Many Americans have very different beliefs on how our country should be ran, and one of the most important and most frequently asked questions ties along with money. Our dollar allows us to buy the luxuries to make us happy and gives the lower class the chance to buy the necessities they need to keep them going. Money has been the center of attention for centuries, and one of the controversial topics that surround money is if the government should increase the minimum wage to help boost our frail economy and lower class.
The lower class has suffered the past few years with the recession and high unemployment rates and making any kind of change to the minimum wage would affect them directly. Changes to the minimum wage would also affect the value of the dollar as well. An increase to the minimum wage would significantly help the lower class get off the ground and it would surge the lower class spending because they would have more money in their pockets that they aren’t using on necessities and therefore decide to buy for their own pleasure.
On the other hand, it could either hurt or help the upper class owners that are running any kind of business. It would hurt them because they would be forced to pay all of their employees that are receiving minimum wage more money but on the other hand; the increased wage would also increase the spending of our whole nation and importantly the citizens that make up the lower class which would help their business profit more. The real question is, which sides outweigh the other?
We know now that there are flaws and perks to increasing the minimum wage but would it be worth it to even change it at all? Should we lower it? According to Sarah Shemkus, an award-winning journalist from salary. com “An employee working a 40-hour week at the federal minimum wage would earn $15,080 per year. ” This small annual amount of money is just barely under the federal poverty line of $15,130 as well. This creates a problem for lower class workers all over the country.
It is already hard enough to find a job in today’s times and now with the wages that are so low, it is becoming just as hard to support a family with the money that you are making too. Minimum wage workers should not have to struggle to barely get by in life. Minimum wage should be enough to ensure that it is enough money to buy the necessities you need and guarantee that you will make enough money to safely live on. Research also shows that about 70% of the minimum wage workers worked less than 35 hours per week (Shemkus).
This leads them to be even more poverty stricken than the full time minimum wage worker and struggle to pay the requirements you need in life to get by. If the government did decide to raise the minimum wage then it could also have a very positive effect beyond just lower class workers as well. Increasing the minimum wage would not only help sustain a better living for minimum wage workers that make up the lower class but it would also work as an economic stimulus.
The theory is that if workers are being paid more than they are more likely to be spending more as well. According to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago “following an increase in the minimum wage, spending by households with at least one minimum-wage worker increased by $700 per quarter (Aaronson 2). “ This will not only help the economy and the GDP but it will also provide our lower class and their families with a financial security that will comfort them and hopefully create jobs for other Americans too.
On the other side, some economists say that increasing the minimum wage would have a bad effect on the economy. I have concluded that the people who disagree with raising the minimum wage agree that increasing wages would put a heavy burden on employers and could quite possibly run small to medium business owners out of business. It would also unfortunately hurt all people looking for a job because employers would not have the money to hire employees, which would increase the already high unemployment rate.
Some economists think that decreasing the minimum wage could help our nation and raise employment too. Bryant Fong, an economic journalist for Whitman Pioneer says, “This will strengthen the dollar in relation to other currencies and at the store. It will make keeping jobs in the U. S. more favorable to companies. ” He argues that raising the minimum wage will cause inflation and lower the value of the dollar, which will subsequently increase the prices of America’s goods and services and decrease consumer spending.
I disagree with Fong’s claim and believe that consumer spending will see a surge that will help a wounded American economy and have the value of the dollar stay the same or increase. In conclusion, I think the perks of increasing the minimum wage outweigh the flaws of increasing it. I agree with much of my research that it would severely help economic spending and it would help a hurting lower class with a sense of financial security and could perhaps help employment as well.
I am sure that there might be a few negative consequences that may result due to an increase in the minimum wage but I think that overall it will help America sustain a better standard of living and can hopefully turn our nation’s recession into an expansion. Works Cited Aaronson, Daniel, Agarwal, Sumit, French, Eric. The Spending and Debt Responses to Minimum Wage Increases. Chicago: n. p. Feb 2011. Print. Fong, Bryant. “Decrease Minimum Wage to Save Economy. ” The Pioneer. N. p. 19 Feb. 2009. Web. 4 April 2013. Shemkus, Sarah. “Increasing the Minimum Wage: Pros & Cons. ” Salary. n. p. n. d. Web. 2 April 2013.