Does Minimum Wage Make America Great? By Logan Blend

In 2015, “870,000 workers earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. About 1.7 million had wages below the federal minimum” . Even though raising the minimum wage is unfavorable for business profit, making 15,000 dollars a year is not enough for anyone to support themselves and/or a family.

To explain more on this topic, there is some history that needs to be understood. In 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act was made to “ensure that businesses have to a) pay people for the work that they do, and b) that the payment is at least enough to live on. In order to keep up with inflation since FDR created this act, the minimum wage has been raised 22 times by 12 different presidents.

Currently in the United States there is constant protesting by low income employees about the amount that they are paid. As minimum wage earners work so hard, it is unfair that they are not able to survive off what they are paid. This goes back to FDR’s Fair Labor Standard Act, and the idea that minimum wage should be enough for people to live on.

In order to help less skilled workers, "A proposal from president Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats would raise the federal minimum wage from 7.25 to 10.10 an hour." This would help the people who are working hard at low income jobs and who are living in poverty.

Raising minimum wage has its pros for a business as well. Michele Blend, from Westport Public Schools, said, "A pro is that when a business pays their workers more, they will have better applicants for the job. In addition, the businesses might get employees who work harder." Here, Mrs. Blend is saying that by raising the salaries of workers, businesses will get better workers who are going to work harder, which results in the business being more profitable.

In the school community the idea of minimum wage is not a hot topic because it does not impact many people in the Westport community. Although this is true, there might be a few high school students who may be starting a first time job making minimum wage. These students likely will want an increased income.

In a survey that was completed by Michael Blend he stated, "With a higher minimum wage less people can be hired because the cost of employing people is too expensive and employment levels need to be reduced. The higher the wage the more employers feel the need to invest in their employees to help them be more efficient and productive, resulting in a better trained workforce. Additionally the employee is more engaged and invested in the success of the organization."

Michael Blend stated that, "Minimum wage is important because it helps define society as a whole. Meaning that if everyone has satisfactory income they can focus their attention on more altruistic efforts and less on survival." By this he means that if everyone gets an income.that allows them to survive then they would not have to worry about wages, and thus they would be able to do things they want to do.

President Barack Obama’s plan to raise the federal minimum wage will help 2.57 million people in the United States who are making the minimum wage or less. Even having the federal minimum wage as 10.10 per hour, which adds up to 21,000 dollars per year, it is not enough to survive. While Barack Obama’s plan will be helpful for these American’s it is still not keeping them out of poverty as FDR intended.

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