Think back to the time when you were a young child. You remember that at a certain age Mom and Dad thought it was important for you to understand the value of a dollar. In order to teach you this they gave you an allowance every week with the understanding that you would earn it by completing a weekly chore. As you got older you desired more money to purchase the things you wanted. The agreement for more money came along with more responsibility and chores. The same perspective can easily be translated into the purpose for a minimum wage standard.
An individual’s wage should be merited for their performance, knowledge, and skill level. Otherwise the individual worker will expect continued monetary increases for the same level or amount of work produced. By tying in labor, skill, and education increases with financial increases, workers would be more driven to progress in their preferred field. Therefore, when making attempts to increase an even higher minimum wage, we need to stop and realize wages should be based on an individual’s knowledge and skill level and not focus on natural human empathy.
After all, you worked to get where you’re at, shouldn’t everyone? Advocates for a minimum wage increase believe that “families need more than double the official poverty level just to make ends meet” (Sklar) and that we should propose a law that allows a full-time worker’s earnings to provide the most basic consumption needs for a family of four (Committee of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism). Minimum wage increase supporters also believe that a low-income individual should be able to purchase the products in which they help to produce or services they help to provide.
For example, a mother who works for a child-care facility should make enough money to afford the same services for her child. Holly Sklar, (Opposing Viewpoints: poverty columnist) states, “There are health care aids who can’t afford health insurance and also people who work in the food industry, but depend on food banks to help feed their children. ” Given the high prices of both child-care and health care, we cannot guarantee that a minimum wage increase would be enough to afford such costs. Nor can we assume that the money is being spent on these specific services.
When reading about the poverty stricken in our country, people can’t help but feel sorry for them. Natural instincts kick in and as human beings we want to help in whatever way we can. However, we need to re-access the means in which we do so. We can’t expect that the issues of the working poor can be so easily resolved by simply placing more money in their hands. Like Stephen Chapman and Doug Bandow (Helping the Non-Poor) state “raising the minimum wage is the equivalent of tossing $10 bills out of an airplane flying at 5,000 feet.
” The underlying factor here is that less than 1 out of 5 people employed in minimum wage jobs live in poor households leaving more than 80% of the increase going to those living above the poverty line. Given this fact, it’s obvious that raising the minimum wage is missing its goal of providing aid to its intended demographic. The reason this is such a controversial subject is because there is no quick fix. Raising the minimum wage is that of a band-aid on a severed limb. How can we not see past that? As a society it’s our responsibility to regulate how the government is spending our money.
Unfortunately, we don’t pay enough attention to this. It is a commonly known that teenagers get minimum wage earning jobs by the time they are legally allowed to drive. Because they still live at home with mom and dad, they don’t need the income level of a 40-year old man who is trying to support his wife and three children. Due to the fact that living expenses for a teenager are relatively low, one shouldn’t have to depend on an hourly wage that could keep a family of four out of poverty. “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, individuals living with their parents make up the largest group of minimum wage earners (precisely 35.
1 percent). (Jill Jenkins). Although Americans are aware that the majority of minimum wage earners are youngsters, they almost always focus their attention on the small minority of people who have a minimum wage career (Thomas Sowell). Most minimum wage earners are already contently living above the poverty line. Therefore, the people in which minimum wage is designed to benefit are not being reached. Instead of this increase supporting the basic necessities for lower-income families, it is being saved towards new cars, college funds, or frivolous entertainment.
Increasing minimum wage overall, decreases available jobs within individual businesses. The reason for this lies again in operational costs for employers. The viability of businesses depends on profits and when minimum wage rises, it reduces profit margins. Since the success of a business is measured on its growth, this would be counter -productive and thus create an adverse effect. In order for companies to make up for their losses they reduce the amount of jobs available and lay off workers instead. “Workers who are worth $4. 25 an hour but must be paid $4.
50 an hour will eventually find themselves not being paid at all because employers have a notoriously consistent habit of abandoning practices that loose money. ” (Stephen Chapman and Doug Bandow) This is just another angle from which the designed intent to reduce poverty in America creates the opposite of its desired effect. When considering one for a specified job we often look for aspects that highlight their skill, knowledge, experience, and education. When choosing a candidate, it is not only desirable, but important, that they possess the abilities or qualities that will help a business succeed.
There are many ways a person can make themself more valuable to an employer. By taking the initiative and preparing themselves through city programs, community college courses, trade mentorship’s and R. O. P. classes, they can obtain the skills and education necessary to acquire higher paying jobs. Unfortunately many people already employed rely solely on a minimum wage increase instead of seeking out ways to make themselves more valuable in our work force. What minimum wage earners need to understand is that minimum wage implies minimum skill. “That is precisely what the minimum wage does.
It tells employers that if they hire someone, they must pay him or her the arbitrary minimum. ” (Stephen Chapman And Doug Bandow) Our country is based on capitalism, which gives us the opportunity to succeed as individuals. The more we rely on a minimum wage increase to support our living expenses, the closer we get to becoming a socialist society. Although both sides for raising minimum wage have considerable qualities, keeping it the same amount is better suited to prevent economic decline within our country. However, it’s easier said than done.
Human compassion and the need for quick fixes override our better judgment for definitive measures. Supporters of an increase would surmise that a boost to wages would relieve the financial burden our low- income workers suffer from. Still we need to keep in mind that these temporary cures do nothing for the overall progression of the individual worker. To obtain an increase of hourly wage one should not rely on wage increases for the same work produced. Instead, these individuals need to focus on obtaining new skills and education necessary to compete for higher wages.