The Fight over Minimum Wage

By Dain Maher Posted February 19, 2014

The minimum wage has been a constant source of contention since its inception in 1938. It started at .25 cents an hour and has since risen to a federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Anybody who has worked a minimum wage job knows it’s not fun but somebody has to do it. Many times the students who work these jobs, are not the hardest or most effective; so the question that arises with a lot of employers is, “Are these people really worth $7.25 an hour?”

To set the record straight, the companies and corporations are not the ones setting the minimum wage rather it’s the federal government who decides what it should be based on inflation, the current economic situation, and interest rates.

The minimum wage at its core is the lowest hourly, daily, or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Many proponents of minimum wage feel as though it increases the standard of living, reduces poverty, reduces inequality, boosts morale, and forces businesses to be more efficient while opponents say it increases poverty increases unemployment (particularly among low-productivity workers), and is damaging to businesses.

While both may have truths and falsehoods, the only truth that minimum wage provides is more money an hour for productive and unproductive workers alike. While an increase in the minimum wage may seem like a good thing, we must take into account that most of us, the students, have no expenses. Those with expenses most likely have to pay for food, rent, car, gas, etc. When the minimum wage goes up, the prices of these goods and services most likely do too. The minimum wage is a beneficial income until the expenses of goods and services required for daily existence surpass the income provided by the minimum wage. A suggestion would be to start at minimum wage and work hard to get raises and work up the chain of command. You will find that the harder you work, the more doors open up.