Minimum Wage in the United States

2557 words 11 pages
Minimum Wage
In the United State

U.S. Minimum Wage

A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily, or monthly wage that employers may legally pay to employees or workers. The debate over minimum wage in the United States has been ongoing for over 100 years. It is a hot topic in labor, human interest, and especially in economics. Is the minimum wage too low? Is it too high? Should we have one at all? Does having a minimum legal wage help those who it is intended to help, or does it actually make them worse off? Theses questions are asked on a daily basis by interested parties. While there may not be one definitive correct answer, there are compelling arguments on both sides of the issue, and those who represent their “side” are
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Perhaps the most basic and most often made argument in support of a national minimum wage law is that it is simply the correct thing to do, morally speaking. The idea that we should want to take care of each other and make sure that everyone made a comfortable wage is one of the most basic tenets of the philosophy of those who support it.
Arguments against Minimum Wage Laws:

On the other side of the argument are those who are opposed to increasing the minimum wage, as well as some who think it should be abolished altogether. Many businesspeople and economists are on this side of the debate, and they present some pretty compelling arguments. They argue that imposing an increase on the federally mandated minimum wage actually will do more economic harm than good.[viii]

The main argument deals with the elasticity of demand regarding employment. A minimum wage increase actually reduces the quantity demanded of workers, either through a reduction in the number of hours worked by individuals, or through a reduction in the number of jobs.[ix] Simply put, employers are likely not going to increase their salary budget, so if the hourly wages increase, then they must reduce the number of hours of work that they are paying for. This could result in the exact opposite impact of that which is intended. Those earning the minimum wage and are facing reduced hours or even being let go will find


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