The Minimum Wage for Americans and American Economists

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Updated: Oct 09, 2019
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The Minimum Wage for Americans and American Economists essay

A man walks into a fast-food restaurant for his first training shift. I hope this job pays well. After a while, his trainer mentions that his salary will be $7.25 an hour. $7.25 an hour?! I will have to live off food stamps with that salary! In this situation, this man is being paid what is called the minimum wage. Minimum wage is the lowest salary a business can give an employee. This law was made all the way back in 1938 starting at $0.25 an hour ($4.28 an hour today). This amount has been raised many times since 1938. In the United States, some people want the minimum wage increased while others think that it should stay the same; during all of this, economists have looked at the impact of both options on the economy.

The United States federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and some Americans believe that it should be raised. People in a few states in the United States voted for a statewide minimum wage increase. This seems to be a pretty popular opinion because 29 states decided that the federal minimum wage was too low so now their minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage. Also, the state of California plans to raise their minimum wage to $15 by 2022.

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While it looks like all Americans want a minimum wage increase, other Americans argue that the minimum wage needs to stay the same. About 21 states in the US still use the federal minimum wage. The last time a federal wage increase was successfully voted for was 2007. Also, people argue that the low minimum wage lets companies get cheaper labor so they can afford more goods that benefit the company.

While the issue is being debated among Americans, economists have assessed the consequences of raising the minimum wage. Economists working for the government tested a federal minimum wage of $10.10 and found out that they could put 900,000 Americans out of poverty. Although this may seem great, economists found out that the downside to raising the wage is that it would make less jobs available.

In conclusion, some people in the US want the minimum wage increased while others want it to stay the same and economists have been looking at both sides of the argument. A majority of states decided that the minimum wage was too low while the other states decided to use the federal minimum wage and economists found out that a minimum wage increase results in less poverty but less job availability.

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The Minimum Wage For Americans and American Economists. (2019, Oct 09). Retrieved from