Minimum wage rising: What next?

Editorial Board

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Minimum wage in the United States was an effort to assist people in the Great Depression, but many people today fear that it has risen so high the Depression has a chance to start again.

With California leading the way for a $15 minimum wage, it creates a major cause of concern for us as students. We strive for a better job and to succeed financially by attending college, yet those without a degree will be making nearly double the amount of their first summer job.

It’s not just the concern of students driving the opposition and raising questions, people will soon recognize that prices for basic commodities will need to rise. As we offer gas station employees $15 an hour, the price of gas rises as a consequence.

This also creates a major strain on employers who had trouble meeting the $10 minimum wage created three years ago. With a steady rise in employee’s pay, businesses have to make sacrifices to survive. This comes down to a choice between increased prices or a cut in staff.

For the people who desperately need that kind of revenue because they are attempting to feed their children or get a degree, a minimum wage hike seems reasonable. Unfortunately, the U.S. cannot rely on everyone’s individual circumstances to decide minimum wage.

It might be nice in theory to increase the minimum wage, and for people who only work in California, it is. For the people who live here and have to adhere to a higher cost of living in a more competitive job market, it could be a nightmare.

With California offering a higher minimum wage, plenty of people will realize that they can make a lot more money by just making a commute. Once people start crossing the state line to earn an extra few dollars an hour, it’ll be harder than ever to find a job.

Increasing the minimum wage will not help everyone, or even the people it’s intended to help. The estimated $15 an hour to keep up with the cost of living is just not reasonable and not necessary.

There’s no one in the world who doesn’t want to make more money for doing the same amount of work, but the hike in minimum wage takes it to an extreme. It might be gradual since the policy doesn’t come into effect until 2022, but it is still a $5 jump in only six years.

It is impossible to know how much of an effect the increase in minimum wage will have on the economic situation of California, but it will increase the cost of living. A larger paycheck is great, until rent, food and gas are consuming all of it.


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