Minimum wages can be defined as the lowest wages that had been declared or clarified by the law or the government which employees able to receive from their employers. The environmental issues in today's world are growing more serious by the day. So it is increasingly important that the government may weigh its issues. As a result, one of the current issues which now faced or disputed by the government and the people or the society is the minimum wages. Therefore, this essay will elaborate more on the minimum wage
To begin with, Minimum wage is a controversial issue because it's debated in a wide by the public or workers and the workplace or employer. Minimum wages is at the heart of the economists interest where all countries all over the world maintain minimum wages law. The reason for this is that minimum wage law is very important for the policy makers where as people who tend to have a minimum wage are not in proportion to low-income earners and minority families. Almost everyone has been paid unfairly (McKenzie, 1994). Due to this fact, minimum wage is still debated as it is one of the most important issues which people always keep arguing for.
Moreover, as minimum wage have been debated by two group of people who are known as Proponent and Opponent, there are arguments from those two categories which based on the negative and positive effects of minimum wages. Some people consider that the minimum wages should be intended while others prefer that this issue may not be intended.
In Proponents belief, minimum wages was good to intend because of helping some people who have no jobs and also to make sure that people or workers not underpaid because of their gender or their race. Furthermore, the greater the minimum wage the floor to ensure that workers are getting a fair deal for their skills and knowledge, and hard work. Proponent always fights for the minimum wage because they knew that workers in some workplace have experienced having an unfair wages after doing a good job in their workplace. (Neumark&Wascher, 2008). For instance people in the past who worked for sweatshops are argued because of getting paid of very low wages and they worked for long hours and under poor conditions. Sweatshops employed women and youths and paid them what they generally called as substandard wages. Employers were seen as they have a disproportion over such workers. So the minimum wage intend to the public and in the workplace so that employees can have enough and fair wages compared to their work (Neumark&Wascher, 2008).
Additionally, proponent also says that the greater the minimum wage, the higher the chance for people to have a better standard of living and boost consumption (Karabell, 2013). Minimum wages must ensure that its at a sufficient level so that it can meet the most basic and fundamental needs of employees or workers.
However, opponents seem to have different beliefs and overview on why the minimum wage should not be increased. To start with, opponents believe that increasing the minimum wage would risk inflation in the economy (Belman, Wolfson & Nawakitphaitoon, 2015). In real life, this would hurt most middle-class people living in the country. This is because employers will be required to pay more money to their employees.
In return, employers would pass these additional costs to the consumers by increasing prices for most consumer goods used by middle-class people in the country. Definitely, this will result to inflation and the biggest victims will be the middle-class people. Hence, majority of the workers will not benefit from an increase in the minimum wage because they will be later forced to pay higher prices on the consumer goods. Again, this would reduce the amount of disposable income for most people in the country.
Secondly, increasing the minimum wage would hurt employment in various aspects. To start with, it will increase the payroll costs for most employers in the country. In return, most employers will be forced to downsize their employees and reduce their working hours so that they can be able to pay their salaries when the wage rates are increased. Also, most employers will be forced to employ less people in their companies and organizations (Lawson, 2010). According to the Congressional Budget Office, an increase in wage rate by approximately by $10.10 would lead to almost one million workers in the country losing their jobs in the country. Further, this would hurt the low skilled workers more as it would reduce the average income and any chances of income growth in the course of their careers.
Moreover, increasing the minimum wage would be a wrong way to help the low-income earners and their families. This is because the cost of living varies between different individuals and families. Again, it is nearly impossible to achieve a minimum wage that would benefit all people. Some experts in the field argue that increasing the minimum wage will not be sufficient enough to cover all the living costs or in any way increase their disposable incomes (Maloney & Pacheco, 2010). Rather, they propose better ways of improving their living conditions. Most of them propose that it would be better to invest in education and specified retaining programs to all low-income earners. This would enable them get better and well-paying jobs. Again, the cost of implementing these programs would be much less that the cost of increasing the wage rate.
Additionally, increasing the minimum wage does not help the intended people in real life. Most people who propose this argue that it will help low-income families and also those people who are living below the poverty line. This is not always the case. Most of the minimum wage earners have other incomes as most of them are part-time workers in order to supplement their incomes (Patridge & Patridge, 1999). Most of these people are teenagers, students and even retirees who occasionally benefit from their social security incomes. Hence, increasing the minimum wage will not benefit them because they already have other incomes and it will also be a burden to them as they will be forced to pay higher prices on most consumer goods.
In conclusion, I would oppose the increase of the minimum wage due to the negative effects that it will have on individuals and the economy in general. Increasing minimum wage would increase the rate of inflation and the middle class would carry the burden as most prices of the consumer goods will be increased. This will also lead to increase in costs of payroll incurred by most employers who would downsize their employees and reduce the working hours so that they can afford to pay their employees. Again, it will not help the intended people as most income earners as most of them have part-time jobs to supplement their income. Hence, I strongly oppose that minimum wage should not be increased.
Belman, D., Wolfson, P., & Nawakitphaitoon, K. (October 01, 2015). Who Is Affected by the Minimum Wage? Industrial Relations: a Journal of Economy and Society, 54, 4, 582-621.
Karabell, Z. 2013. The real issues behind the minimum wage debate. Retrieved from http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2013/12/06/the-real-issues-behind-the-minimum-wage-debate/Lawson, J. (2010). Making the Luxembourg labour market work better. Retrieved from: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/making-the-luxembourg-labour-market-work-better_5kmd7852gc0w-en
Low Pay Commission. (2013). National Minimum Wage: Low Pay Commission Report 2013 (Vol. 8565). The Stationery Office.Maloney, T., & Pacheco, G. (December 01, 2010). Interpreting Changes in Minimum Wage Incidence Rates. Australian Journal of Labour Economics, 13, 3, 219-240.
McKenzie, R. B. (1994). Times Change Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy. San Francisco.
Neumark, D., &Wascher, L. W. (2008). Minimum wages: The minimum wage controversy. London, England: The MIT Press.
Partridge, M., & Partridge, J. (November 01, 1999). Do Minimum Wage Hikes Raise US Long Term Unemployment? Evidence Using State Minimum Wage Rates. Regional Studies, 33, 8, 713-726.
Schmitt, J. (2013). Why does the minimum wage have no discernible effect on employment?. Center for Economic and Policy Research, 22, 1-28.
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