By Nick Hamilton | USA
You’ve heard both the left and the right assert their claims. The left claims that we need to raise the minimum wage as high as $15/hour. The extreme economic right claims that we should have zero minimum wage at all, and many people on the right who desire a minimum wage say that our current federal standard is too high and too harsh on businesses. However, the real solution to maintaining a stable economy isn’t raising or lowering the minimum wage; we should instead keep it the same federally, and leave it up to the states.
Here’s why we can’t raise it: inflation. The inflation that raising the minimum wage would cause is unimaginable. First off, struggling business owners would be forced to lay off employees, or if their company needs a lot of employees, they may even go as far as needing to shut down their business entirely, as they’d have not enough employees or money to function. Not only that but to be able to afford to even pay the employees that the business IS able to keep would require businesses to raise the price of their goods or service. This drives customers away, and it gets to the point where there’s an abundance of supply, but not enough demand. However, the business cannot lower prices, because they need every penny of every sale in order to comply with a $15/hour regulation that the government put intact.
Now, let’s go the opposite direction for a second. Lowering it isn’t a good idea either. Imagine yourself working hard in a factory, working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Under our current federal minimum wage, the lowest you can make would be around $609 per week with those hours, and with around roughly 10% taken out of that for taxes, you’re looking at around $550/week. You need that $550 in order to try and live your life, and in some cases, even raise children. However, if the US decided to abolish the minimum wage, businesses would be legally obliged to pay $0.00 an hour, or $0.00 a week, therefore making more people apply for welfare, which costs who money? The taxpayers!
Lowering the minimum wage from $7.25 could cause undesirable outcomes. Look at Bangladesh and their beautiful worker’s rights record. People work incredibly long hours for a few bucks in Bangladesh. Also, a lot of people overlook this, but our neighbors down south aren’t exactly dishing out the dough either. Mexico’s minimum wage equals out to around $4.00/hour. We have an immigration problem in this country, and one big reason is that people want to make more money while working the same hours in America! So, do we really want to lower the minimum wage? Do we really want to put OUR citizens in the same financial boat that many Mexicans are in right now?
Therefore, both sides are wrong in this argument. Raising the minimum wage isn’t the answer, and lowering it is just as bad. Therefore, we need to keep the federal minimum wage at $7.25, and if the states decide that they want to cause inflation by raising the minimum wage, that’s their problem, not the US’s problem as a whole.