Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Numbers

There's been a big debate recently over raising the minimum wage. The magic number this time around seems to be $10.10 an hour. The arguments usually fall like this: raising the min. wage would be great for the economy, because more people would be able to buy more, or it would be bad for the economy because it would cost more to employ people, which would cut into profits and cost jobs. The debate has been raging for a long time, and is one of the reasons the minimum wage has stayed so low so long.

Well, a new study by EPI (Economic Policy Institute) presents evidence that raising the minimum wage would be a great boon for the economy. In fact, it would mean a boost of $22 Billion just during the phase in process.

Raising the minimum wage has always made a lot of sense to me. I get why some people say it would be bad, and I can understand their reasoning. After all, if we pay people more, won't things cost more? Well, no. Pricing is set by the company, and if the company is making a huge profit, the wage increase won't force them into the red. But there's another side to this. If people make more money, they'll spend more money, especially if they are in the lower wage bracket. That means more sales, more profits, and more demand, which translates into more jobs. It's demand-side economics, and it works.

This new study from EPI shows that raising the minimum wage would be good for businesses, for consumers, and for the government as there would be fewer people relying on social programs to cover their expenses. It makes a lot of economic sense to raise the wage and to give people a good chance at making it on their own. And isn't that what Republicans and Conservatives are always gunning for? Getting people to be independent and do things for themselves? Here's their chance to make it happen!

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