Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Is a Minimum Wage Increase Viable?

Is a Minimum Wage Increase Viable?
Written by: Adam Immel

Minimum wage is one of the most polarizing subjects of debate in the United States. While there will always be counter arguments, some believe there are plenty of incentives to an increase in minimum wage that would benefit the people and local communities without damaging. A minimum wage increase would impact the 89% of minimum wage employees that are over the age of 20, which definitely impacts more than teenagers. Additionally, research by the Congressional Budget Office shows that a minimum wage increase to  would also lift 900,000 families (not people) above the poverty line, and drive up the demand for goods. As a result of this, a heightened demand for goods and services, impacting employees with higher wages of whom sell those goods.

The argument to this wage increase is that there are simply too many negative trade-offs for the government and the rest of unaffected Americans to handle.  The same Congressional Budget Office that conducted the previously mentioned research suggested that an increase in minimum wage would result in inflated unemployment numbers, as much as 100,000 employees laid off for a wage increase to $9.00 per hour, and 500,000 employees off of an increase to $10.10. To support this negative, The Law Dictionary suggests that increase in minimum earnings will result in companies raising prices on goods and services to compensate. Essentially, the main argument from the increase naysayers stems from the potential negative effects on small businesses.

From all this information provided, some still make an educated claim that the Federal Minimum Wage in America should be raised somewhat. However, an increase needs to not be drastic (a $7.75 increase to $15), but instead be a gradual increase, or a smaller number, such as $12. Evidence provided by the US Department of Labor suggests that 3 out of 5 small businesses support a minimum wage increase, and doesn’t rule out that the other 2 out of 5 cannot support such an increase. Furthermore,many liberals create the argument centered around the rise of prices on goods stems from the majority of corporate greed, in which maximizing profits is the utmost importance. Such increases in prices could make resemblance to the increase in steel prices in 1962, in which President John. F Kennedy intervened.

Inflation rates suggest that it’s time for a minimum wage increase, as employees have lost about 8.1% purchasing power to inflation, as their wage have not increased. To subdue the arguments by many that minimum wage will benefit mostly minors, some in politics feel it necessary to propose a split age minimum wage, where minors make approximately the current rate, and adults receive a higher wage. With these incentives to make a move more appealing to doubters, many feel it is essential to make this increase effective to further grow our economy and lift hard working Americans out of poverty.

Works Cited

DeSilver, Drew. "5 Facts about the Minimum Wage." Pew Research Center RSS. N.p., 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2018.

Region/Country, By. "Minimum Wage Mythbusters." United States Department of Labor. N.p., 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2018.

"The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income." Congressional Budget Office. N.p., 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2018.


  1. I think it is really cool that you did so much research on this topic that is definitely pertinent to us living at the current moment in time. I believe it will be interesting to see when and if the minimum wage will be risen. I find it interesting that different individuals regardless of having access to the same information tend to disagree on how much the minimum wage should increase for those earning the wage. I agree that the wage should be driven up and think that you definitely made your point very clear and concise using evidence to support it really well.

  2. This is a great example of "sticky wages" in real life, and I would definitely agree with a gradual raise in minimum wage in order to counter the effects of inflation. Furthermore, with the current low rate of unemployment and high demand for workers, an increased minimum wage would benefit the economy by increasing output and spending.

  3. There is no way that the minimum wage could be increased to the wanted $15. A smaller increase could be achieved, but nearly doubling it would be too difficult and is too high a wage for many of the jobs at the start. $15 and hour is something that a person fresh out of college might make at their job, not what a high schooler with no job experience whatsoever. While a smaller increase would help the youth, there can't be a huge up in the minimum wage.


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