Over the last few decades, the American society has witnesses a remarkable dissimilarity in the wealth and income distribution in the country. Simultaneously, the American government has not been successful in effectively addressing the stated escalating inequality and bigotry to allocate assets and capital. Consequently, the outcomes are less efficient, less helpful, and less tolerant. Therefore, there is a widespread acknowledgment that the United States of America has turned out to be the most unfair and lopsided affluent country in the world. This inequitable attitude is evident by all logical measures (King 72).
Although the United States of America is considered as ‘the land of opportunity’ for all, the probability of a poor kid to make improvements in his/her financial standing is extremely low. Moreover, the country’s unequal social and political circumstances have exacerbated the significant raise in financial discrepancy in the country. Even though the current minimum wage in the United States of America is better than the previous times, the people who get it are still leading a poor life as the cost of living has also increased (King 72). Thus, the issue of minimum wage increase has become a hot debate in the recent times.
The mentioned trends in American society have also contributed in aggravating the minimum wage increase issue. Even though many states have been continuously urging the federal government to take appropriate measures for increasing minimum wages, the government has failed to grant workers their deserved salary increase from $7.5 per hour to more (Mantel 73). Congress is also persistently pressurized by several political parties for taking major steps to increase the minimum wage for American workers. However, there has been no increase whatsoever.
On the other hand, a lot of states including Nebraska, Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Alaska, South Dakota, Hawaii, Vermont, Michigan, and Delaware have made changes on the state level by increasing the minimum wage from $7.5/hour. There will be twenty nine states in the United States of America that will have more minimum wages as compared to federal minimum wage by January, 2015 (Jamieson). It is important to highlight “that if a state’s minimum wage is higher, employers must meet the state level rather than the federal level” (Mathis & Jackson 132). Although there are many who oppose the idea of increasing minimum wage, there is a great necessity of increasing the minimum wage throughout the United States of America.
The minimum wage increase opponents consider it an unnecessary measure as it may compel employers including food outlets, petrol pumps, and retailers to eliminate poor and less competent workers from their jobs. On the other hand, numerous economists and advocates of wage increase emphasize that increasing minimum wage would not be a challenging step for workers to retain their jobs. It is needed to be realized and understood that a modest increase in minimum wage has the probability of affecting simply a small number of workers who are not skilled enough for getting jobs. Several researches indicate that the United States of America has not went through any kind of significant employment decrease due to minimum wage increase in the last twenty years or so (Mantel 78).
According to minimum wage increase advocates, such a step can be advantageous for almost every worker. Even if an increase in minimum salary would result in insignificant job thrashing, it will be useful in putting money into the low-income workers’ pockets. Later, this money could be used by the workers for bringing economical boost in the country (Mantel 73). In addition, minimum wage can also contribute greatly to stimulate consumption.
As mentioned, raising minimum wage makes it possible for low paid workers to have more money in their hands, spend it, and ultimately boost the economy of the country. For this reason, authorities are required to neglect the few negatives associated with minimum wage increase. Instead, they must focus on the positives of minimum wage raise as they have more importance than the negatives. It is a disagreeable notion that is presented by critics that minimum wage raise is not accomplishing the goals it has been designed for. The increase in minimum wage has only resulted in few instances when employment rates declined after its implementation.
Second, poverty reduction is another positive consequence of minimum wage. The citizens can get effective and efficient help through minimum wage increase by getting rid of sweat shops. An increase may guarantee that people get what they deserve to have after spending long hours at jobs. Marginalized groups may also receive significant help with an increase in their base salary. Moreover, young people may also get a handsome amount as a return for their less experience. This is important as the American society has an awful trend of differentiating people on the basis of their color, caste, and ethnicity. By increasing minimum wage, the affected groups can also live a quality life. Thus, workers who stand on the lowest faction of pay range may get good salaries as well if minimum wage is increased (Jamieson).
It is also averred by opponents that an increase in minimum wage is not a logical idea for fighting poverty on a large scale. On the other hand, even though minimum wage increase may not bring a drastic change in society by alleviating poverty levels, it may help many poor families and individuals to start living contentedly. More money may let them live with more dignity. Therefore, even in minimum wage increase may not help everyone; it may help a lot of people and families. It may also facilitate many to not enter the poverty line.
Minimum wage is also criticized for proving to be a burden for the local industries and businesses. It is also opposed for the reason of slowing down and reducing the opportunities for employment. Nevertheless, these are false notions put forwarded by opponents. If there is an increase in workers’ minimum wage, there could be several positive outcomes for the businesses. The minimum wage increase may reduce the levels of turnover with fair payments to the workers. Similarly, this step may also motivate workers to work harder. The reason is simple. The employees would not be compelled to cope with and juggle numerous jobs at the same time to survive. In the present times, a number of countries are facing severe fiscal consequences due to their inappropriate decisions and policies of numerous retailers and fast food chains. As a result, the economies have damaged as the mentioned employers inflate their profits by paying minute wages to workers. By adopting such strategies, these industries and companies drain off wealth from local communities. By doing so, they weaken the customer base needed to grow and sustain a country’s economy.
Minimum wage raise may also help in other additional ways. It may help to reduce rates of crimes and illegal activities. Since workers get smart money as a return for their hard work, they are less likely to get themselves involved in criminal commotions and wrongdoings. Crimes are usually done for the attainment of money. However, an increase in minimum wage would make them satisfied and contented with what they have. It is not an untold secret that when people are deprived of their basic rights, they naturally make use of illegitimate means to receive what they deserve. For this reason, authorities must focus on raising minimum wage to make a better world for everyone where all people get what they deserve.
In the contemporary world, it is important for every country to raise the minimum wage for its workers. It is the need of the time to understand that the economic growth is dependent on peoples’ spending too. The increase in salaries do not impact and add to the deficit in the budgets of federal and state governments. In its place, increase in minimum wage has the propensity of stimulating the relevant economies as it heightens spending by consumers.
Jamieson, Dave. "Most States Will Now Have A Higher Minimum Wage Than The One Set By Congress." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 6 Nov. 2014. Web. 16 Dec. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/05/minimum-wage-by-state_n_6110204.html>.
King, L. J. "Discrimination against Everyone." Hate and Discrimination in America. United States: Xlibris Corporation, 2010. Print.
Verderber, Rudolph F., and Kathleen S. Verderber. Essential Speech. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Mantel, Barbara. "Minimum Wage." CQ Researcher 24 Jan. 2014: 73-96.
Mathis, Robert L., and John Harold Jackson. Human Resource Management: Essential Perspectives. 2nd ed. Australia: South-Western College Pub., 2002. Print.