A couple of dollars increase, Is it really that big of a deal?

Minimum Wage

Mike Seeley

Our current president Joe Biden is trying to pass a bill that will increase the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. Now as a young adult working just above minimum wage I am opposed to the increase in the federal minimum wage, at least as large an increase as the one proposed because I believe the upcoming bill will have the opposite effect. 

The minimum wage has been a topic of discussion for some time now, starting back in the 1900s to now. For the most part, the minimum wage has been left up to the individual states. Resulting in varying minimum wages ranging from California’s $14.00 minimum wage to Wisconsin’s at $7.25.

From an employer standpoint going from paying someone $340 every two weeks to $600 is a big step up in cost. But let’s break that down.

Let’s say I make $8.50 an hour and I work an average of 25 hours a week there are 52 weeks roughly in a year that’s $212 a week and $11,050 a year. Now let’s say the minimum wage is increased and now I make $15.00 an hour with the same average as before. That’s $375 a week and $19,500 a year. While on the individual scale that doesn’t sound too bad, in fact, it sounds very reasonable. But there are roughly ten people at my store. So everyone would have this increase in pay. That’s an extra $8,450 per person, that’s over an $80,000 increase in cost a year for one store. Which will I believe will result in some employees being let go or being fired. 

A minimum wage increase in a state like California or New York Wouldn’t be that big of a deal as a 1-2.5 dollar increase isn’t that bad. But going from Wisconsin’s $7.25 to $15.00 is a $7.75 increase and is a very significant change more so than other states. That’s doubling some people’s wages. A nice raise in pay, yes, but there is a downside to this. Workers at near the minimum wage like myself and others would receive a nice pay increase yes but how long would we keep it? With so many employers across the country having to suddenly have to cough up so much more money to their employees. This could add to the already staggering amount of unemployment Covid has caused.

On top of the possible jump in unemployment, there is another downside to this rather than being fired: a large number of workers would get reduced hours, which means while they have the possibility to make more money than before. They’ll be making the same amount of money but working less. Which also makes the whole point of increasing the minimum wage completely null and void.

I understand that the minimum wage increase is supposed to help those who need more money get more money, however, doesn’t that become redundant when people are losing their jobs because of a bill that’s supposed to help them?  

By this logic, the bill seems to have an overwhelmingly negative effect. And I could go on.

I asked a peer of mine Camden who makes $9.25 if he thought he would keep his job should the minimum wage be increased to $15 he said ”I would have high hopes for keeping my job, the only problem is that I don’t believe some of my coworkers would be able to keep their jobs” Cam works at a local restaurant with over 20 employees at varying wages. Most of them work below the new proposed Minimum wage, so that increase in cost for employees would increase significantly. 

In a second interview with another peer, Sammy said that they think that “I feel like it’s going to make everything more expensive such as housing or gas” I had asked them a question ‘do you feel that there is a different way to modify or change the minimum wage?’ And this was their response “people that are older, maybe they should get more of a minimum wage” “or those who have a disability” When they said this it made me realize I had never considered that line of thinking. This makes me realize that maybe there is a chance of compromise. That it doesn’t have to be $15 maybe a national increase to $8 or $9. I feel that would be so much more reasonable than the dramatic increase of the proposed $15.

We can only see when that time comes if it passed or not and how it will affect America.