“What every American wants is a paycheck that lets them support their families, know a little economic security, pass down some hope and optimism to their kids. And that’s worth fighting for.”
– President Obama, March 5, 2014
President Obama called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. Raising the federal minimum wage gives millions of Americans a raise. It changes the lives of numerous citizens. The lift in pay would benefit more than 28 million workers across the country. However, many Republicans disagree with President Obama’s philosophy. They claim that lifting the wage would cost many Americans their jobs. This was evidence from a report by the Congressional Budget Office, which stated that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would cost 500,000 jobs. They suggested that a smaller increase in wage would cost fewer jobs. The White House argued that a higher wage would elevate the middle class. They asserted that it would produce careers by providing citizens with more money to spend on goods and services. There are reasonable arguments from both parties. Only time will tell who is right.
As shown by the graph above, the current minimum wage is not nearly enough. Many individuals who work full time still cannot earn enough to pull themselves above the poverty line. This is a tragic occurrence.
There are many factors which that will be affected by the raise in wage. One of the factors is businesses. Numerous businesses have already begun to pay their workers higher wages. They view this as a method to boost productivity, reduce turnover and increase profits. Costco, a major business, is a prime example of such a company. Another thing that will be affected by the lift in wage is the individual state. States have the power to change their own minimum wage. 21 states plus Washington D.C. have a minimum wage rate that is above the federal minimum wage rate. Delaware recently decided to raise its minimum wage as well. This bill will go in to effect later in 2014. The last factor is President Obama himself. He passed a bill to raise many workers’ salary by requiring that federal contractors pay their employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour.
On his campaign for a higher federal minimum wage, President Obama declared that:
“Nobody who works full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.”