West Milford Twp. High School
67 Highlander Drive
West Milford, NJ 07480
November 3, 2016
Future President at the White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Future President:
My name is Noel. I am a sophomore from West Milford High School. The purpose of this letter is to address the problems with minimum wage laws in hope that you will take it to your consideration to raise minimum wage. Compared to the minimum wage of 1938 when it was first introduced, minimum wage has risen considerably, but with inflation, the amount of value you can buy with a set amount of currency has dropped leading to an increase in poverty. I believe that if the government were to raise the minimum wage, many people living in poverty would be able to get back on their feet and off government funded programs for support. I am however aware that simply raising the minimum wage won’t fix everything, but if the government slowly increases it and analyzes the data they will find a point where the minimum wage is enough for people to live off of it and not too high that companies go out of business.
During the great depression, many people fell into poverty due to over 9000 banks failing because of a stock market crash. Many people were going hungry and weren’t getting paid enough money to support their families. A minimum wage was set to make sure that everyone working made at least enough money to live off of. Originally the minimum wage was $0.25 per hour and has risen since, due to inflation.
There are many effects that minimum wage laws have, for increasing or decreasing the minimum wage. One of which is if the minimum wage is too low, people working for this pay won’t be able to support themselves or families and will be forced to live a life of poverty. Also, since less people would be employed, they would be collecting their unemployment which is funded by the government. However, if the minimum wage is set too high companies will be forced to either go out of business, stop hiring, or layoff employees. So with the attempt to make sure people are paid better, it can ultimately backfire by causing less jobs to be open. Now there would be more people on unemployment racking up the government’s debt.
Now we’re in a situation that if the minimum wage is lowered too low, many people will be forced into poverty, but if if it rises too high, businesses will shut down and less jobs will be available for the working public. So should we keep minimum wage where it is and play it safe? No. when minimum wage was first set, people were able to buy more value for a set amount of currency. Now, even though we have a higher minimum wage than in 1938, inflation has caused the cost to live to go up, leaving minimum wage behind. If the US is going to fix the biggest issue in this world, poverty, increasing the minimum wage to a reasonable amount is the first step we must take.
In conclusion, minimum wage is a messy issue to deal with and I’ll admit their is no perfect solution, but I believe it would be in the public’s best interest to reconsider the current minimum wage. People can’t make a living off of the minimum wage we have now and it should be raised as inflation increases. The cost to live now is much higher than it was 70 years ago and it is affecting thousands of lives. I just hope that you will take your time to review what I have said and make the right decision. Do you really want the people you represent, the people who put you in the very position you are in now, who believed in you, to suffer from poverty. With that, it is your choice what the future of this country will be.
Student, West Milford High School