How can raising minimum wage help increase economic mobility (2)

Taylor Cunningham


Rough Draft

15 October 2019

How can raising minimum wage help increase economic mobility?

The annual amount for minimum wage that workers are being paid in the United States is $7.25 an hour. About 20.6 million people or more like 30% of all hourly, non-self-employed workers that are18 and older are minimum-wage workers. Some states have increased their minimum wage but not many have changed it due to inflation. While living as a U.S citizen, there are several things that workers are wanting to be changed but there would be problems that arise if those things are changed. The government has the control over whether they want to go ahead and make that decision, but the issue is that there has been an ongoing debate for a while. Although increasing minimum wage sounds great, there would be changes needed to be done and pros and cons following.

When it comes to the working community, you have your workers who receive minimum wage, ones who receive a little over minimum wage and others who receive way above minimum wage. Several of these companies cannot afford to increase their pay wages because of the amount of employees they have and the amount of money they have to pay out within a period of time. As Boehner said, “when you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it” (19). Basically, he is saying that if the employees are getting paid more, than eventually the amount of employees will eventually start to decrease. He also said, “The last time Congress increased the minimum wage, in 2007, the national unemployment rate stood at 4.4 percent and had averaged under 5 percent for the preceding three years” (19). This shows that the unemployment rate has started to increase from the decision that was made in 2007. So, it is a hard decision to be made by certain companies because they have other issues that would come about if they proceed with the increase.

Americas poverty levels has always been an issue, especially when it comes to working citizens who are still in poverty. When Obama was in office, he decided that he wanted the minimum wage rate to be increased. This was said in a state of the union address to congress and the United States. It is said in Harkness article, “since 1967, the inflation adjusted earnings of middle-class Americans have risen a paltry 19 percent, while those in the top 5 percent have enjoyed a 67 percent gain, according to the U.S. Census Bureau” (1). The middle-class people could eventually fall below as well if things are adjusted. This is because their mortgages would increase, and their cost of living would also. Harkness also puts in his article that, “In all, 46.5 million Americans are living below the poverty level” (1). That number alone is very disturbing to read when it comes to Americans being poor.

As stated before, there has already been a rising of minimum wage in different countries. The fact that minimum wage has been risen already in some states is an improvement for some. In the article that Meer had wrote, Meer says, “Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have raised their minimums since 2014” (Meer1). By those states doing that, there could be several reasons of why their decision was to raise the minimum wage. One reason may be that the cost of living for them may be low and it would not affect them in a negative way. Another reason may be that all of those states may have come together in an agreement of some sort that helps if either one come into a problem with inflation or anything else. He also puts in his article that, “Congress is considering the Raise the Wage Act, which would phase in a nationwide increase to $15 an hour over the next few years” (Meer1). With that being risen that high, it raises concerns on what else may be effected by this.