Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
June 28, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.
x

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.






What’s Next for the Bill Cosby Sex-Assault Case?

Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Ear to the Ground
Email this item Print this item

Raising Minimum Wage Increases Quality of Life, Not Unemployment

Posted on Aug 10, 2013
WisconsinJobsNow (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Though many economists would have you believe that raising the minimum wage would result in higher unemployment rates, they are mistaken. Statistical analyses of a significant sampling of studies have shown no evidence that unemployment rates are affected by wage increases.

As fast food workers protest across America, more than a hundred economists are signing a petition that supports raising the minimum wage. Boosting wages benefits employees and employers alike. Employees are more productive and consume more goods and services when they are financially rewarded, and employers waste less time and money on recruiting and instructing new staffers. During this seemingly endless recession, this kind of stimulation would go a long way.

College student Emily Chong poses the following pertinent question in Salon:

So if we have no evidence linking high wages to job loss, our next question is: are higher wages needed as a poverty reduction tool?

Currently, the 2013 Federal Poverty guidelines stipulate $23,550 for a family of four as poverty level. A $7.25 minimum wage currently nets the protesting fast food workers $15,080 a year if the workers are lucky enough to work 40 hours a week. In a typical household with two parents and two children, parents who make $7.25 earn far below the living wage of $13.55, according to an MIT wage calculator. The numbers become even starker when you separate out true living expenses: food, medical care, housing, transportation, and other needed expenses add up to a required $37,540 annual income before taxes, which is notably different than the poverty guidelines that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services set. Even if the two parents worked 40 hours a week for 52 weeks, they would only earn $30,160 in total, significantly below the resources they need to live. Moreover, these estimates are only for a typical nuclear family. The struggle that single-income families, large families, or families living in high-cost cities go through is exponentially higher.

The buying power of minimum wage has steadily been waning due to the effects of inflation for the past 40 years. When prices increase, a worker’s paycheck buys less and less.

At McDonald’s, studies have shown that a rise in an average worker’s pay would mean increasing the price of a Big Mac by 5 cents. Isn’t giving Americans a chance at a better quality of life worth a nickel?

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

Banner, End of Story, Desktop
Banner, End of Story, Mobile
Watch a selection of Wibbitz videos based on Truthdig stories:


Get a book from one of our contributors in the Truthdig Bazaar.

Related Entries

Get truth delivered to
your inbox every day.



New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments
Right Top, Site wide - Care2
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide

Like Truthdig on Facebook