Is minimum wage increase really what we want?
Many of this year’s presidential candidates believe that minimum wage should be increased, have they considered all the facts? Although this may sound appealing to Americans at first glance, upon closer inspection, it could cause a great deal of problems for our country. Increasing the minimum wage could make it extremely difficult for small businesses to take off and succeed. It could increase unemployment rates as well as poverty, and it could make it nearly impossible for teenagers, young-adults, and other low-skilled workers to acquire jobs.
So how come there is so much debate about raising minimum wage? Well many people believe that raising minimum wage could be a great solution to poverty in America. Jill Stein, Green party presidential candidate said, “In the world’s richest country, no one who works should live in poverty.” I think that Jill Stein has a great point, and it isn’t fair that many Americans have to live in poverty while others prosper, but raising minimum wage will not change that.
If we were to raise minimum wage it would cause huge problems for small businesses like restaurants. Ucilia Wang, author for The Guardian newspaper, tells us that “some restaurants (where minimum wage has been increased) have responded by raising their food by as much as 20%, or adding a mandatory service charge and doing away with tips.” In order to stay in business, these restaurants really don't have a choice but to raise the price of food or add mandatory tips. That being said, it really doesn’t attract customers when prices are raised, and without customers it’s impossible to keep a business running.
Bernie Sanders tells us that millions of Americans are working for totally inadequate wages, and that we must insure that no full time worker lives in poverty. Although I believe that this statement is true, I don’t think that raising minimum wage will solve this problem. Raising minimum wage would call for job lay offs and ultimately create more extreme cases of poverty. If someone starts making double the money they were previously, that money is not just going to come out of thin air. Besides the real problem with poverty is not that they're not getting paid enough, it's that they're not getting paid at all. “In 2005 over three-fifths of individuals living below the poverty line did not work, and only 11 percent worked full-time year-round” (Sherk).
As a job holder and receiver of minimum wage, I don’t think that minimum wage should be increased because I know I don’t deserve more than what I'm making. If minimum wage were to be raised, I doubt that I would be employed for much longer because I’m sure that my assistance isn’t worth double what I'm currently getting paid in my boss's eyes. Employment policies institute said, “Economic research has shown time and again that increasing the minimum wage destroys jobs for low-skilled workers (teens) while doing little to address poverty.” If we want to lower unemployment rates, then raising minimum wage is exactly the opposite thing that we should be doing.
Extensive research shows that raising minimum wage will not solve our problems, we will still have unemployment and poverty. Not only will it not solve problems, but raising minimum wage will increase problems for small businesses, and low-skilled workers, while also making it nearly impossible for unemployed Americans to find work, and it will create more unemployed citizens. So don’t be fooled into thinking that a raise in the wage is what will help our country. All in all raising minimum wage is just a way to make naive Americans happy for a very short time.