Don't Blame Minimum Wage

Essay by jonathan naiCollege, UndergraduateB, August 2008

download word file, 11 pages 5.0 2 reviews

Today's society, in the United States, is facing huge problems concerning the rise in price of gas, food, and services. These price shifts are not helping working class citizens reach middle class status. In Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich, the author explores living off minimum wage and the tribulations one goes through trying to work on minimum wage jobs. She goes on explaining that many of her coworkers live in motels, which she eventually has to do, in order to live. Ehrenreich's investigative journalism demonstrates the extreme difficulty of getting by in America working minimum wage jobs. Raising the minimum wage results in higher costs and ultimately inflation; therefore making it more difficult to support oneself off of a minimum wage salary alone. According to the laws of economics, it's not logical for things to have gotten more expensive; competition should drive prices down. Then why have prices continued to rise over the years? The increasing demand of more money for less work has forced Uncle Sam to raise the minimum wage innumerable times in the last half century, resulting in higher prices for the rest of us.

Although the idea of increasing the minimum wage sounds appealing, much attention should be focused on the flaws of our government polices and the problems of our economyCosts of living will increase as unemployment rates increase with a higher minimum wage. When the firing axe starts to fall, seniority often determines who goes and who stays. The theories of economics states decisions are made at the marginal level (Kersey). Raising the minimum wage will cause employers to cut more jobs because they will not be able to afford paying for more employees. Employers will look for alternatives to paying employees. For example, employers can implement machines and other self-service devices...