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Should Congress Raise the Nation's Minimum Wage?

A bill has been introduced in the United States Senate that would raise the federal minimum wage to $9.88 an hour. Good or bad idea?

A U.S. Senator from Iowa had introduced legislation in Congress that would raise the national minimum wage by more than $2.

Now, the national minimum wage stands at $7.25 an hour. U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, wants that minimum wage workers making $9.88 an hour.

NPR reports that, according to the Economic Policy Institute, if Harkin has his way and the minimum wage was actually raised to $9.88 an hour, it would increase wages for 30 million Americans — 10 percent of the country.

Harkin, in the NPR report, argues that most people making the minimum wage spend just about all their money because they don't have much left. Giving them a raise, he says, woudl mean more for the nation's gross domestic product.

From the report:

Harkin estimates that his minimum wage increase would mean about $25 billion more for GDP, 100,000 more jobs and 28 million Americans would get a raise.

To those that say raising the minimum wage would actually increase unemployment, Harkin says there's simply no proof of that. He says they've found that when minimum wages were increased, employment actually went up.

Opponents say raising the minimum wage would have a reverse affect—creating higher unemployment rates than the ones plauging the country today.

According to NPR, 18 states have set minimum wage rates slightly higher than the national level, while four states actually have exemptions and even lower minimums. Missouri's minimum wage is the same as the federal minimum wage.

What do you think? Should Congress act on such legislation and raise the nation's minimum wage to just less than $10 an hour? Or do you think raising the minimum wage will create more burden on small business owners already struggling to survive?

Sandra Eskridge July 13, 2012 at 06:13 PM
If we were to eliminate a couple of the “results” of an increased minimum wage as an option, things might better fall into place. I am a firm believer that we should not be allowed to outsource in country or out; in company or out! If you want to sell it here, hire your workers here, pay them what the job is worth, and they in turn will buy it here. Will some of the obscene profits now being bagged by companies be dented—sure will. Yet those same companies will still be able to afford to do business here with more reasonable profits. The law of supply and demand would kick in not in raised prices, but producing more to fill the demand of the additional quantity that would be sold. That, of course, would mean more jobs The prices only go up when the manufacturer doesn’t meet the demand! If they want to do business overseas, then do it all over there and leave the opportunities they have left behind to entrepreneurs who want to economically support their country. And as far as quality is concerned, I have yet to buy a foreign made product that can fall within acceptable quality ranges. ..the only exception being automobiles.
Elizabeth July 13, 2012 at 07:12 PM
New Jersey currently ranks 46th with an unemployment rate of 9.2% while Pennsylvania ranks 27th with 7.2%.
Devon Seddon July 13, 2012 at 07:45 PM
That's not how business works & it's not how raising the minimum-wage has worked in the past. Great ideology, but it's not applicable. We keep placing more burdens like this on business, then blame them for leaving or out-sourcing. We use it as an excuse to keep pinning them with the new expenses of those they used to be able to employ. Who decides "Well, They make enough money, so they need to allow us to take more"? What? Apply that to DC. We chase away business, then penalize them for leaving as if it's their fault. We force them to resort to alternatives, then blame them for it. Get off their backs, they are what keeps the economy going, not a government that's against them. Please listen as I say this again... We have the highest corporate tax-rate, and the most regulations on business, in the world. That's what caused this. Fix that, and you fix the entire economy. You'll never be able to mop up all the water, until you fix the leak. Think! This administration on supply & demand: "We can't just drill our way to cheaper gas prices" Can too. It's simple supply & demand. "It's a world market", yep, but it works like every other market, more product = lower prices. "It's a middle-east problem", you mean the ones you buy from instead producing your own? Is it smarter to pay $100/barrel or earn $100/barrel ($200 turn-around)? Or to keep funding our enemies in 2 different wars? We have our own oil, but it's better to keep buying their ONLY resource? It's foolish.
Miguel July 16, 2012 at 07:42 PM
On the other hand we can deal with inflation instead. And what about if we go through a deflation? Will minimum wage go down? I think this is Absurd. If people can no longer afford to live because of inflation, it is because of our debt money system. Tackle the problem, not one of the myriad of symptoms.
PMS July 27, 2012 at 12:56 AM
To all the people against raising the minimun wage I say this. Try raising your family on $7.25/hour. It makes for a sad, lonely, miserable existance. I am educated and by no means lazy, just can't find a job that pay's well! I have lost all my benefit's and have been forced to subscribe to food stamps and government insurance for my children. Do you think people enjoy that? You wonder why violent crimes are so much more prominent today than 5 years ago. People who used to be middle class are breaking and it is only getting worse.

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