Got A Summer Job? Here’s Why We Should Raise The Minimum Wage

I just read this great article,The Capitalist’s Case for a $15 Minimum Wage, that made some interesting arguments about why we should raise the minimum wage to $15. Some of you economy or political science majors may have a lot of opinions on this, so I would love if (anyone) y’all weighs in. The writer of the article is obviously pro-raising minimum wage but I am sure there are interesting and valid positions against it. So let me know. I think we need to raise it, I am not sure how much or how to do it but $7.25 in New York City is a JOKE.

If billion dollar corporations like McDonald’s who almost exclusively employ minimum wage workers, paid a little more (which they clearly have the money for because they do not invest that shit in quality food) they’d have better employees with more spending power that could help fuel the economy.

Now, let’s get to the good arguments.

1. 60% of jobs lost during the economic recession were middle-income, while 59% of new positions in the past 2 years of recovery are low wage jobs in retail, food and cleaning. By 2020 48% jobs will be in these sectors.

2. “If the minimum wage had simply tracked U.S. productivity gains since 1968, it would be $21.72 an hour — three times what it is now.”

3. Raising the minimum wage to $15 would inject $450 billion into the economy. This would give poor and middle-income families a dramatic increase in spending power, which would stimulate buying, production and hiring.

4. “Studies by the Economic Policy Institute show that a $15 minimum wage would directly affect 51 million workers and indirectly benefit an additional 30 million. That’s 81 million people, or about 64 percent of the workforce, and their families who would be more able to buy cars, clothing and food from our nation’s businesses.”

5. In 60% of the states that increased the minimum wage during times of high unemployment, job growth was faster than the national average.

6. With more money, less families would be reliant on things like food stamps, welfare and other government safety nets.

7. “The CBO report shows that the federal government gives about $8,800 in annual assistance to the lowest-income households but only $4,000 to households earning $35,500, which would be about the level of earnings of a worker making $15 an hour.”

8.  While some say, raising minimum wage will create less employment by squeezing businesses pockets, the opposite seems to be reasonably true. More people with more money equals more spending, which means there will be more demand that will require more employees.

9. Some fear these jobs will get outsourced, however most of them cannot be. You cannot outsource a Burger King fry cook to China or a Walmart janitor to India.

10. It obviously doesn’t make sense that the minimum wage is so low. It’s just another example of how power is intentionally concentrated into 1% of the population. The cost of living is steadily increasing yet minimum wage does not. The minimum wage is supposed to be a living wage that allows each member of society to be a healthy contributor to it. Those who cannot make ends meet miss out on education, which is the #1 thing that allows to become contributing, thoughtful citizens. Imagine actually being able to pay your way through college? Instead we have to choose between food, rent and enrichment.

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