MInimum Wage Essay

An increase in minimum wage immediately sounds like a good idea, however it is not as simple as it may seem. Minimum wage laws have been in the U. S since 1938. Their purpose is to make sure no American employees are living below a certain standard. However the minimum wage laws apply to those who are actually employed; could it be that the higher the minimum wage, the higher the U. S unemployment rate?

The U. S congress has recently been debating whether to raise the minimum wage from $7. 25 to $10. 10 an hour. An increase in the minimum wage simply will not be beneficial to our country economically or socially, because jobs will be lost and minorities will suffer the most. To illustrate how an increase in minimum wage will affect the economy it would be instructive to examine an article written by Andy Pudzer. Pudzer writes about real world examples of how an increase in the minimum wage can affect a business.

He talks about his company, CKE restaurants and explains all about annual incomes for his different employees. He sums up by stating, “The Feds can mandate a higher wage, but some jobs don’t produce enough economic value to bear the increase” (Pudzer).

Using this idea and applying it to his, and many other real world examples, it is very logical. Companies just cannot afford to keep everyone employed while still bearing the minimum wage increase. Conversely to the logos used in the previous article, Paul Krugman uses pathos and popular ideals to argue his point, “An increase in the minimum wage, on the other hand, just might happen, thanks to overwhelming public support” (Krugman). Krugman makes a hike in minimum wage seem ideal, especially because the public will support it; however, Krugman does not state the fact that the majority of the public is uninformed.

A minimum wage increase sounds great to the ear, but one must look deeper into its economic effects on the country, “The president’s minimum wage hike might cost 500,000 jobs” (Pudzer). This is the inconvenient truth the public is uninformed about. Continuing on, the book Down and Out in London and Paris demonstrates why having a low paying job is significantly better than having no job at all. In this autobiography Orwell spends many days in Paris starving and jobless.

However once he is able to find work his life sees many improvements. His job working at a hotel restaurant pays very little however it is better than nothing, “With thirty francs a week to spend on drinks I could take part in the social life of the quarter”(Orwell). While making just enough to get along, Orwell is no longer starving everyday and can even participate in a social life. Although he clearly would make more money if given the choice, Orwell would probably not have been in support of an increase in the minimum wage at this time in his life.

He would not make more money, he would lose his job due to the fact that Hotel X would not have enough money to keep all of the Plongeurs employed, while raising each of there salaries. Then Orwell probably would have ended up dying of starvation on the streets. A hike in the minimum will cause a huge loss in entry-level jobs leaving many people on the streets. Furthermore, an increase in minimum wage will strongly detriment employment rates for minorities, specifically black teens. However many people disagree with this.

For example in a political cartoon drawn by SHAN it is shown that Obama is giving as much money as he can to the working poor and the republicans think he is spoiling them. This drawing seems to make sense however not if one really looks in to the facts of the issue. Richard W. Rahn and Izzy Santa wrote a very honest article called “Waging War on Black Teens”. They discuss the long-term affects minimum wage increases have had on the black community, “ ‘ This was a long overdue raise for American workers. ’ Maybe for some workers, but the 3 million blacks currently unemployed are now feeling the pain”(Rahn and Santa). Here we can see that the figures for unemployed black Americans are very extreme.

When the minimum wage increases, employers are forced to lay off the majority of their minimum wage workers, “causing an overall rise in black unemployment”(Rahn and Santa). Minorities will not see improvements in their lives if the minimum wage is increased, and it is important for all of America to grasp this concept. A minimum wage hike will cause nothing but pain in America’s working poor. If this law is passed it will improve few lives and tragically hurt many more causing severe unemployment rates. This is not only a belief; many articles and undeniable statistics are able to prove this.