How would you feel if you were working many hours at work and were still not able to provide for your family’s basic necessities? Employees are working very hard, long hours and are not receiving the pay that they need. People need to provide for themselves and their families and are unable to do so with such low pay. People should not be living the rest of their lives in poverty and they should be able to pay for what they need. The Federal minimum wage should increase in order for people to support themselves and get paid what they deserve.
The current minimum wage that people are working for is unfair. According to Josh Newby in Pensacola Magazine, “minimum wage should be $18.28 to keep pace with labor productivity” (Newby). Minimum wage needs to increase a lot more than it is right now if we want workers to get paid what they deserve. People cannot be expected to provide for themselves and their families by receiving such low pay. If minimum wage is raised, people will not have to be constantly worrying if they will have enough money for basic necessities including food, housing, and utilities.
As this amount of minimum wage increase might seem a bit unrealistic, The Policy Institute states in its website that that by 2024, minimum wage should increase to at least $15 an hour. About “18 percent of the U.S. workforce [including] California, New York, and the District of Columbia” (The Public Policy) agreed that they wanted minimum wage to increase to $15 an hour. If minimum wage does increase, about 41 million workers would benefit. (The Public Policy). So many workers and families will be better off with a minimum wage increase.
Robert Pollin and Jeanette Wicks-Lim state in The Journal of Economic Issues that they also believe minimum wage should be increased to $15 an hour. If minimum wage is increased, there will be a “tremendous difference in the life of a preschool teacher, bank teller, or fast-food worker who today struggles to get by on around $20,000 a year” (The Public Policy). So many lives will change for the better with an increase in minimum wage and $15 an hour seems to be reasonable.
Some people do not understand how much childen at home are affected while their parents are at work. A book titled Making It Work: Low-Wage Employment, Family Life, and Child Development by Edward D. Lowe, et al. explains how a woman’s job can affect the development of her children. It is common that if a child’s mom is working long hours and receiving a low income, the child may become depressed and anxious (Lowe, et al.). If parents were able to work shorter hours and still be able to have the money they need to survive, their children will be overall a lot happier because they will not have to be separated from their parents as long.
Teachers can see a huge difference in children whose parents work long hours to pay for basic needs versus parents who are able to spend quality time with their children. It was stated that children do better in school when their mother has a higher income. Children who are unable to be near their parents a lot are seen to have “higher levels of aggression and acting-out behaviors” (Lowe, et al.). Mothers and fathers are unable to spend a lot of time with their children when they are working many hours to try to make ends meet. Parents love to be “home after school and at dinnertime to monitor homework and make dinner” (Lowe, et al.). If minimum wage is raised, parents will not have to work as many hours and they will have time to build strong connections with their children.
When parents are at work, they worry about what their children might be up to. They stress about “their children’s whereabouts or behavior after school and the quality of the attention they could provide to their children after long work hours.” They also worry if the amount of money they made that day will be enough for food that night (Lowe, et al.). When they are at work, they cannot check up on their children at any time to make sure they are okay or that they are not getting into trouble.
All states should have an increased minimum wage so basic necessities can be paid for. In a newspaper article called Arkansas Minimum Wage Increase Proposal Makes It on November Ballot by Meagan Johnson, she states why raising minimum wage in Arkansas is a good idea. Over one hundred thousand signatures were submitted by campaign manager Kristen Foster which support the increase of minimum wage. Foster stated that ‘every Arkansan who is working full time should be able to afford to feed their kids, have a house to live in” (Johnson). Their basic needs should be met and the pay for minimum wage right now does not work for everyone.
Everyone should be seen as equal and when there is a low minimum it is impossible for this to happen. In a journal called Is Raising the Minimum Wage a Good Idea? Evidence and Implications for Social Work by Jennifer L. Romich, workers that are being paid very little “demand a higher wage as a matter of fairness, calling minimum wage a critical civil and human rights issue” (Romich). Low paid workers believe that getting a higher wage is what is fair in our society. Workers’ wages are not able to “provide for basic social needs, including housing, food, and other reasonable needs” (Romich). If low paid workers start to make more money, people would be seen as more equal and there would be less poverty.
Living in poverty is something that citizens in our country should not have to do for the rest of their lives. America has enough money to “have a class of working poor that can put food on the table” (Newby). People should be able to provide for themselves and not have to worry about being able to eat at night or pay their bills.
Others say that raising minimum wage “disadvantages businesses” (Newby). If businesses are losing money because their workers need to pay for basic needs, that is a good reason for them to lose a little money. Businesses should not be selfish and take all the money because they do not necessarily need it as much as low paid workers do. Everyone should be able to afford to pay for at least shelter and food and they are not able to because of the small amount they are getting paid now.
Many people who believe minimum wage should not increase think that “those with low wages tend to spend their money right away, which boosts the economy” (Newby). While this statement is true, low paid workers spend their money quickly to buy basic necessities for themselves and their families. They are not able to save any money when all of their money goes to food and house bills.
Some opposers believe that if minimum wage is raised, “employees will “buy” (hire) fewer workers as workers become more expensive” (Romich). In our society today, so many low paid workers are not able to pay for what they need. Yes, maybe not as many people will get hired; but we should at least be able to have a good amount of people to make it in this world we live in today instead of no one. If minimum wage is raised, more families will not have to live in poverty and their stress levels will decrease tremendously.
In conclusion, minimum wage should increase so that workers can support themselves. If minimum wage stays at the amount it is, more employees are going to end up in a state of poverty. People should not have to worry if they will be able to pay for dinner for their families or pay house bills. Parents are working many hours when they should be spending valuable time with their children. These parents’ children’s mental health is being affected by this separation. If minimum wage is increased, it will allow low paid workers to not have to worry about whether or not they will be able to provide for themselves and their families.