It seems counterintuitive that many people talk about minimum wage and their pay. However, many seem rather uneducated when discussing the topic. Minimum wage has been around for decades, fluctuating at different prices over the years, although has not changed its purpose. Minimum wage should not be raised so that the unemployment rates and prices of different goods stay the same and will not increase. The goal is to look at the term minimum wage and be able to see exactly what it entails. Clearly, if one were to separate the term into two words ‘minimum’ and ‘wage,’ it could be easier to gain a better understanding.
For years the value of minimum wage has gone up and down like a rollercoaster. The economy cannot decide the exact price range of where it should stay. It seems counterintuitive that taking both definitions and putting them together in finding the “smallest” amount of money “required” to pay these people should not be such a hard task, as stated in the dictionary. Again, such simple terms, but to make it even clearer, “Minimum wage is meant for small business.” Not only does the word small show up, but there is too much complication for something that is meant to be small. What this means is the term minimum wage has gone up and gone down throughout history, don’t you think it should be time to actually set up an actual ‘minimum wage’ where there is little to no increase? At minimum, the pay should at least be set to a price where one making minimum wage is required to get paid the right amount for the effort they put into the job they are doing. Having set wages for different degrees of work has been working for years with salaries, therefore it could come of great use if that knowledge was applied to go into minimum wage and work it from the ground up. Clearly, one can understand that having a phrase that means ‘small’ or ‘least’ is the complete opposite of what it means politically. In certain parts of the world there are laws where one can not be paid below a certain amount of money, which we see here in the U.S. However it seems quite odd since wouldn’t this technically be called ‘minimum wage’ since it is the lowest point where it would be illegal for workers to get paid that? Especially when it put into consideration as though the whole meaning of minimum wage was set up as a method of the lowest amount of pay to be offered within a rather simple job. Many questions could be asked from that, however it is just a guideline and for most, if not all times, the wages that workers get paid are way above that price level. The laws state that the actual definition of minimum wage “ as the minimum amount of financial reward that a worker receives for working a specified period of time” meaning as one works a specific time you get paid per time you work. Several take the term and portray it as either the time, performance, job, or company that is being displayed within a particular job. It is truly astonishing that such a phrase, so small and simple, could have such a big impact overtime on society and the economic outlook many have regarding what they feel is the “best” way to pay employees.
Think of the first reaction you’ll have when and if the government decides to raise the minimum wage. One could just picture it, blue skies, all smiles, and not a worry in the world. Well, not quite. More like unemployment sad to say. This right here is what we the people will have to deal with. Yes, there are benefits to this, but for this situation cons outweigh the pros. Take it from Alex Binkley, an Ontario farmer, “… January employment nationally fell by 88,000. Parttime employment declined by 137,000, while full-time employment rose by 49,000. The result was the unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percent to 5.9 per cent.” Even though this takes into account all of Canada, these numbers are scary. Just alone how fast that unemployment rate went up is concerning. Usually 4% is low in the U.S, but the U.S also have ten times greater the population as Canada which should also be taken into account. Truthfully, not everything can be of benefit to one’s own needs. Not only will unemployment will go up, but the younger lower skilled workers will never get hired again. To put it in economic terms from Brown, Gilroy Kohen, “Without a minimum wage, the monopsonistic employer’s marginal cost of labor everywhere exceeds the supply price.” One could say too that the owners were overall losing profit since they would have to pay their workers more. Furthermore, the main reason why businesses open is to make profit. Even though one could argue to create new jobs, however that would be wrong.
In addition to the unemployment numbers rising, and making our countries economy look bad. Another cause of the increase of wages would be inflation. And not talking about a dramatic change in the money values, but it would be noticable. For example take gasoline. Those prices constantly fluctuate for the past couple years, and if one takes notice it has started to increase a couple cents here and there. Another example from the Alberni Valley Times, “ferry rates go up April l. Why? The union employees receive their annual two per cent wage increase April l just like they every year from 2010 to 2014. In this world, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Want to pay top wages to union employees? Then pay higher fares. That is called life.”It is a dog eat dog world and that’s how people make money. The government is like that and when there is a chance to make money from the people they’re going to take it. With some more economic terms the businesses with monopolies will take advantage since they own all that product and increase the price if there is inflation. It is scary to think that with the poverty already in this country we still want to raise the minimum wage to something absurd like $15 an hour. Granted yes, there should be change, but there is some opportunity cost to that. As little as it may seem each cent is increased there could be a potential person trying to support a family getting let go. It is the hard truths we face today as a society.
To tie both of these things together we see that the economic cons are more likely to outweigh the pros if there’s an increase. Not saying that it should not be increased a little, however there should be a line drawn to how far one goes. Into a smaller point the use of technology will see an increase in the workforce. Take franchises for example, McDonald’s. Most if not all the workers are on minimum wage. There has been a change where the restaurants now have self serve kiosks, which means no need for cashiers, cutting most jobs. As the Pittsburgh Tribune states, “f a machine can do for a cost of 7 per hour what a worker must be paid at least 7.25 per hour to do, the machine gets the job while the worker gets unwanted leisure.” The point being is these franchises want to make profit and the first thing owners look to cut is salaries. What better way to make money and to save time is to put a machine which the owner won’t have to worry about calling out of work, etc. Just think of how much money they’d save in both the long and short run.
As years go by things change. Things that we like and dislike change just how life works. Prices for goods and services vary based on the month, year, and possibly even day. This is why many think it is necessary to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. For many it’ll be beneficial to help support their families, or even themselves in certain situations. Poverty, another big topic that has relation to minimum wage is the key reason why this is the talk. In our economy there have been talks of raising the wages to $15 per hour. In 2017 Loriggio states, “The government wrapped up nearly two weeks of public consultations on proposed legislation that would, among other things, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, require equal pay for part-time workers and expand personal emergency leave.” As people cheer in the streets for this dramatic incline we’ll see in our pay, others weep. However now these low skilled workers can get out of poverty and start a new life. Wrong. This is just one of the misconceptions that happen with the debate of minimum wage. In full, the debate has been talked about for years. There are many pros like it will help get rid of poverty.
Poverty is a constant cycle that goes around and around, and truly never ends. One is born in it and sometimes, but barely thrives. The people in New York living in the ‘slums’ are tough people. They are hardworking and usually look for anyway to make money. Whether that be manual labor or whatever means necessary. In New York these changes are already being put in place. These increases can be seen in paychecks as soon as 2020. As Vaughn states, “”New York proudly set an example for the nation by raising the minimum wage to $15,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The fight for economic justice for our working families continues, and we won’t stop until every New Yorker is paid the fair wages they deserve.”” As bills get passed Cuomo is loving the people of New York and only promises good things. However, is it true that it is only good things to come? Not only does Cuomo make promises that maybe hard to keep, but he has hope and that is enough for people to believe. This right here is what the ‘American Dream’ is about and Cuomo is promising them that.
Another great reason why minimum wage is being raised is to tie into poverty. In a way some owners and managers have their thoughts too, “”Raising the minimum wage raises standards for all workers,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, in a statement.” Not only is the raising of paychecks from the start is going to get you to work, but it will motivate you to do better work as well. This out of many things is ridiculous. Money does drive people, however when these business owners are paying these people they’re going to realize that some workers might have to go. Leaving unemployment to raise with all the other cons to that follow letting people go.
In conclusion, the term minimum wage is definitely larger than one knows it to be. Hoping now that one could understand the importance of this debate. It is a very serious matter. Between the unemployment rates rising, inflation on certain goods rising, and even technology replacing jobs. It is crazy to see all of this go down, but how important is $15 to you?