Molly I. Colorado

Minimum wage

American shouldn't raise minimum wage.

 Dear future president,

There have been many congressional and state legislative bills that propose a minimum wage hike for our nation. As a high school student in a AP Government class, I have researched this topic multiple times because, as a daughter of a self-employed business owner, my family would be greatly affected by a raise in minimum wage. Although these bills have the intended effects of boosting the economy and helping the working poor, they will have many negative consequences if passed. America will face inflation, higher unemployment rates, problems for small business, and little progress in actually helping the working poor.

If employers are forced to pay their employees more, one of two things will happen: they will either have to raise their price of goods and services to help pay for their more expensive employees or they will have to fire and lay off hard workers because they can no longer afford them. If employers do choose to lay off employees, there will be more people earning no money at all, which will hurt the economy more than if somebody was just making minimum wage. As the President of Job Creators, Alfred Ortiz, said, “hiking the minimum wage makes employees more expensive and therefore less employable”. If the employer chooses to raise their prices, people earning minimum wage would have to spend just about the same percentage of their income for those goods, which would not help them keep up with the price of living. Neither of these outcomes will help our economy and would actually hurt instead.

Raising the minimum wage would hurt small and locally owned businesses as well. Small business owners are usually self employed and pay themselves with the money left over. In the case of my dad, a local painting company owner, before he gets paid, he must pay his painters for their time and pay for the supplies needed. If his painters mess up and have to redo the job, this costs him more money in supplies, but he still has to pay them $12 or $15 an hour. Therefore, he won't be making as much money to help him support our family. This goes for all small and locally owned businesses. If the owner gets to a point where they have either laid off all the employees or have raised the price so much they have started to lose business, the owner may be forced to closed down their small business in order to go find a new job that pays more. A consequence that could come from this is less access to stores and services for small rural towns because all the small businesses have closed and big companies tend to be in more populated towns. This would hurt the economy by raising the unemployment rates even more. Small businesses account for 60 to 80 percent of all US jobs, according to Entrepreneur Magazine. Small businesses would be more likely to be run out of business with a hike in minimum wage, which would be devastating to the economy.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 3% of citizens make minimum wage to begin with. These are usually high school graduates or dropouts in low skilled jobs. Raising the minimum wage wouldn't help them keep up with the cost of living if the same percentage of their income is spent on necessities as prices go up with inflation. In this election, Colorado voters are voting for a ballot initiative that would increase minimum wage from $8.31 to $9.30 in 2017, then increase by $0.90 a year, until it reaches $12.00 in 2020. An argument for the bill is that increasing minimum wage by only $0.90 a year wouldn't cause inflation. Over the year it may not cause inflation, but, the direct few months after minimum wage has risen, inflation will happen as employers face the shock of their net income for the business decreasing. Raising the minimum wage by $0.90 would only result in a gain of about $40 a week. While $40 can help some families not hurt as much, most minimum wage earners money problems aren't going to be fixed by this small amount. Raising minimum wage may hurt the economy and not even help the families who are struggling to keep up with the cost of living.

Raising minimum wage wouldn't help or improve the economy, but actually hurt it. Prices of goods and services will increase, unemployment rates will increase, small businesses will close down in abundance, and the working poor will still remain the working poor if minimum wage is increased. As the future president, you shouldn't raise minimum wage on a national level or allow states to raise their minimum wage, but instead let the economy regulate the prices and wages.


Molly I.

Bagley, Rebecca O. "Small Businesses= Big Impact." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 15 May 2015. Web. 08 Nov. 2016.

State, By. "Colorado $12 Minimum Wage, Amendment 70 (2016) - Ballotpedia." Colorado $12 Minimum Wage, Amendment 70 (2016)