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Raise the Minimum Wage?

Used+w%2F+permission%3A+The+All-Nite+Images%2C+https%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2Fotto-yamamoto%2F10470892823
Used w/ permission: The All-Nite Images, https://www.flickr.com/photos/otto-yamamoto/10470892823

Used w/ permission: The All-Nite Images, https://www.flickr.com/photos/otto-yamamoto/10470892823

Used w/ permission: The All-Nite Images, https://www.flickr.com/photos/otto-yamamoto/10470892823

Caitlin Donnelly, Staff Writer

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There has been a huge debate recently on whether the United States minimum wage should be raised from about $8 to $15 dollars an hour.

While some researchers are in favor of this, many are not.

According to this source, “Fewer people will make more money when we increase the minimum wage, especially by such a stark amount” If we increase minimum wage, it’s more money that’s coming out of employers’ pockets in order to pay employees. And as a result of this, “exceedingly high labor costs drive towards automation. There are several companies that are nearing commercial launch of the automated burger processor” With needing to pay so many people with a higher minimum wage, places such as McDonald’s will resort to spending money on automated machines.

But why waste their money on an automated machine?

If you look at the graph on the linked article you’ll see that it takes one worker 1.5 minutes to make each burger, that’s about 6400 burgers in a month, and an auto-burger machine can produce 180,000 burgers in a month.

But raising minimum wage can’t be all that bad.

After all, The Nation reports that raising minimum wage will have far more positive effects as opposed to negative. One of these being, “ There’s this idea that our society is premised on the pursuit of happiness,’ says Laura Smith, a psychologist at Columbia University’s Teachers College. That premise, she reasons, is tied to the implicit American social contract, ‘which is that a hard day’s work is going to be the pathway to full enfranchised citizenship. And when full-time contributors to the necessary fabric of society can’t earn enough to lift their families out of poverty, our tacit social contract is compromised.’” What Smith is saying, is that each and every person has the right to pursue their career or dream but unfortunately the problem of finances gets in the way, and people are unable to financially support these goals and that’s isn’t okay.  

There are so many people living below the poverty line because of minimum wage and this source is convinced that raising it will help people pay their bills and be able to support themselves, “‘Poverty leads to premature deaths, worsens academic performance, and stigmatizes those who rely on the social safety net,’ says Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), an advocate of raising the federal minimum wage, who is herself a psychiatric social worker. She adds that she hopes her congressional colleagues will see Smith’s paper ‘as a call to action and will work with me to advance antipoverty legislation so all Americans can live with dignity and economic security’”

So what do you think? Is raising minimum wage the answer? Or is there another factor that we’re not quite understanding?

 

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Raise the Minimum Wage?