Editorial: Appropriate Minimum Wage

In the Presidential debates, one topic that keeps coming up is the issue of minimum wage. Currently the country has the minimum wage set at $7.25 an hour, but in New York the wage is slightly higher set at $9 per hour, with the exception of certain fast food chain workers and those who receive tips.

Now focusing on just the worker who make at least $9, if they work full time over the course of a year, before taxes come into play, you should end up with about $17,280 a year. Seems like a fair amount on paper, but the poverty line?

According to the most recent poll, done back in 2014, it was concluded that the poverty threshold for a family of four was to placed at $24,230, for single adults the threshold is at about $12000.

Meaning, if you belong to a family of four and are working a full time minimum wage job in New York, you are already nearly seven thousand dollars underneath that fine line.

Living can get pretty expensive. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,638 in the New York metro area, but for city slickers? Try three grand in Manhattan, so in the course of a year, $36,000 goes to rent alone.
On top of housing, people also have to eat, maintain adequate living conditions, pay for transportation, and keep up with bills.

It’s a common stigma that raising the minimum wage would only aid teenagers, but in actuality most lower wage working individuals are over the age of 20, and the average age is about 35 according to a study performed by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

In addition, for groups suffering from poverty, over the course of the past decade, children in poverty have been on the rise, it has been estimated that 27 percent of minimum wage workers have children, so by raising the minimum wage, the country would help lift children out of poverty conditions.

Now it’s true what is to be said about raising the minimum wage, not everyone would be able to provide the raise to their employees. Mom and Pop shops have a hard enough time as it is, and by raising the wage, they may have to close up shop unable to keep up with labor costs, thus perpetuating big businesses to thrive.

Yet, why is it that 60 percent of small business owners are in favor of raising the minimum wage?

Since the housing crash of 2008, businesses have been struggling to make a comeback, but the idea is, if you pay workers a higher wage, they will have more money in their pockets to do as they wish.

More money in the working class pockets means more potential buyers for business owners.

People will have the urge to buy products, homes, education for themselves or children, food, services, just name it and there will be a higher demand for it.

And it’s not just an idea, it’s happened before. Since 1938, the federal minimum wage has been raised 22 times, and with it the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita has steadily risen.

By raising the federal minimum wages, the economy tends to thrive.

According to several studies from economists, the minimum wage should be much higher than the one currently in place. Ranging from $10.10 all the way up into the low $20’s range, because over the years, even with the raising of the minimum wage, experts claim that policies on the wage increases have not been aligned with the inflation.

So should the minimum wage be raised? Absolutely!

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