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One particular topic on the mind of many an American citizen is the minimum wage. Before the State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama made an executive order to raise the minimum wage for new federal contractors. During his speech, he encouraged legislatures to raise the minimum wage for everyone.
We think that’s a great idea. But there are a lot of people out there who do not.
Here is why they’re wrong:
Firstly, companies like Costco have proven that if you treat your employees well, then you end up with a thriving business. Employees love the company they work for and keep coming back. Costco doesn’t even need to open early for Black Friday with its business model.
Many people will argue that raising the minimum wage only hurts employees. They say businesses will just end up hiring less people at part-time positions to save money, so there will be less jobs. To this we say that those business are already overworking and underpaying their employees now. And, contrary to what many people might say, raising the minimum wage doesn’t get rid of jobs.
Besides, with a raised minimum wage, many employees will jump up above the poverty level, hopefully populating the ever-shrinking middle class. More middle-class people means improved communities, an improved work force and an improved economy. Families will be able to live in better neighborhoods with better schools and work opportunities. They’ll spend more, sending the money back into circulation and securing the jobs of countless others. Raising the minimum wage won’t hurt workers who are already hurting under the poverty line.
Another consistent argument that pops up from the critics’ side of the discussion is that “history says it’s a bad idea.” First, if “history” is going to make a claim like that, then it should be supported with facts (see the link above), but we understand why they didn’t, because it’s politics. If we claimed our campus played host to a herd of ostriches, people would demand we back it up with proof. Yet, when an authority figure makes such a claim, many people just nod their heads and accept that it’s truth. Sometimes, they even change the Wikipedia page to match (we’re looking at you, Sarah Palin fans).
History doesn’t like to be misquoted. Raising the minimum wage won’t hurt the economy. It helps the people as a whole, and the government is supposed to be about what’s best for the people, to do right by the people, and to make equitable decisions for the best causes of the people.