Minimum wage has very minimal financial affects

Joshua Farber, Staff writer

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America’s fall will occur when the average working person can’t afford to pay their bills. The last time the minimum wage increased was in 2009, when Obama served his first year of his presidency. Now, in late 2016, Donald Trump will be president and the minimum wage has not increased. Since 2009 the value of the 7.25 minimum wage has dropped 8.1%, my proposal is to increase the minimum wage to match the value of inflation to reduce the poverty rate.

All of my family liked to brag about how they had a job when they “were my age.” I wanted to prove that I could work just as hard as them, so I decided to apply for a job at a local barbeque restaurant. My first week I worked a total of 40 hours (legally full time), leading to a very nice paycheck at the end of my two week pay period. When I finally received my check, my coworkers and I compared our earnings and I noticed that I was making around the same pay as fully grown adults. Without financial support of their parents, most of my co-workers could not afford college which affects their ability to find a higher paying job. Even without the stress of college my co-workers work just as hard and even as long hours as peers that attend college. Some coworkers and friends of mine have superior obligations such as feeding their family and can only achieve their responsibilities with government support like food stamps and welfare checks.

In this way, the government pays more per person on these programs then they would having a tax exempt wage increase. A tax exempt wage increase would give relief to the small business owner and give the employee much needed relief to their obligations. Donald Trump has no intentions of increasing the minimum wage based on the potential strain on the small businesses, however pushes from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to increase the minimum wage remain prevalent.

Instead of battling for a new flat wage increase, I believe that the wage should solely depend on inflation. If the dollar became more valuable than it is today the wage would decrease, however if the dollar continues to deflate at the rate that it has been for the past several decades then the minimum wage should increase based upon the rate of change on the inflation. Every year the inflation rate should be re-evaluated and that would be the official minimum wage for that year. A 7.25 an hour minimum wage is not enough to escape poverty in most situations. Instead of increasing the wage into a flat number, the official minimum wage should fluctuate to reduce the strain on small businesses and provide a better income to lower wage workers.