West Chicago American Government Legislative
Group Position Paper
Daniela G., Angelica C., Erick M., Christina L.
There is a critical problem in America, and that is our low minimum wage relative to the cost of living. According to Tami Lubby, the current federal minimum wage rate is settled at $7.25 per hour. The minimum wage level at a federal level is too low, which makes it difficult for a large number of Americans who are earning income at this rate. Yet these workers still need to pay for the basic necessities needed to live a comfortable lifestyle. The current poverty level, “according to estimates from the CIA World Fact Book, some 13% of the U.S. population lives in poverty, that’s 37 million people.” It is understandable that some of the smaller companies may not be able to pay this amount to their workers, but it is something that the bigger companies are definitely able to achieve. According to Opinion: A reasonable Minimum Wage is rejected 1): “Raising minimum wage will lead to layoffs but a study proved that the bill would create 2,420 jobs and earn $240 million for the economy”. Although it might affect smaller companies, the gap between the rich and the poor will be diminished. There would also be more money fueled into the economy. In order for the minimum wage rate to be effective, there should be an increase in the inflation. If inflation increases, then the minimum wage rate should increase proportionally.
After identifying the problem, of minimum wage in America in the previous paragraph, we have created a solution that we believe will solve the problem at hand. We have proposed to create a federal law that will increase the minimum wage to $8.50, and it will come into effect June 4, 2013. We created this bill because an exam revealed that “Around 13% of the U.S. population lives in poverty. Raising the minimum wage moves yearly earnings to $20,000 a year if people work forty hours a week” (Smith 2). An argument against our bill is that, “Raising the minimum wage will certainly help many workers; advocates say it’s more important to assist people in finding higher paying jobs” (Lubby 1). However, finding a higher paying jobs for everyone is difficult and the outcome is basically the same thing as raising the minimum wage because in both propositions the employer pays a higher wage to their employees. In addition, another source stated that, “At the current minimum wage, a worker earns just $14,500 a year- well below the living wage in many areas.” To sum it all up we believe that raising the minimum wage to $8.50 will address the cost of the living wage while not straining the economy and causing ill-effects rather than positive ones. In the next paragraph, we will explain the reactions to our proposed solution from several people we interviewed.
A problem that America is faced with today is the fact that minimum wage is way too low. A solution that may solve this issue is to raise minimum wage to $8.50 nationally. We have interviewed several adults to get their opinion on our solution. Jose Alberto Correa believes that minimum wage on a national level should increase by fifty cents. He also believes that raising it any more would cripple the economy rather than help it. Gloria Lomibao believes that raising the minimum wage to $8.50 is still too low. Gas prices are going up every week. When gas prices go up, everything is up. Meaning, one will not have enough money to take home to buy food and other necessities. This is problematic for those who are married with children. Minimum wage should be at least $9.00 so it will be effective immediately. During these periods, everyone should have health insurance, but because of low minimum wage, people cannot afford to buy one. This means more spending money for the government. Luz Casmiro says that she believes that the national minimum wage rate should increase without the price of goods also increasing. She agrees with President Obama’s proposal of increasing the minimum wage rate to $9.00 an hour at a national level, but also to increase it annually to keep up with the inflation.
By raising the minimum wage rate to $8.50 an hour on a federal level, the United States Economy will improve. Our proposal can help many poor families overcome the poverty level and help close the gap between the rich and the poor classes (Smith 1). Without causing inflation, raising minimum wage will make basic necessities more affordable. Many might believe that raising minimum wage will hurt the economy rather than help it; however raising the minimum wage rate will help the families living at or below the poverty level by expanding their ability to afford things like medical insurance. Raising minimum wage will reduce poverty because although the government poverty line is a useful measure of income inadequacy, meeting basic needs is a struggle for millions of people and above this income calculation: housing, childcare, and health care costs are far higher than poverty calculations (Furman 1). The ability to pay things like this will make less people dependent on the money of the government, allowing the government to invest in other areas of need.
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