By Zainab Zawam’ 15
It’s on. The Democrats are armed and ready to take down the Republicans in the battle of the wages. The conqueror will make the decision to either increase the minimum wage from a low $7.25 to $10.10 by the year 2016, or keep it at a low $7.25 an hour. Who will prevail?
The time has come to make a decision that will alter our lives forever. With the Democratic Party standing strong in support of increasing the minimum wage, the Republican Party acts as a barrier in the way of achieving a better life for the working class.
Increasing the minimum wage will help the economy in many ways. When employees get paid more, they tend to spend more, which in turn helps the economy. The employers may argue that if they increase the wages, then they will be losing more money from their profits. In reality, the employees will feel appreciated and will work efficiently, therefore, increasing the production rates and profits for the companies. In addition to that businesses will be able to keep experienced workers and avoid the costs of recruiting and training the new staff.
According to the New York Times, “Business and the Minimum Wage” article, many retailers pay their employees more than the minimum wage, for example Costco. Costco has an $11.50 hourly pay for entry-level jobs and has an average wage of $21 an hour.
Patrick Callans, senior vice president of Costco, said, “Higher pay and benefits allows us to attract and retain great employees.”
Also using this method Gap pays employees $9 an hour and is planning to increase it to $10 an hour the following year.
Supporting a family is not as easy as it looks. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 63 percent of the minimum wage employees are adults age 20 and up. People have to pay all of their expenses which is impossible to cover in this society with only a $7.25 hourly pay. This puts a huge burden on their backs and forces them to work full time and take on more than one job. Having an increase will raise these people from below the poverty line and give them a better life. The increase acts like a fertilizer in our soil that will help us all grow taller.
With at least 21 states that already have the minimum wages increased over the federal wage, there is absolutely no reason to consider keeping the minimum wage at a $7.25 an hour. It is crystal clear that minimum wage will benefit the employees, the companies, and the economy.