover labor costs, automation would replace workers and teenagers would be hard pressed to find jobs.Why hire a teenager for $15 an hour when you can hire someone with work experience? Remember, people have been let go or replaced due to labor costs.

Ultimately, raising the minimum wage will only result in more problems.The Democratic Party has gathered so much support because they attempt to be a party based on emotions and feel that an increase the minimum wage law to $15 dollars is a morally right thing to do regardless of any other consequences that their policies may inflict.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of Slinger High School or the Slinger School District.