Raise the Floor!

There has been much debate on the issue of raising minimum wage. Economists from both sides have been looking at the costs and benefits of raising it, but what should be taken note of is that 39 of 50 states have already raised their minimum wages above the federal one. For 2 states, the minimum wage is lower than the federal wage and five more have no minimum wage, meaning they take the federal minimum wage as given. Here is the graph showing not just the 50 states but American territories as well:

 Screenshot (13)

Raising the minimum wage for the 39 states whose wages above the federal’s are just a continuation of staying proactive during what has been stagnant federal changes. But for the rest of the country, wages are still at or lower than the wage instated five and a half years ago. Logically speaking, it’s time for these states to get with the times. The prevalence of poverty in the states with either no state minimum wage or lower than the federal’s is not heavy but still conversation worthy. So if the opportunity is there, why not take it?

Simple economics shows us that by increasing the minimum wage in a supply and demand model of employment would increase unemployment. But studies have shown that they don’t equate and in fact, they do have benefits to decrease poverty. These studies only show changes in minimum wages of around a dollar. What would happen if the wage is increased by almost $3 in parts of the United States? We’d like to think mostly good, but we’ll just have to see how raising that floor actually pans out.

– Jonah Choe

5 thoughts on “Raise the Floor!

  1. madisonsmith17

    The data above shows that state minimum wage is below federal in 2 states in the United States. My question is, now is this happening? It was my understanding that states could have a different minimum wage of the federal so long as it was higher than the federal minimum wage. Furthermore, I believe that during the next minimum wage change, it would be best for the government to index minimum wage in order to avoid having to change it and argue about it as much.

  2. johnturner27

    The employee is entitled to the higher of the two minimum wages in cases where the state’s minimum wage is lower. Therefore the worker would get the national minimum wage.

  3. letitgoeverythingisawesome

    There are also a handful of businesses that are not under the jurisdiction of federal employment laws with respect to minimum wage. Typically small businesses (under $500,000 in annual sales) that do not engage in interstate commerce may be subject to only state and not federal minimum wage laws.

  4. richardbarber68

    The fact that there are states with no minimum wage laws is ridiculous to me. I feel that people’s hard work and dedication to what they do is worth more than $8 per hour. The states with no minimum wage are predominently in the the south. Southern states do have a lot of land grown products that would be good for cheap labor and production. However people deserve more for their time and work.

  5. richardbarber68

    It is amazing to me how there are some states with no minimum wage. This just shows that there is no consideration for those in the working class. However, the states that do not have a minimum wage law are predominently in the south. Is this a coincidence? There are a lot of land grown products in the south that are produced for cheap labor. I feel that these state’s firms are taking advantage of this.


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