The concept of minimum wage has been a central element in the field of public policy for many years. Since 1938, when a Federal Minimum Wage law was approved by the United States Congress as part of the FAIR Labour Standards Act, a minimum wage has been introduced in various forms. In the process, they have become the basis for a lot of debate on the policy front. While different scholars hold different views on its relevance in a freemarket economy, let alone it being raised, more support is for the raising of the minimum wage. This essay presents a case for the raising of the minimum wage. It will provide arguments presented by various authorities in the field, demonstrating that raising the minimum wage has a more positive impact on the social welfare of the citizens and the general economy than a stagnant minimum wage.To support this standpoint, the essay will provide various reasons which have been presented by various scholars in the field of economic in support of raising the minimum wage.
Case for Raising the Minimum Wage
Eblen (2016), highlighted the relative advantages of raising the minimum wage for any economy. The author states thatraising the minimum wage increases the economic power of the citizenry, and this places them in a better economic position to access basic goods and services such as good health care, and minimizes Medicaid expenses. Eblen (2016), further contends that raising the minimum wage has the advantage that it increases people’s disposable income. This implies that the public has more money to spend, and this has a positive impact on the general economy by boosting economic growth and facilitating creation of more job opportunities. As such, Eblen (2016), posits that lawmakers should raise the minimum wage.
Ford & English(2016)reinforce Eblen (2016) case for an increase in the minimum wage. They posit that increasing the minimum wage allows labourers to afford a decent standard of living which goes towards boosting their economic status and social well-being. Lastly, Lundstrom (2016)conducted an empirical study to analyse the economic benefits of raising minimum wages. The study established that among other benefits, one of the main advantages of raising minimum wages is an increase in the employment levels. This has the long run effect of reducing relative poverty, improving living standards,increasing tax income for the government and a higher GDP. Thus it is evident that raising minimum wages has immense benefits to the economy as well as to an individual.
Case against Raising the Minimum Wage
While scholars have found a case for raising the minimum wage, there are other researchers who oppose the raising of minimum wages. These includesDorn & Cooper(2013) and Sabia (2015). Dorn & Cooper(2013) opined that raising the minimum wage has an adverse effect on the economy. They maintain that raising the minimum wage results in increased unemployment and fails to address poverty.Similarly, Sabia (2015) conducted an empirical study on the correlation between minimum wage and GDP. The findings of the study found no relationship between the two variables. The findings indicate that raising the minimum wage does not influence the economic performance of a country nor does it increase the economic growth. Therefore, raising minimum wage is ill-advised.
While the findings presented by opponents of raising the minimum wage seem valid, more evidence, empirical and theoretical, point towards relatively more economic and social benefits from increasing minimum wages. These benefits include increased economic empowerment of the citizenry and economic growth, increased employment opportunities, reduced poverty levels, improved standards of living, higher income tax for the government, and a higher GDP. As such, the minimum wage should be raised.
Dorn, J., & Cooper, D. (2013, March 5). Should the Federal Minimum Wage Be Raised? U.S. News Digital Weekly, 5(18), pp. 14-1114.
Eblen, T. (2016, October 30). Barr-Kemper debate highlights myth about minimum wage, which should be raised. Lexington Herald-Leader.
Ford, A., & English, M. (2016). Point: The Minimum Wage Should be Raised. Points of View Reference Center.
Lundstrom, S. (2016). When Is A Good Time To Raise The Minimum Wage? Contemporary Economic Policy, 35, 129-152.
Sabia, J. J. (2015). Minimum Wages and Gross Domestic Product. Contemporary Economic Policy, 33, 587-605.
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