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What are the positions on a minimum wage? Show more Show less
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A minimum wage, which sets the lowest legal wage a company can pay its workers, is designed to prevent exploitation. Its backers argue the pros, including guaranteeing low-income workers a liveable wage, outweigh the cons. But who really benefits from a legally mandated minimum wage?

The minimum wage is too low Show more Show less

A higher minimum wage would unlock economic benefits and be far more effective at limiting poverty.
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Higher minimum wages would increase government revenue

The government would benefit from a higher minimum wage in the form of increased revenue.

The Argument

The government, in its duty to protect the welfare of its citizens, has a responsibility to ensure that people's basic needs are met. Those unable to earn enough money to meet their basic needs receive government handouts in the form of benefits, food stamps, tax credits, housing assistance, and so on. Low minimum wage rates fail to reduce poverty and therefore increase the financial burden on the government who must fill in the gaps and provide assistance to the poor. Poverty is mostly experienced by minimum wage workers because it fails to provide enough to live on. “Today, however, a single parent earning the current federal minimum wage does not earn enough through full-time work to bring his or her family above the federal poverty line.” [1] As a result, minimum wage earners often depend on government assistance. Economists predict that gradually raising the minimum wage will reduce poverty without reducing employment rates. [1] An increase to the minimum wage boosts people’s incomes and as a result, they end up needing fewer government benefits and are able to pay more in taxes. By raising the minimum wage, the government stands to spend less and make more. In addition, higher incomes place more money into individual people’s pockets for them to reinvest back into the economy. More public spending means more demand for goods and services, thus boosting business revenues and prompting job creation to cater to the increased demand.

Counter arguments

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Increasing the minimum wage leads to greater personal financial independence. [P2] Increasing the minimum wage leads to more spending back into the economy. [P3] Therefore, the government only benefits from raising the minimum wage.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.epi.org/publication/minimum-wage-testimony-feb-2019/
This page was last edited on Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 20:00 UTC

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