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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 good for businesses Show more Show less

The minimum wage doesn't just benefit workers, it is also good for businesses.
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The minimum wage increases worker productivity

Workers that receive a legally guaranteed minimum wage are more productive than those that don't.
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Context

Workers who are not worried about making ends meet each month are more productive. A higher minimum wage also means workers have more money to invest in their education, further increasing productivity.

The Argument

Financial stress and worry cause a decline in productivity. Workers worried about making ends meet take more sick days as mental health takes its toll on physical health. Therefore, a guaranteed minimum wage that provides workers with a livable wage will increase productivity in the workplace. [1] Additionally, putting more money in people’s pockets allows them to spend more on education and professional development. Workers with more disposable income are more likely to pursue higher education and learn new skills, further increasing workplace productivity and improving the quality of the labour pool.

Counter arguments

This increased productivity comes at an increased cost. The cost/benefit analysis of the introduction of a minimum wage will vary for each individual business. Labour-intensive businesses will be severely penalized. Many labour-intensive businesses would not do better from paying workers a higher salary for increased productivity. For these businesses, they may find more benefits in accepting lower productivity levels in exchange for a lower wage bill.

Framing

Increased productivity levels are good for businesses.

Premises

[P1] Financial stress leads to reduced worker productivity. [P2] Reduced worker productivity is bad for businesses. [P3] A minimum wage reduces financial stress. [P4] Therefore, a minimum wage increases worker productivity. [P5] Therefore, a minimum wage is good for businesses.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P5] Some businesses may prefer to accept reduced productivity in exchange for a lower wage bill.

References

  1. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/americans-have-more-anxiety-about-paying-their-bills-than-they-did-a-year-ago-2018-05-08?siteid=nwtpf

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This page was last edited on Sunday, 24 May 2020 at 17:58 UTC

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