Raising the Minimum Wage: Pros and Cons


Nicholas Capuzello, Senior Staff Writer

The United States Congress first created minimum wage laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938. Its purpose? To prevent employers from taking advantage of workers. Although these laws were created to help workers, they have also become the main point of many political debates. The minimum wage has been a debatable topic for over 50 years. The current United States President, Joe Biden, is in favor of a federal minimum wage of $15.00 an hour. In contrast, former United States President Donald Trump was not very supportive of the idea. While raising the minimum wage does have some advantages, it also has its disadvantages. Let us consider both.

One significant advantage of raising the minimum wage is that it would offer a higher standard of living to the 17 million minimum wage workers in America. It would also help many families escape from poverty. According to the Economic Policy Institute online: “Low wages hurt all workers and are particularly harmful to Black workers and other workers of color, especially women of color, who make up a disproportionate share of workers who are severely underpaid”  Hubbard High School senior Joe Madeline is in support of raising the minimum wage. He says: “Raising the minimum wage could be very beneficial for college students who work minimum wage jobs and pay for all or part of their schooling.” Another idea is that raising the minimum wage would boost the morale of employees creating a friendlier and healthier work environment, as well as causing an increase in consumer spending. 

While increasing the minimum wage can have benefits, it can also be accompanied by economic consequences. Some people argue that increasing the minimum wage would cause businesses to increase their prices, thus causing inflation. Hubbard High School senior Albert Gerlick supports this idea. He said that, “If the minimum wage goes up, so does the price of everything else.” Another idea is that if the minimum wage increases, there will be more competition for minimum wage jobs. Lastly, another possible negative is that idea that employers, particularly small business employers will need to reduce staffing, should the minimum wage increase. ” The 2019 CBO (Congressional Budget Office) report estimates that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would result in the loss of approximately 1.3 million jobs,” states Investopeida.com 

Raising the minimum wage has been a controversial topic for over five decades.  While good in theory, the minimum wage’s effectiveness in real practice is still questionable and hotly debated. 


Source: https://www.thebalance.com/us-minimum-wage-what-it-is-history-and-who-must-comply-3306209