A Brief Note On Raising The Minimum Wage

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Alternatives to Raising the Minimum Wage Minimum wage is a topic of considerable controversy and a significant source of economic stratification. Essentially, the minimum wage policy is what defines the baseline income of “low level” or “starting positions.” Here in the U.S. most individuals will at some point in their life hold a minimum wage position. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 58.5% of U.S. citizens were paid at hourly rates, and about 2.6 million workers are actively working in positions that earn the federal minimum wage or less. Unfortunately, in certain circumstances, minimum wage income is not sufficient to support individuals’ and families’ cost of living. Arising from this issue is the
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There are many countries that have minimum wage policies that are more generous than the U.S., and the success of these policies varies. In the OECD Journal: Economic Studies, a 1991 economic comparison of the U.S. and France, authors Stephen Bazen and John Martin identify that the French equivalent of the U.S. policy, titled “salaire minimum interprofessionnel de croissance” or SMIC, is more reactive to inflation, grows with the economy, and also shapes the demographics of the minimum wage workforce. Unfortunately, high minimum wage costs may impact the decisions of employers. Currently, according to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the France unemployment rate is at roughly 10%, while the minimum wage is about $1596 per month (which is about $500-$600 more per month than the U.S.). Overall, there are several concerns related to raising the minimum wage such as decline in employment of younger and less-skilled individuals, decreased emphasis on education, and automation of jobs, to name a few. These concerns must be considered when deciding whether or not to raise the minimum wage. Although raising the minimum wage could immediately help individuals and families support themselves, it may ultimately result in more difficult circumstances. There are a number of alternative changes that could that should first be considered, and essentially raising the minimum wage—substantially (as has been recommended)—should

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