The Minimum Wage Debate: Balancing Economic Impact and Social Well-Being
Minimum Wage Debate
In society, money is very important. In order to obtain money, an individual can either provide goods and services to the rest of society, or they could offer services to a business for payment. When working for a business, there must be a set compensation that is valued by the various job positions and the duties they must provide. Unfortunately, as the prices of goods and services inflate, the minimum wage is just barely keeping up in some states, and in others, it is just not enough for someone to make a living.
The argument of whether the minimum wage should be increased has been going on for a very long time, with opposing sides throwing statistics and hypothetical situations in order to counter the other. Regardless of which side is right or wrong, the rate of minimum wage is a very important issue in political discussions.
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The Dilemma of Minimum Wage Increase
On one side, the argument for having an increase is that the current rate of $7.25 an hour is not enough for an individual to have a proper income that is above the poverty line, especially for single parents and single people in general. A full-time, full-year worker making $15 per hour would be a set example of a single adult without children scraping by in cities with low living costs. However, single parents with children would still not be earning enough to live above the poverty line even with the help of government programs like food stamps (Reich and Rothstein).
Unfortunately, there are negative side effects to raising the minimum wage. As with any positive change, there must be a consequence to balance it out. When the payroll is increased, the prices of goods and services will also increase. Because of this, sales will then decrease because of the high prices, which in turn causes the downsizing of employees. When the cost of hiring new workers becomes too high, unemployment.
The Dichotomy of Wealth and Happiness
“Money doesn’t buy happiness” is a well-known and commonly used saying. According to the article on Financial Samurai, it is often used when either someone has too much money to go around or they do not have any money to their own name. While on the one hand, it is true that excess spending on frivolous things is not as fulfilling as the experiences of human life and overcoming the obstacles along the way, money still provides a sense of security just in case something catastrophic happens. So yes, money does not truly buy happiness, but neither does living below the poverty line.
- Reich, M., & Rothstein, J. (n.d.). “The Insufficiency of the Minimum Wage.”
- Financial Samurai. (n.d.). “Does Money Buy Happiness? A Philosophical Debate.”