Answers to the Minimum Wage Issue

Much ado is currently being made over the question of minimum wage; what is fair and what will not hurt the very people the law was intended to help. The current minimum wage of $7.25 is definitely not enough to support adults, especially if they are married with children. One might, then, conclude that a raise of that rate is in order. On the other hand, when the minimum wage is increased, the unemployment rate for teens goes up, or at the very least doesn’t go down, due to the business owners’ desire to keep costs down. One might, then, think - don’t raise it. The amount of energy expended on both sides of the issue is absurd, when you consider the fact that less then 3% of the American workforce is making minimum wage. and less then .5% is working full-time at the minimum amount.

A better focus, I believe, would be to improve the earning ability of all people working, yet still living below the poverty level. We are importing people from foreign lands to fill jobs that should be going to Americans. Rather than pass a “Path to Citizenship”, or even a “Path to Permanent Residency”, we, as a country, need to get Americans back to work. I believe that a better - trained or educated American workforce will eliminate the need for worrying about a minimum wage.

The issue with the minimum wage is really not as complicated as it seems. It can be solved in a way that helps the .5% working full-time at or near the minimum wage: without causing (mostly) students, working part-time jobs, their chance to enter the job market. A dual minimum wage system, is the solution, where full-time workers would be guaranteed a certain amount of money, say $12.00 an hour, and part-timers would stay at the present $7.25. This system would be a real help to those who are working 40 hrs a week to be more independent. It would not hurt part-timers getting their start. I believe this could be a win-win for the American economy.

by Christopher O'Hare