Jasmine C. Texas

We Must Raise the Minimum Wage

“We should raise the minimum wage so that no one who works full time has to live in poverty."

Dear to the Next President,

In today’s society, according to the United States Bureau of Labor, 1.3 million Americans work for the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Obviously, $7.25 per hour isn’t a wage that people can make a living with. In our community and beyond that, there are many Americans who go hungry. More than 45 million people, or 14.5 percent of all Americans are currently in poverty. Within that 14.5 percent are 28 million people who are working full-time jobs and still are in poverty. Just because people are in poverty doesn’t mean they don’t work or aren’t dedicated! There are many misconceptions and theories that we think to be true of the effects of raising the minimum wage of hurting our economy and our community, but research proves the opposite. We must raise the minimum wage.

Minimum wage protects the citizens or employees who work in low wage jobs; not just only teenagers. The lives of low-income workers are heavily impacted by the increase of the minimum wage. More than half of workers in America are living on the minimum wage as a primary income. Living at an income wage at $7.25 per hour, having one or even two parents working full time jobs, in this society, paying for housing, transportation, and everyday needs would seem nearly impossible. In conclusion, the people who work multiple low-paying jobs can’t earn enough to support their families. The effects of poverty on a children is devastating. No matter how hard and long a parent or two works, the family will remain in poverty due to the minimum wage in low-paid jobs. It can become a burden over parents and be hard on them because they can see their children not being able to eat on proper meals, their shelter, and other living necessities. Obviously, this burden is on them their whole life that cannot be suppressed without the growth of their central income, the minimum wage. All in all, like Bernie Sanders stated on Twitter, 

"Nobody who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty."

Another factor that average people fear with the United States’ economics with the raise of minimum wage is inflation. Inflation is the term for the general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money. In the past, when the federal minimum wage was only $3.35 per hour in 1981 it was adjusted for inflation. Currently the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and if it is adjusted for inflation, the ideal minimum wage would need to be more. It is expected that the federal minimum wage would need to be $8 per hour more to equal its buying power. That's why President Obama is urging Congress to increase the federal minimum wage and give low-wage workers a much-needed and deserved boost.

Recently in New York and Boston, protests and rallies formed in the streets of raising the minimum wage. The Fight for 15 is an example of this. Fight for 15 was first originated with a hundred fast food workers striking for $15.00 as the minimum wage in New York City. It now has become an international organization all over three hundred cities of fast food workers, airport workers, retail employees, and underpaid workers everywhere. By now there has been two distinct sides to this controversy over minimum wage, increasing, neutral, and decreasing the minimum wage advocates. Raising the minimum wage has many benefits to the city and country. It will reduce income inequality. The average Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of any company shouldn’t make a thousand times more than a full-time minimum wage worker. It will improve our country’s economic security.

Having an increase in the minimum wage might probably sound absurd to most people, due to concern with job loss and the plummet of possible unemployment rate. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, also known as the FRBSF, it is proven that increasing the minimum wage will not result in job losses for newly hired and unskilled workers. (also known as the “last one hired equals first on fired”) Minimum wage increasing have nearly no effect in employment in the studies and research by economists across the world. On the other hand, studies have shown on the other hand that higher wages reduce employees getting turnovered which reduces the employment and training costs companies has to go through.

In a recent study conducted by the United States Department of Labor, the misconceptions of how raising the minimum wage would cause people to lose their jobs and more, were to stated as false. Using statistics from a survey taken in July of 2016, it was proven that the theory that small business owners wouldn’t afford to pay their workers more, and therefore won’t support an increase in the federal minimum wage was proven to be false. The survey stated that small business owners support a gradual increase to $12 per hour. (in favor by 84 percent) The studies shows how business owners think of the effect of increasing the minimum wage. Low-wage workers would immediately earn more money and then spend their money on everyday needs like housing, food, and gas. The owners of the businesses then believe that the immediate boost in demand for goods and services would stimulate the economy and create more opportunities. Also the Central Intelligence Agency, stated that the federal minimum wage has been increased 22 times since 1938. In conclusion, for more than seventy-five years, the real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has steadily increased, even when the minimum wage has been raised. Therefore, the concept of the economy becoming worse due to the increase of minimum wage is also proven to be false.

Through research and statistics, the minimum wage affects many working people; not just only teenagers. Minimum wage is an ongoing social issue that must be solved. It is unfair that many Americans are working full-time jobs and still can’t make a living. Like Barack Obama, said 

“We should raise the minimum wage so that no one who works full time has to live in poverty.” President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, January 20, 2015

 We must raise the minimum wage to provide hope and help the hardworking citizens so that they are able to provide for themselves. It’s time for a change in society, and you as our next president should be able to do so. We must raise the minimum wage.


Jasmine C.

Cedar Valley Middle School 8th Grade ELA

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