Congress enacted the federal minimum wage in 1938, during the Great Depression. Congress had two goals; keeping workers away from poverty and boosting consumer spending for economic recovery. Today, there is a debate, whether we should increase the minimum wage again. Increasing the minimum wage is useful for several reasons. First, the current minimum wage has failed to keep up with inflation. Second, a higher income level reduces employee turnover and increases efficiency and ultimately, raising the minimum wage does not reduce employment. Even with high unemployment rates, the minimum wage is useful for the economy.
Today "the federal minimum wage" is $7.25 per hour since July 24, 2009. It has failed to keep up with inflation. The …show more content…
Economists explain this connection with efficiency wage theory. The theory implies that higher wages motivate workers to work harder and increase their incomes to enable them to eat well and become healthier. Increasing the minimum wage thus will increase productivity and demand for labor. A recent study by Andreas Georgiadis (2008) supported this view. In the study, Georgiadis states “estimation results suggest that higher wage costs were more than offset by lower monitoring costs, and thus the overall evidence implies that the national minimum wage may have operated as an Efficiency Wage.”
These policies also encourage employers to increase training investments. Economists Daron Acemoglu and Jörn‐Steffen Pischke showed in their study (1999) that compression in the structure of wages can cause firm-sponsored training. They concluded “When the wage structure is distorted away from the competitive benchmark and in favor of less skilled workers, firms may want to invest in the general skills of their employees” In their research, in 2001, they also state “In noncompetitive labor markets, minimum wages tend to increase training of affected workers because they induce firms to train their unskilled employees.”
Opponents to minimum wage raise claim that the minimum wage costs jobs by pricing low-wage workers out of the labor market. However, when we review academic studies that examine the effects of minimum wage increases on
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Minimum wage has caused controversy throughout history between the two parties in government, the Democrats and Republicans, debating if they should increase minimum wage or not. Minimum wage was first established during 1938 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Sessions). The first act to enforce employers to pay its employees is the Fair Labor Standards Act which followed the Social Security Act (Sessions). Minimum wage started as twenty-five (25) cents per hour which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it was at that time (Sessions). The United States tended to raise the minimum wage when the standard of living changed. Since 1938, two other amendments were created to increase minimum wage laws even more. By 1961, minimum wage raised to $1.15 with another increase in 1963 (wages). Since the 1963 wage change, minimum wage created a trend of increasing yearly or every other year (Wages). From 2007 to 2009 minimum wage increased each year making the current minimum wage $7.25 (wages). Sine minimum wage has been established, Congress has increased minimum wage twenty-two times (22) (). Since minimum wage is supposed to change when the standard of living changes, then why hasn’t the United States government changed it since 2009?
During all the history of minimum wages a bunch of studies were made to analyse the effects that the minimum wage changes can bring to employee’s life. In the oldest studies, the institutions that worked on it couldn’t find a significant change on the employees, job searches and employee’s behaviours. The only fact that was noticed was the
Ira Knight, who is an author of article “Let’s Make the Minimum Wage a Living Wage”, expresses an opinion that increasing the minimum wage would help all struggling workers and at the same time improve U.S economy. On the other side, Janice Steele in her article “Keep the Minimum Wage Where It Is” argues that raising the minimum wage would have bad effects on workers, consumers and small businesses. Ira Knight’s article seems to be the stronger of the two positions because her arguments are based on several recent studies, and last but not least, she had a personal experience with the minimum wage job.
Raising the minimum wage sounds like a beneficial idea, but there are also a few surprising reasons why it might not be such a good plan after all. A common assumption among Americans is that raising the minimum wage equals an increased income, but, according to Joseph J. Sabia and Richard V. Burhkauser that may not be the case. They discovered that, “examining only employment effects, however, may mask full labor demand effects. Firms may respond to minimum wage hikes by (i) reducing both employment and average hours worked by employed workers or (ii) increasing hours of retained workers to compensate for reduced employment” (Couch and Wittenburg 2001; Neumark and Wascher 2007) (595). What, exactly, would be the point in
Investing in employees is the single most important investment that a company can make. A lot of Americans are now in deep poverty, or have a huge amount of debt to catch up too. With the thought of that, in the United States today, millions of Americans are living on the federal minimum wage of $7.25. For this case, it is necessary that there is a need for an increase in the federal minimum wage because it would be much more beneficial to both the economy of the United States and to individual workers because more Americans need spending power, higher minimum wage will help close the wide gap between the wealthy and the poor, and the working poor need to protect themselves in case something goes wrong.
