UNITED STATES—Some good news was unleashed to the public on Tuesday, February 12 as President Barack Obama conducted his State of the Union Address. This was the commander in chief’s fourth address to the American people. He acknowledged that he’d like to raise the current minimum wage of $7.25 to $9.00. This is exceptionally good news, but as we all know with good news there comes bad news. The President is hoping to have this new piece of business introduced into legislation by 2015. That means that’s another two years before the minimum wage could take effect.
The biggest question a lot of Americans including myself are asking is “Why can’t Congress implement the minimum wage hike right now?” It’s indeed a good question, but with any law there are always drawbacks from the opposing side. First and foremost, the minimum wage hike will impact small businesses the most. There is the ongoing debate of those companies already paying skyrocketing costs for medical care for their employees and implementing a wage hike will strike their pockets even more.
That’s the thing about any business; their goal is to always bring in profits. The best way to do that is to keep payroll costs down. So most small businesses will not be in favor of a price hike as its more money coming out of their pocket. If the law does indeed get passed, you can expect those employers to attempt to get rid of those employees making higher wages to replace them with newer employees that they can pay at a lower wage performing the same work. Companies implement this strategy time and time again; trust me I know as I’m speaking from personal experience where it has happened to myself and fellow colleagues.
Then there are those in favor of the minimum wage hike. For starters for decades the minimum wage was a lot lower than what it currently is. I recall my parents telling me when they were earning just $2.65 an hour. What? How in the world can someone survive only making $2.65 an hour? It must’ve been possible as many people thrived in that era, but it was not without a bit of assistance. Let’s face it, that income will not pay all of the bills and provide the amenities that one needs to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
My biggest gripe comes with the fact that some continue to argue day in and day out that the minimum wage is good where it’s at. Then my argument to them is can you survive making just $7.25 an hour? I could guarantee you the answer would be no, because no one can. That barely nets you an income of over $15,000 a year, which is still below the poverty line. In addition, that’s the gross income, that’s not how much money one will bring home after taxes. That might net $10,000 to $11,000 after taxes.
There is no point in going over all the other expenses that one will encounter on a monthly basis. That’s the problem with our country we’re so driven by greed and money that we’d like to keep the little guy down, while others continue to build their bank account. Money is the root of evil as everyone wants it; some wanting it more than others and willing to do heinous things to ensure they keep what they have. In my personal opinion, I believe increasing the minimum wage hike to $9.00 an hour is an excellent idea.
But my opinion never counts, its all about what Congress will do. Will they fight for the people or the corporations? Remember the lower class and middle class spend more money than any other socioeconomic class which will indeed boost the economy.
By Trevor Roberts