Raising the Minimum Wage


Hanna Chodzin

Lately, a huge topic of discussion has been raising the minimum wage. Minimum wage was first introduced in 1938 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt beginning at $.25 an hour, created during the Great Depression in an attempt to reduce the extreme poverty. Since then the minimum wage has been changed by congress 22 total times, most recently in 2009 from $6.55 to $7.25–but it does vary per state.

The main argument we face, is that $7.25 is not nearly enough to make a living off of. The pros to raising the minimum wage (some say to $10.10, others say $15) include increasing economic activity, reduce poverty, reduce government welfare spending, reduce income inequality, and many more. I like to think of the people who actually need to make a living and support themselves and others off of the minimum wage or around that set hourly income. Those who could not afford a sufficient college education, and have to work at a restaurant or retail store that only pays minimum wage. Plenty of teenagers’ education was cut short due to pregnancy–and now they are responsible for themselves and a child and needed a job fast. Raising the minimum wage would ultimately help the lower class have a sense of financial stability.

However, on the other side of the spectrum, raising the minimum wage poses a lot of problems for businesses. Having to pay employees more hourly could result in a lot of unemployment due to lack of money to pay everyone equally. Raising the minimum wage could also result in an overall increase in the cost of consumer goods.

Under plenty of discussion, we are unsure if this debacle will actually become a reality. Hopefully, though, if introduced the only outcome we’ll receive will be more money!