The minimum wage debate

The minimum wage debate

Claire Peralta, Staff Reporter

Students who work for $7.25 an hour may soon receive a pay raise as the federal government is debating the merits of raising the federal minimum wage.  Since the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2012 was first proposed, there’s been a debate on whether or not it would benefit the United States as a whole, and on an individual basis, to increase the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.80 per hour beginning in 2014.

“It would be good to catch up with some of the inflation that’s going on and to help the lower class,” economics teacher Bruce Dillow said. “Then on the other side, if we raise the minimum wage too much, business owners only have so much money that they can spend, so they will have to cut back on their employment (resulting in) higher unemployment rates and fewer people will be getting summer jobs or minimum wage jobs.”

Many local fast food chains, restaurants, and other places of work already pay over the state and nationally required minimum wage.

“(The pay) definitely attracts better employees and the quality and service at work has been better because of it,” Raising Cane’s employee Cameron Hobgood said.

Although a higher minimum wage would be good for employees, some students think an increase in pay could lead to fewer jobs available.

“I don’t think that prices (at Sonic) will be affected,” Sonic employee Domoniqe Jones said. “Sonic and other businesses may hire fewer employees after (minimum wage) is raised to account for cost though.”

Whether or not this proposition will be enacted and how beneficial it could be is still in question, however it has its definite positives and negatives.

“It depends on how much they raise (the minimum wage),” Dillow said. “Some people have been talking about, if you look at news reports, $15 per hour, which I think is too high and will result in unemployment. However I think some adjustment for inflation has to happen so it would be a good thing, but up to a certain point.”