To Raise, or Not to Raise? Minimum Wage, That Is

Most of us have been there, and many of us still are: earning minimum wage, and struggling to make it work. Figuring it out month to month. Unsurprisingly, the role of federal minimum wage comes up a lot in American politics these days — some folks are in favor of raising it, some for keeping it the same, and some for getting rid of it altogether.

Here are some of the pros and cons to raising the federal minimum wage. 

People for increasing minimum wage say…

  • The minimum wage doesn’t allow for upward mobility. Federal minimum wage is only $7.25/hour for most people. If you work 40 hours a week, that’s only $1,160 a month. Now think about your rent or mortgage payment, and do some quick math. It’s terrifying, frankly.
  • States can’t be counted on to raise their own minimum wages. Yes, some states have a higher minimum wage than federal level...but 21 don’t. People in those 21 states rely on the federal minimum wage for a liveable income, and it’s not working.
  • It would help whole communities. People with more disposable income will stimulate business growth in their communities. A better living for some of us helps all of us.
  • It would reduce the need for public assistance. More than 1.7 million workers would stop relying on food stamps, welfare, subsidized housing and other publicly-funded programs. This has two huge benefits: decreasing the tax dollars needed for these programs and ending the generational cycles of poverty that keep people reliant on government entitlements. 
  • When you allow for inflation, minimum wage hasn’t increased in years. It’s actually lower than it was in the late 1960s. It’s just time.

People against increasing the minimum wage say…

Tell us in the comments: what do you think? To raise, or not to raise.


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