Should the Minimum Wage Increase in the U.S.

There are many factors that must be carefully taken into account when choosing a position on whether or not the minimum wage should be raised. One must consider the positive and negative moral and scientific outcomes that could occur due to an increase in the minimum wage. Keith Knutsson of Integrale Advisors states "Although this topic is highly debated, my stance is that the Federal Government should not raise the minimum wage due to potential increased unemployment, increased small business failure and the long-term effect on inflation." Although a minimum wage may be an idealistic desire, it is unfortunately just that, idealistic, in our society we must weigh the positives and negatives in order to choose the solution based on the best long-term economic outcome for all Americans, not just those who would receive a mandated pay-increase.

The first argument against the minimum wage is the negative effect raising the minimum wage would have on unemployment. Economist Robert P. Murphy from the Library of Economics and Liberty explains one of many scenarios that according to his expertise would most likely occur following an increase in the minimum wage, “Raising the minimum wage might represent a drastic harm to the most vulnerable and desperate workers if the specific employees who would be working for [$15.00] an hour are different from those who would be working for $7.25 an hour. What could happen is that the higher wage would attract new workers into the labor pool, allowing firms to become pickier and, thus, to overlook the least-productive workers, who would remain unemployed or lose their jobs to more-highly-skilled workers.” As represented by Murphy’s assertion, raising the minimum wage could prove detrimental to the very employees the raise was trying to help, those with low skill sets and those just starting in the workforce, who would be overtaken by more skilled employees willing to work for the mandatory higher wage. In my opinion, it is better for someone to have a job that pays less than have no job at all, which is the circumstance many may find themselves in if the minimum wage is increased, especially those living in regions of the country with lower costs of living and therefore lower circulating money to employ workers.

When the increased unemployment, negative business effects and potential long-term inflation are all calculated, it is clear that increasing the minimum wage would not be the correct solution for the United States economy.

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