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:
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