BackTalk: Minimum wage change sparks controversy

Increasing minimum wage raises standard of living

by KACI LIVINGSTON//Staff Writer

When people mention raising the minimum wage, eyebrows and opinions are raised as well.

There are pros and cons to raising the minimum wage, along with every other conflicting topic out in the public. One particular benefit of raising it from $7.25 an hour to $10, or even $15 an hour, would be to increase the overall standard of living.

When most people think of jobs that are only paying minimum wage, they think of high school students or people who are still living at home who don’t exactly need to reap the benefits of someone who makes $10 or more per hour. This is not always true. There are many people in the United States who are college students needing to pay bills, as well as parents trying to support their children on $7.25 an hour.

For this reason, increasing minimum wage is strongly supported by some members of society. Many college students do not have enough time between attending classes and homework to work overtime just to pay for the essential things in life. Imagine being a full-time student who pays from $400 to $600 for just rent alone. What about other bills? The cost of utilities is easily more than $70 a month, and internet, which is needed for homework, is about $50 per month. Surviving on $7.25 an hour sounds nearly impossible without always stressing out about maintaining an average lifestyle.

Then there is the parent working 40-hour work weeks to bring home $15,080 annually. When you subtract taxes, then it becomes less than $13,500. If a child of this parent attends daycare, the cost will range from $6,500 to $8,500 annually. What is left over after paying for daycare is roughly $5,000 to $7,000.This parent also has to pay rent, buy groceries and pay other bills. When combining all of these factors, there is essentially no money left for food or other necessities.

Investopedia published an article on September 6, 2016 that stated if minimum wage was raised to $10.10 “an estimated 900,000 would rise above poverty level.” With not as many poverty-stricken people, the need for assistance from the state would decrease, allowing federal money to be used for something else to help lower the cost of education, as well as the bettering of the state. That would be awesome!

If the wages were raised, more people would stick to their current jobs and not leave to find some place with better pay or benefits. By staying with their current employers, employees can get chances to advance higher in the company, relocation possibilities, personal experience to grow, and future job connections.

By raising the minimum wage, it would also stimulate the economy positively. If people have more money to spend, they will spend it. Whether the money they spend is on clothes, food, home décor, or personal needs, the money will be put back into the community.

There are many benefits on a personal level if the minimum wage is raised to even $10 an hour for struggling college kids or even struggling adults.

————————————————————————–

Minimum wage increase may cause larger economic problems

by VANESSA DELGADO//Staff Writer

Increasing the minimum wage would virtually destroy the economy. 

Minimum wage has been increased before, and it obviously did not help the economy at all. Many people are still living in poverty while working for minimum wage, even though it has been increased 22 times. There is absolutely no reason for increasing the minimum wage when it has proven to not help time and time again.   

When minimum wage is increased, the prices of consumer goods are increased as well. Therefore, minimum wage does absolutely nothing to help. If you make more money, then have to spend more money on consumer goods, the only things that will actually increase are the amount of taxes taken out and the cost of living in your area. No one wants to get paid more just to spend it on items that increase in price.

Employers would then have to cut employees’ hours and, sometimes, jobs if minimum wage is raised. This would then create a higher unemployment rate. This defeats the purpose of raising minimum wage.

Small businesses usually struggle to keep their doors open when they are up against big-time corporations and will then have to pay their employees even more. Many will be forced to close. This ultimately hurts a community. Instead of putting money back into their community, it will now go into the hand of wealthy business owners. Local money should go back into the community rather than the pockets of pompous businessmen.

Since teenagers typically make up most of the minimum-wage employees, now they will be less likely to get a job since they cost more to hire without any experience or skills. Teenagers are typically less skilled than most adults, and companies would want to pay the higher wage to people with more skills. It will be harder for teenagers to save money to pay for college or a car when their parents can’t afford to. Teenagers shouldn’t have to struggle to get jobs to help out family, save up for college, or get experience to help them in the future.

Now that employers are looking for more skilled workers, it will make it harder for people without any skills to get them without the ability to get any experience.

Increasing the minimum wage would result in a higher unemployment rate. This would ultimately increase crime as well, since more people will struggle. Maybe we should have an annual purge to allow people to get out their ‘minimum wage rage.’

Since big-time companies already dislike paying so much for employees in the United States, they are more likely to outsource jobs to other countries where workers do not demand higher pay. This will result in an even higher unemployment rate. Some companies do outsource in other countries where working conditions are more than detestable.

With an increase in outsourcing, there will be an increase in these horrid conditions for employees, and money will be going out of the United States rather than back into it to help the economy.

I have a job that pays higher than the $10 they want to raise minimum wage to, and I disagree with the increase because I would then be compensated less for all the extra work I do to receive that pay. People less skilled than I would make almost what I do as a skilled worker. There is virtually no benefit to raising the minimum wage.

Author: Plainsman Press Staff

The student newspaper of South Plains College.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s