Top Ten Reasons to Raise the Minimum Wage

Over the past decade, many economists, politicians, and political activists have called for an increase in the federal minimum wage. President Obama called to raise it to $10.10 an hour. Secretary of State, and presedential candidate Hillary Clinton proposed to raise it to $12 an hour. Senator and presedential candidate Bernie Sanders proposed an even larger increase to $15. There are many reasons why people wish to raise the minimum wage, and here are ten of those reasons.
The Top Ten
1 It Would Reduce the Amount of People on Welfare

Economists have stated that if the minimum wage was raised to $10.10 an hour, there would be seven to nine percent fewer people on food stamps. Currently, many workers who earn minimum wage use food stamps to help make ends meet. If the minimum wage was raised, there would be no need to use food stamps.

2 It Would Increase the Incentive to Work

Right now, many people who are on welfare can work, but they choose not to. Why is this? It's because they can receive more in welfare benefits than they would if they worked for $7.25 an hour. An economist stated that the average amount of welfare benefits collected in Mississippi equaled around $17,000, while the average amount in Hawaii is $49,000, thanks to higher prices. The federal minimum wage currently equals around $15,000.

Why on Earth would someone work if they could make more by just staying home? If we raised the minimum wage to be more than the average welfare payout, then more people who are on welfare would want to work, since they would be able to earn more.

3 It is Required to Match Inflation

Since the minimum wage was increased in 2009, the price of common food items has increased by an average of 32%. The minimum wage has stayed the same. Actually, it's decreased, thanks to inflation. If food prices continue to rise and the minimum wage continues to fall, disaster will strike the poor and lower-middle class.

In the 1960s, the minimum wage was around half of the average wage. This means that if the minimum wage was adjusted for inflation, it would be around $12.50 an hour today.

4 It Would Stimulate the Economy

One study shows that if the minimum wage was raised to just $9 an hour, consumer spending would increase by almost $50 billion a year, which would be a huge stimulus to our sluggish economy.

5 Worker Productivity Has Risen Faster Than Wages

Worker productivity increases every year, but low-skilled workers are getting paid less and less. In a healthy capitalist economy, the more productive you are, the more you should get paid. Sadly, that's not the case. If the minimum wage was tied to productivity, it would be around $22 an hour today.

6 It Would Raise Wages for Other Workers

Several studies have stated that whenever the minimum wage is increased, people making around 150% of the minimum wage also see a small pay raise because of the ripple effect that raising the minimum wage would have on the economy.

7 It Would Reduce Employee Turnover

A 2014 survey found that more than half of small businesses would support raising the minimum wage, because it would make employees more productive and happy with their job, which would reduce employee turnover.

8 It Would Reduce Crime

A study has shown that if the minimum wage was increased to $12 an hour by 2020, crime would decrease by 3% to 5%.

9 It Would Reduce the Deficit

With less spending being needed for welfare, the government can reduce our already bloated budget deficit.

10 It is Popular

Around 73% of Americans support raising the minimum wage. What's even more astounding is that 53% of all Republicans support it, meaning that everyone is becoming more supportive of the idea, including conservatives. If we truly live in a democracy, and if a policy has the majority of Americans' support, then we should do it.

The Contenders
11 It Would Decrease Poverty
12 It Would Help Single Parents
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