The Minimum Wage Must Be Increased Essay

The Minimum Wage Must Be Increased Essay

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“Of course, nothing helps families make ends meet like higher wages. … And to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.”

–President Obama, State of the Union address, Jan. 20, 2014


In the 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to raise the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, and soon after signed an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for the individuals working on new federal service contracts. An increase in the minimum wage has been a topic of discussion for many years now, and it looks like this year will finally see the first increase of minimum wage in 10 years. Not everyone agrees that there should be an increase, but many states have already raised their minimum wage rates because of the federal government’s inaction. Iowa raised the state’s wage, and it will rise again in 2016. Clearly there are benefits to a higher minimum wage; the current minimum wage in the United States should be raised because it helps the economy by increasing employment, and it is now at the lowest value it has been in more than 50 years, causing hardship for earners of minimum wage.

Many critics claim that that raising minimum wage increases unemployment, especially for unskilled workers, and harms small businesses, including grocery stores and restaurants. The argument declares that companies such as these rely mostly on unskilled workers for labor, and if the minimum wage increases, then their profits and, therefore, hiring would decline, creating a...


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...depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country...”
-- President Franklin Roosevelt



Works Cited

Batra, Ravi. Greenspan's Fraud: How Two Decades of His Policies Have Undermined the Global Economy. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. 

Bernstein, Jared. “Would Raising the Minimum Wage Harm the Economy?” The CQ Researcher 16 Dec. 2005:1069.

Chasanov, Amy. “No Longer Getting By.” 11 May 2004. Economic Policy Institute. 6 May 2007. .

Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America. New York, NY: Metropolitan Books, 2001. 

Katel, Peter. “Minimum Wage.” The CQ Researcher 16 Dec. 2005: 1055-1072.

The Value of the Minimum Wage. Economic Policy Institute.6 May 2007. .

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