Minimum Wage | Teen Ink

Minimum Wage

March 18, 2014
By Dalton Hutchinson BRONZE, Columbus, New Jersey
Dalton Hutchinson BRONZE, Columbus, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

It’s obvious that the minimum wage is a problem. I think that it needs to be raised. At the moment the federal minimum wage is $7.25. (source 3) This is extremely low and people have already started to try to raise it. Barack Obama said in his State of the Union Address on February 3, 2013: “Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong.” He also said “Let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty.” (source 2)

Minimum wage is basically the lowest amount of money a person can get paid for any job per hour. The federal minimum wage sets the lowest minimum wage there could be in any state. Although if voters say yes to raise the minimum wage it can be. So far the states that have are: Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Montgomery, Colorado, Montana, Ohio, New York, Florida, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Jersey. (source 3) Many people agree that we need to raise the minimum wage. People who work hard for their money don’t even get enough to keep their families going.

Even though low-paid workers need enough money to live there are some trade-offs to raising the minimum pay they can get. One large group of people arguing against raising minimum wage is business owners, more specifically small business owners. They say that they can’t afford to pay the extra money to their workers. They would have to cut down on job openings and working condition quality. A lot of economists agree with them too. They are afraid to lower the minimum wage when our economy is already weak. They want there to be more job openings so that people can get a job and some payment instead of being unemployed.

Even if there will be more jobs, getting paid $7.25 won’t be a steady career to keep a family fed. If we can't get the people who have jobs and are paid minimum wage out of poverty, then I don't think we can try to bring people without jobs out of poverty. Most people who agree with raising the minimum wage think we should bring it up to $9 an hour. This would raise the income of a family paid minimum wage by $3,500 a year. (source 1) That could be the difference between having dinner on the table or going to bed hungry.




The author's comments:
I was inspired to write this piece when I was at Church one day. We were having a food drive and hearing all of the stories about the people made me want to do something.

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