In 2016, bill SB 3 was signed to gradually increase the minimum wage in California to $15 per hour by 2022. It is great news for every worker who is earning a minimum wage. The federal minimum wage was established in 1938. Congress increases the minimum as prices in the overall economy increases. Low-income families are having a hard time to pay their bills because the rent, the food and many other expenses are going up. Even though they work very hard to earn their money, they still need welfare and Medical health care from the government because they are not making enough income for their family. This situation is bad for our economy, and will lead the public debt going up. People also feel bad themselves when they rely on warfare or other benefits of government. They will be happier to make more money by their own. Also, business will grow if people have more income to satisfy the needs and the wants. Therefore, the government should raise the minimum wage because higher minimum wage can lift people out of poverty, reduce mental health problems, and grow consumer purchasing power.
First, raising the minimum wage can lift people out of poverty and will not lead to unemployment. The thinking of Bob Funk is wrong when he states that workers are “disadvantage” in the “modern economy” if they do not have skills, and they might have risk to lose their jobs if the government raise the minimum wage. They need to get more skills to get higher wages. However, the workers who do not have skills are trying to work harder than other people because they know that they have limited education and knowledge. They use their physical strength to perform their jobs. For example, people who work in the warehouse, they take a lot of strength to lift the materials, supplies, and products, but they only get the minimum wage for their hard labor job, so it is not fair for them.
Also, it is not their false or “disadvantage” for the economy. Although they do not have the potential to learn more skills, they try to work hard to cover their weaknesses. Therefore, physically demanding jobs are worth to get higher wages. Their jobs will not be eliminated because they are in demand. Firms still need these kinds of workers to get the tasks done. For all these reasons, there will not be the risk of unemployment, and government should raise the minimum wage for their hard working to lift them out of poverty. Neumark and Wascher emphasize that labor unions, liberal advocacy groups, and large corporations are strongly support minimum wage increases. Also, Americans are trying to help low-income families to improve their living standards because they feel “discomfort with the degree of economic inequality in modern day society”. Workers try to do their best to get the job done for the firm, so employers should not offer fair wages for their workers. In fact, without the workers, the firm cannot make money by itself. Therefore, employers should not just think how to make profits for themselves. Employers should motivate and encourage workers by paying them equally and helping their workers to succeed.
Second, raising the minimum wage can reduce mental health problems because when people make enough money for their living they will have less stress. They will not struggle to keep up with their basic living expenses. Bill Gardner states, “The finding that you can reduce mental health problems by increasing the minimum wage is important because raising the wage is easier than redesigning the mental health treatment system. Getting mental health services into poor communities and getting poor people to access them are largely unsolved problems. How to pass and enforce a minimum wage law is well-understood”. He points out mental health problems will decrease if federal minimum wage increase. Many people assumed that they will feel good when they can make their living wage by themselves, and they do not need to depend on the benefits of the government, such as welfare and Medicare. Poor people need help to raise their wages to get better lives. In addition, Bill Gardner emphasizes, “In effect, raising the minimum wage may be like putting antidepressants in the water pipes serving millions of low-wage workers”. He believes raising minimum wage is the best treatment for low-income families because these kinds of “antidepressants” are the best medications for the workers who have low wages. Even though the government spends tons of money for many services and benefits for the low-income families in decades, it seems people still have trouble for their living, they still need help from the government month by month, year by year.
In addition, Krisberg states, “the wage increase would prevent nearly 400 premature deaths among lower income Californians each year. Also, people with incomes above the federal poverty line typically live more than five years longer than those below the poverty line”. The pressure of lack of money for living will lead people to face premature deaths. However, people will live years longer if they above the minimum level of income needed to secure their necessities of life. Therefore, the best solution is government should raise the minimum wage to lift people out of poverty and reduce their mental health problems, so people will be happier and live longer. Most importantly, raising the minimum wage will raise consumer purchasing power, and it would be good for the economy because people have extra money to buy more things. When people have more income, they afford to pay all the basic bills such as rent, food, utilities, and clothing, etc. After they pay all the bills, they might use the extra money in eating out, purchasing things that they want, or go somewhere to have fun with their families or their friends. Therefore, the consumer purchasing power will rise if people have more money to use. Hirokazu Yoshikawa believes that people feel good when they have extra money to spend, and they can enjoy their lives with their families like “typical of a middle-class American lifestyle”. It is true that people have higher wages, they want to spend more to get a better life. Therefore, it can help to boost the consumer purchasing power. Furthermore, Hirokazu Yoshikawa emphasizes that many women could not spend additional money on their kids because they have a very low income, and they have no extra money to spend.
All business will be going down if people have no extra money to spend. They just spend on the basic needs without any other purchase. Even though they wanted to spend more, they frustrated to satisfy their desires. Therefore, consumer purchasing power will drop if people not going to buy anything. This is a very bad situation that we do not want to see it happen in our country. In addition, Pollin and Wicks-Lim believe that there are “four primary ways” to cover the increased labor costs in businesses. First, reduce absenteeism, lower the training costs, and higher efficiency. Second, business owners could raise the prices for products. Third, business owners can pay for these extra costs by splitting up part of their income from economic growth. Finally, business owners can redistribute overall revenues by cutting off expenses. The actions of reducing the expenses to raise the minimum wage is highly recommend by Pollin and Wicks-Lim. Specifically, business owners should lower the expenses to raise the minimum wage for their employees. Even though they make their price higher, the business will still do well. The fact that people get higher wages could afford higher prices because they have greater income for their expenses. Therefore, the government should increase the minimum wage to boost the consumer purchasing power.
In conclusion, raising minimum wage is necessary for lifting out of poverty, reducing mental health and raising consumer purchasing power. Also, the most of Americans, labor unions and business owners highly support raising the minimum wage. Especially, the higher wage for workers would put the stronger foundation for the economy by increasing demand for goods and services. Hard working people would feel that their time has value and their work has been rewarded. The unhealth stress will be decline when people have enough income for their families. Moreover, people will lift out of poverty to the middle class to follow the American dream. However, they need government support them by raising the minimum wage instead of giving them welfare and Medicare. As they make higher wages, they will have extra money to spend, and it will lead to increase the consumer purchase power. Business owners should give their workers a raise for recognizing their good performance, and the workers will work harder to get the job done employers. California Low-income families are waiting for their wages reaching $15 per hour by 2022 to lift out of poverty to lead to the middle class.