Arguments for Raising the Minimum Wage

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The current minimum wage is inconsiderate and unsustainable for the low wage workers. These workers have to rely on the Government subsidies. The "Trickle-up Economics" article by article by Susan Milligan reveals that the big companies are benefitting from taxpayers money although indirectly. The reason behind this is that the government pays the money they are not willing to pay the low wage workers to sustain themselves through the $7 billion taxpayer-funded in SNAP benefits (food stamps). The society pays as a whole so it is only fair enough if the minimum wage is increased so that the low wage workers can support themselves and stop being a burden to the taxpayers.

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Furthermore, the jobs would become more attractive to average American citizens thereby cutting off job opportunities for the illegal immigrants. Consequently, the illegal immigrants would have a difficult time staying in America and thereby stop further illegal immigration.

Arguments against the minimum wage

According to some economists' views, there are adverse effects of increasing the minimum wage. The difference between what companies that are now paying to their lowest paid workers and the proposed minimum wage is a cost that someone has to bear. This cost could translate into lesser profits for the companies and their shareholders, or no pay raises for the companies' other staff, or the company could decide to pass this new cost to the end consumers. Either way, someone is affected adversely by such a move. Similarly, some companies might decide to lay off some low-wage workers to keep the cost of productions low and, therefore, such a move would result in job losses. The US News article highlighted a report from the Congressional Budget Office which pointed out that a $10.10 minimum wage reduces total employment by 500,000. On the same note, a separate study conducted by a team of researchers at Texas A &M University found out that there's a 0.5% drop in employment growth if there is a 10% increase in a minimum wage.

A $15 an hour could prove counterproductive, and it's too risky. According to the New York Times reading, such a move termed as beyond international experience.

The Economist clearly states that a pay rise is a business strategy. Big companies like Walmart want to boost productivity and increase sales. The highly motivated staff is a prerequisite for increased sales as well as productivity at the workplace. For example, the number of Walmart's stores termed by customers as good rose from 16% in February 2015 to 70% today; this was just after raising the minimum wage to $9 but it has not been proved. Moreover, staff turnover would be small since the employees would be satisfied with the current working conditions and would not go out looking for greener pastures.

I think the side supporting an increase in minimum wage has a valid argument. The current minimum wage is inhumane. How does the employer expect the employees to live on such meagre pay? The companies involved should take care of them by raising their pay instead of pushing that burden to the society as a whole. For example, the government spends $7 billion taxpayers' money in food stamps to those that cannot support themselves. The companies relying on low-wage workers would shut down if it were not for the government coming in to support the low wage workers.

According to the New York Times reading, a rise in the minimum wage, specifically to $15 per hour is too much; there are other tools for achieving the same such as the earned-income tax credit. The income tax credit earned could be used together with a higher minimum wage so as to raise the standard of living for the low wage workers.

Positive statements are objective in nature which can be tested and proved right or wrong. These tend to be factual. On the other hand, statements considered to be normative are subjective, and the judgement depends on an individual. They tend to be opinions with judgements. Oren Cass article on "A Better Wage Hike" is normative since the author states what he thinks, For example, he says that a higher pay hike would make some lose their jobs. Other normative examples would include: Susan Milligan's Trickle p Economics article and the Economist article on "Walmart and low wage America. High Expectations". Andrew Soergel's on "Fight for $15 Not All It's Cracked up to Be" is an example of a positive article. Andrew has given data to support his arguments. For example, he states that the federal minimum wage is just $7.25 per hour. The other positive articles are Alan Krueger's article in the New York Times Sunday Review and Drew Silver's article entitled "Who makes minimum wage?"

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