Why Hillary Clinton's Fight for a Minimum Wage Increase Makes Sense
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, proposes that if she is elected the federal minimum wage will increase. Not only does this policy seem to make ethical sense, but it also makes economical sense.
From an ethical standpoint, this increase in minimum wage has long been overdue. The federal minimum wage is $7.25. For a full time worker, this wage would yield about $15,000 per year, which is hardly enough to get by. This rate has been stagnant for years, and doesn't event change with inflation. This is problematic, seeing that our money is devalued at about 2% each year. This wage is nowhere near enough for full time employees to provide for themselves and their families.
Contrary to popular belief, most of the people that are working for a minimum wage are not teenagers, who have their parents to solve for their financial needs. Instead, over 88% of them are adults and parents who have to provide for their families. America should be a country in which full time workers should be able to provide for their families without falling under the poverty line. In the status quo, many families depend on food stamps and government welfare programs for economic sustenance. Allowing individuals to pay for the economic needs of their families, will allow them to maintain a level of human dignity in our society. Raising the minimum wage will allow millions of families in the US to come out of the cyclical poverty that they live in.
From an economical standpoint, increasing the minimum wage has yielded great benefits in the past. Many states have already increased their minimum wage. For example, in California the minimum wage is over $10 and the quality of life seems to be a lot better in this state when compared to other states. Many individual municipalities have increased the minimum wage and have seen great economic benefits from doing so. LA is one such municipality, where minimum wage workers enjoy higher wages and are observed to be more productive.
Also by increasing the amount of disposable income that the lower classes in America have, the economy will be further stimulated causing businesses to expand and causing our overall economy to benefit.
The main economic fear of raising minimum wages is the fact that small businesses might be burdened by having to provide their employees with higher wages. When creating the legislation, policymakers have to be careful of this downside. Burdening small businesses will not depress our economy greatly and this will be a downside to increasing the minimum wage. The legislation needs to have some type of opt out policies for businesses that will not be able to handle such wage increases.
When looking toward big companies however, minimum wage increases seem to make sense. Only about 1-2% of the companies profits is usually needed to pay for this wage increase. It is a very small price to pay for the trade off that will come about from this wage increase for the worker and for the employer alike.
There is overwhelming evidence to show that a minimum wage increase will benefit not only the employee, but also the employer and their company. If we are deliberate in trying to alleviate the negative consequences to small businesses, I believe that Hillary Clinton's initiative should be supported.