To begin, increasing minimum wage would increase economic activity. With an increase of $1.75 hourly, it has been predicted that there would be increase of aggregate household spending to $48 billion the next year (Aaronson). This increase would boost the United States GDP and lead to job growth, which proves that higher minimum wage equates to higher economic activity. In addition, it has also been found that raising minimum wage would would benefit
The minimum wage debate brings about a range of reactions from different people. There are those who believe that there shouldn’t even be a minimum wage and that wages should be determined by the markets. On the other hand, we have those who vigorously argue for increasing the wage minimum citing inflation, the poverty line and worker productivity. Regardless, we do have a federal minimum wage rate in the United States at $7.25 per hour, with some states having a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum. President Obama, in his first state of the union address of his second term proposed “Tonight, let’s declare that, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour” (The White House 2013). A year later, he has revised that number to $10.10 per hour after signing an executive order that has already raised the minimum wage for federal workers to that number. (The White House 2014). With more and more states raising their own minimum wage, a minimum wage increase seems almost imminent with Democrats and Republicans getting closer to a deal. (Bolton 2014). But we are more interested in the efficiency of a minimum wage implemented at the federal level. The main question that surrounds this debate is whether this price floor in labor markets is efficient given that the stated goal of the minimum wage is to make sure full-time workers earn a living wage and are above the poverty line.
On July 24th, 2009, the United States of America raised the minimum wage to $7.25. However, six years later the minimum wage rage remains the same. It is time once again for the federal government to raise the minimum wage to spur the economy. Raising the minimum wage would help the American economy and the daily life of the citizens for a variety of reasons. The first topic is that it not only would help the people but it also would help the economy as a whole. The second topic is that companies are already raising the minimum wage because of the lack of money workers get. Finally the third supporting idea is that the states are also raising it over the federal minimum wage and also how can help poverty. There are many more topics on why the minimum wage should be raised but these reasons are the most important.
Raising the minimum wage would establish 85,000 new jobs and would also increase amass household spending by $48 billion the following year (“Should the Federal”). There are no signals shown that a boost in the minimum wage would lower employment. Even though people argue that the authors found “Little or no evidence of negative association
Mike Durant once said, “Making it more expensive to create new jobs is a perfect way to guarantee fewer of them.” The recent, “Raise the Wage” campaigns have sparked an interest in many low-wage workers. However, those who support this initiative are unaware of the economic problems that will arise if this is successful. Several cities have already raised their minimum wages and some, like Seattle, are raising it as high as $15 per hour. Currently, supporters of this campaign argue that the government should implement this increase federally. However, doing so will have broad and adverse financial implications. Ever since the Great Depression, the minimum wage has been in effect — to reduce poverty and solidify that
Should minimum wage be increased? Passage one strongly supports and gives details on why minimum wage should be raised. Many workers are asking for a national minimum wage increase to $15 per hour, while others say that a higher minimum wage will stifle business and ultimately hurt the economy. So, should the minimum wage be increased or not? The federal minimum wage was introduced in 1938 during the Great Depression under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was initially set at $0.25 per hour and has been increased by Congress 22 times, most recently in 2009 when it went from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour. 29 states plus the District of Columbia (DC) have a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage. 2,561,000 workers earn the federal minimum wage or below.
In this globalization era, as various countries see growth in their economy, there has also been significant differences in the wages set to employees in different countries. The lowest wages set by the law that are fixed to a particular amount which is also defined to be the price floor below which workers shall not sell their labor, has its own effects. The minimum wage law came into force as a matter of social justice amongst the low-wage workers, also to reduce exploitation and see that workers can afford the standard basic living expenses and necessities, not to increase the unemployment rate, indeed to increase the employment rate.
The introduction of minimum wage, or an increase in the minimum wage burdens the employer with increased costs, so the employer will seek to levy this burden onto the labor force to compensate for these additional costs. Veldhuis supports this by contending that minimum wage causes employers to “respond by reducing the number of workers they employ and/or the number of hours their employees work”. (1) This reaction is explained by theories of producer behavior. Economic theory states that firms are profit maximizers. Therefore, to maximize profits, the firm must minimize costs. A firm minimizes costs when the slope of the Marginal Rate of Technical Substitution is equal to the rate at which capital can be traded for labor in the market (-w/r). This is expressed by the equation = . As illustrated in
In a paper titled “Four Reasons Not to Increase the Minimum Wage,” the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, offers four empirically backed consequences of increasing the minimum wage; these consequences include: the loss of jobs, low skilled workers being disproportionally affected and priced out of the job market, a minimal effect on reducing poverty, and higher prices for goods. The paper compiles a number of studies to support these
Moving along the list of advantages, increasing the minimum wage will also increase the amount of money workers have, which, in turn, will inspire them to increase their consumption and pump their extra money into the economy. If workers have more money going into their pockets from increased wages, the income effect comes into play, and provides an incentive to go out into the market and buy goods and services. In an article printed by The New York Times, it was also pointed out that raising the minimum wage would decrease labor turnover. This is because if workers are paid more, they have less incentive to leave their current job and seek a higher paying job.