What should minimum wage be?

The debate: either raise the minimum wage nationwide, or keep it the way it is.


In February of 2019, Illinois joined 28 other states in raising the minimum wage in their state. Mississippi still has not changed the wage since it was changed nationwide to $7.25 in 2009.

While looking into this topic, there seemed to be two main arguments: either raise the minimum wage nationwide, or keep it the way it is.

Some argue that if we raise the minimum to $15 an hour, it will only benefit the workers and not the poor, that large portions of the poor really do not receive any benefit from the raise of minimum wage. But we have a federally backed minimum wage for a reason-to battle poverty.

Raising the wage would mean the restaurants have to pay the workers the new pay amount. Typically, a small local restaurant could not afford to pay them that much. This type of situation can lead to unemployment.

Over half of the states in the United States disagree with those arguments. Twenty-nine states currently have a higher minimum wage than the national.

Though in the argument for keeping the wage there are thoughts about money, some also believe raising it will also help America in the poverty issue. It has been ten years since the wage has been looked at, and keeping it at $7.25 does not make a whole lot of sense. Regardless of where you live, the cost of food and living essentials are becoming very expensive. In 2009 the cost of a shopping cart and a gallon of gas was $54.11. In 2018 the cost was $72.64.

Food stamps would also be decreased in use. By false assumption, food stamps are only associated with the poor. That is not the case, food stamps are used by the poor and the middle class just as much. Usually this is done in hopes of making ends meet for the family. If this raise was made nationally it would save the government money as well as get the citizens of the United States out of their rut they have been stuck in.

Trying to use $7.25 as a living is just not possible. There are people out there who argue that minimum wage jobs are not “real” but they are to the homeless or just to the people struggling to pay their bills and keep food on the table.