In recent times, there has been an outcry from the public to raise the federal minimum wage to fifteen dollars per hour. For the last few years, unions have protested to raise the minimum wage in numerous cities across the United States. Minimum wage should not be raised fifteen dollars per hour because it will increase the unemployment rate, harm small businesses, and it could actually harm the low wage workers that this movement is trying to help.
The minimum wage was introduced in 1938 when Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act. The original minimum wage was 25 cents per hour. In the article What is Minimum Wage: Its History and Effects on the Economy, James Sherk writes, “Over the past 65 years the minimum wage has varied considerably in inflation-adjusted buying power. It has averaged $6.60 an hour in purchasing power in 2013 dollars. But it has ranged from a low of $3.09 an hour in late 1948 to a high of $8.67 an hour in 1968.”
Raising the minimum wage will not come without costs. For instance, it will become more difficult for younger and less skilled workers to find employment. In the article, Why we shouldn’t raise the minimum wage, Kevin A. Hassett and Michael R. Strain write, “The case against raising minimum wage is straightforward: a higher wage makes it more expensive for firms to hire workers.” As a result, less people will be employed, and those are laid off, fired or are in general, unemployed will suffer even more because they will not have any source of income. In addition, increasing the minimum wage to fifteen dollars per hour will harm small businesses. Natalie deMacedo’s article, Low-Income Workers: Raising the Minimum Wage Ruined Our L...
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...nstead of the government forcing companies to directly pay workers more money, allow them to give workers the skills to be promoted to higher level jobs, which would result in larger paychecks. By directly paying workers in minimum wage jobs more, it could decrease work ethic and motivation to learn new skills that could help them earn more money.
Increasing the minimum wage may have its benefits, but it will do more harm than good. Putting the burden on businesses to pay workers more will increase the unemployment rate because it is too expensive to pay more employees and keep up with the costs of running a business. Those who keep their jobs will benefit, but those who are laid off will suffer even more. By not raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, it will keep the unemployment rate at a more manageable number and businesses will not have as heavy of a burden.
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