Minimum wage is a difficult number to decide on because it affects different income earning citizens in different ways. According to Principles of Microeconomics, by N. Gregory Mankiw, minimum wage is a law that establishes the lowest price for labor that and employer may pay (Mankiw 6-1b). Currently, the minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour. For many years politicians and citizens have argued on what should be the minimum wage that would benefit the economy and society in general. A minimum wage was first established in 1938 to increase the standard of living of lower class workers. To discuss what is better for the country and its citizens, people have to understand what is a minimum wage and what are its effects.
In the 2013 State of the Union, President Obama proposed raising the minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $9.00 by 2015. This has caused arguments between the rich, small businesses, minimum wage workers, and the unemployed because it affects each of them differently. Obama’s plan is to bind the minimum wage to the cost of living, which ensures that minimum wage goes up with inflation. In general, this benefits minimum wage workers by improving their standard of living.
Minimum wage workers are enthusiastic about Obama’s plan, but small businesses and the unemployed are not so happy about it. This proposal however is a binding price floor, which is a price minimum, in this case, established by the government. This will incentivize more people to search for work while disencouraging firms to hire new workers or even maintain their current ones. This is an example of a surplus. A surplus is “A situation in which quantity supplied is greater than quantity demanded” (Mankiw 7-1c). In this case, quanti...
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...imum Wage.” Gallup, 6 Mar. 2013. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.
Hamermesh, Daniel S. “President Obama And The Minimum Wage—A Politico-Economic Bargain.” Intereconomics/Review Of European Economic Policy 48.2 (2013): 131-132. EconLit. Web. 24 Oct. 2013
National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL). "State Minimum Wages." State Minimum Wage Chart. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.
Gitterman, Daniel P. “Remaking A Bargain: The Political Logic Of The Minimum Wage In The United States.” Poverty And Public Policy 5.1 (2013): 3-36. EconLit. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.
Meer, Jonathan, and Jeremy West. “Effects Of The Minimum Wage On Employment Dynamics.” (2013): EconLit. Web 24 Oct. 2013.
Giuliano, Laura. “Minimum Wage Effects On Employment, Substitution, And The Teenage Labor Supply: Evidence From Personnel Data.” Journal Of Labor Economics 31.1 (2013): 155-194. EconLit. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.
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