Raising Minimum Wages: What’s It Really Worth?

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Raising Minimum Wages: What’s It Really Worth? Words like “unemployment” and “poverty” have seemingly crept into every American’s conversations, are televised on news channels as frequently as commercials, and are printed in every local newspaper and major magazine. Although most Americans are not faced with unemployment or poverty, those who are suffer great hardship through rising costs and a stagnant economy. Some admirably suggest that raising minimum wages across the nation would damper the effects of poverty on our most vulnerable and impoverished citizens. However, raising minimum wages has far greater implications than what is widely known and has the potential of leading to increased poverty and unemployment. Joseph J. Sabia, professor of the Department of Public Administration & Policy, American University, states, “minimum wages fail to reduce poverty because many poor Americans do not work.” (593). Minimum wage laws were created to protect poor Americans and subsequently federal and state governments would increase minimum wages periodically to counter inflation rates. The problem that emerged from this is employers’ demands for labor decreased as minimum wages increased. As a result, Americans already unemployed who sought work can no longer compete for a position that has now closed. Another complication stemming from these positions being closed is the competition that was faced between employees. As competition increased due to fewer positions being

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