By, Tyler Tsang
A person who is working a full time minimum wage job does not have enough money to support their family and is living in poverty. This is a serious issue that the government needs to take action on by raising the federal minimum wage to at least $9 an hour so these American families can survive.
The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour and has not been increased since 2009. Many workers who have been working full time jobs at minimum wage have not received a raise in four years. Many people depend on this wage to support their families. Opponents of raising the minimum wage argue that increasing the minimum wage would result in higher unemployment because it would cost more to hire employees. This argument is weak because a study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago showed that as a result of Chicago increasing their minimum wage by $1, consumer spending increased as well. In addition, a study from the Economic Policy Institute shows that CEOs get paid 273 times the pay of their average worker. This statistic clearly shows that the companies can afford a pay increase due to the disparity between CEO salaries and worker salaries. An increase on $1.75 to the current minimum wage would be enough to get millions of American families out of poverty and would benefit the economy.
Inflation needs to be taken into account when raising the minimum wage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dollar has lost 95% of its purchasing power since the 1930s due to inflation. If this trend continues, then the minimum wage will actually devalue each year. This will make it even more difficult for families to stay out of poverty because this not only affects their income, but the money that they have been saving has also been devaluing. Raising the minimum wage to at least $9 an hour would solve this problem because workers would actually be able to afford to support their families.
Raising the minimum wage is a huge opportunity that can help millions of minimum wage workers and also can benefit the economy. The minimum wage has been low for too long and needs to be raised because of inflation. Raising it would help bring families out of poverty. A worker who spends their day working full time but is paid minimum wage is not able to support their family. This sad reality can be ended if the minimum wage was increased by $1.75 an hour.