Benefits Of Raising Minimum Wage

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The federal minimum wage was established in 1938 as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The original purpose in setting a minimum wage was to stabilize the economy following the Great Depression and to establish and protect a standard of living for workers (“Minimum Wage”). Today, the minimum wage in most states fails to cover the cost of living for many minimum wage employees workers. Many people argue that raising the minimum wage would be detrimental to the American economy by increasing the unemployment rate and increasing the amount of people that rely on government assistance. However, the federal minimum wage should be raised because it would actually decrease dependency on the government and benefit the economy.
Many people
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The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 is too low in most states to cover the cost of living for a single person (Doc. 2). A person working minimum wage in an attempt to support their family would struggle even more to make ends meet. In most states, a person must work over 60 hours a week at minimum wage in order to pay rent on a one-bedroom unit (Doc. 3). Raising the minimum wage would benefit the economy, also. If the minimum wage is raised, workers will have more money to spend, therefore putting more money back into the economy. Since the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed in 1938 “...the federal minimum wage has been increased 22 times...real GDP per capita has steadily increased, even when the minimum wage has been raised” (“Minimum Wage Mythbusters”). People who support the movement to increase the minimum wage believe that people should be paid a living wage because it would benefit the individual as well as the …show more content…
Until the 1980s, the minimum wage was enough money to keep a family of two out of poverty (Cooper). Today, a person making $7.25 per hour still qualifies for government assistance because they cannot afford the cost of living in most states. However, $240 billion is collected every year from the paychecks of taxpayers to fund this assistance (Doc. 4). In addition, there is no state in the U.S. in which “...a minimum wage worker [can] afford a one-bedroom rental unit at Fair Market Rent, working a standard 40-hour work week, without paying more than 30% of their income” (Doc. 3). The federal minimum wage is too low to cover the cost living in most states today. An increased minimum wage would benefit more than just teenagers. 89% of minimum wage workers are adults 20 years of age or older (“Minimum Wage Mythbusters”). Another common argument against a higher minimum wage is that it will cause millions of Americans to lose their jobs. However, there is little evidence to support the idea that a gradual increase would cause unemployment rates to escalate: “.. the weight of evidence now [shows] that increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on...employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market” (“Minimum Wage Mythbusters”). An increased minimum wage would be beneficial to the economy