Do the Cons Outweigh the Pros of Increasing the Minimum Wage?

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“If the minimum wage is 15 dollars and someone offers you a job for 14 dollars and 50 cents, you are not allowed to take it. The voluntary agreement between a worker and an employer is interfered with by the power of the government.” – Paul Guppy (Economist and Policy Analyst)
If you are unsure of where your state lands on the minimum wage scale, consult the map here!

Simple economics tells us that when the minimum wage increases, the unemployment rate increases and the general level of prices increases

7 of the 12 states with the lowest unemployment rates as of March, 2020 have a minimum wage of 7.25 per hour

In many cases, especially if the minimum wage increases in a big jump, consumers are the ones who feel the consequences first hand as these new payroll expenses are passed on to them.

If you have the time, this is a great debate regarding Seattle’s 15 dollar minimum wage. Although hosted by a conservative station, there is a strong emphasis on keeping it an open, unbiased debate.

Final Thoughts

Every worker deserves a livable wage that can support them and their families, and everyone on both sides of the aisle wants to see workers’ wages go up. However, the best way to increase wages is through the natural ways of a free market. Artificially hiking up wages by means of the federal or state governments is not the answer. In 1913, Henry Ford increased his workers wages to a minimum of $5 per day. He did this voluntarily as a competitive business decision to prevent worker turnover that he had been struggling with. This was not imposed upon him by anyone. Artificially increasing workers wages leads to small businesses losing out to huge, online competitors who can more easily absorb the new, fixed costs. Artificially increasing the minimum wage encourages informal or “black market” jobs. Artificially increasing the minimum wage pushes teens out the workforce because in many cases, they do not have the skills that adults with more education do for companies to spend 15 dollars per hour to pay them. Wages will go up, but we first have to trust in the free, voluntary exchange between employee and employer. I would like to leave you with a question: After hopefully now having a better understanding of the consequences of raising the minimum wage, do you still believe that raising the minimum wage is the best way for the US to increase the wages of its workers?

Works Cited

Works Cited

I drew a lot from my economics class as well.

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  1. April 24, 2020 by Scott

    I loved this page Kelsey. I am definitely leaving feeling more open-minded about the idea of minimum wage, because it’s easy for each side of the argument to say that the other is anti-freedom or anti-justice, when in reality we all want the same things (for people to live well and for the economy to do well). There are a lot of things to consider when talking about a minimum wage (at least 1.5 hours’ worth!) and you did a great job putting forth some ideas about how to get there.

  2. April 24, 2020 by Hollis

    Really interesting webpage Kelsey. I never considered the many effects of raising the minimum wage.

  3. April 25, 2020 by Malia

    Hey Kelsy,
    Interesting page! I hadn’t thought much about the “consequences” of raising the minimum wage much. In a perfect world, how would you tackle the unemployment rate and create liveable minimum wages? How do you think the average person now can help implement these changes?
    Overall, great job bringing a more comprehensive view to a commonly debated topic.

  4. April 25, 2020 by Renee

    This is really interesting and a good explanation of the impacts.

  5. April 28, 2020 by ethan

    Hi Kelsey this is a really interesting project. I never really considered that there could be negative effects of raising minimum wage and I learned a lot from your presentation. Nice job!

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