Raised minimum wage has positive economic impact

At its current rate of $7.25, the federal minimum wage is both outdated and ineffective as a livable rate of pay.
The last time legislation was passed addressing this issue was in 2007. It  initially set the federal minimum wage at $5.85 with the final bump being in effect as of July 24, 2009.
The economy has seen a strong and constant tide of improvement in the past six years. We have recovered some jobs lost in the Great Recession. We have reaffirmed faith and credit in our banks and the auto industry, and we have made some real and legitimate progress in private sector job growth.
As I have been saying for years, the time is now. The desire to raise the minimum wage is resounding throughout the country, as 29 states have taken measures to ensure a higher minimum wage for citizens. That’s more than half the nation.
In the city of Seattle, minimum wage employees will enjoy an hourly pay of $15 once the wage legislation is fully enacted in 2021. Cities and states are not the only entities looking at minimum wage issues.
President Obama has taken initiative on this issue through his executive action by boosting federally contracted employees’ pay to $10.10 per hour.
It must be emphasized that an increase in the minimum wage has a real, significant impact in the lives of millions of workers throughout the country. Currently, there are roughly 13 million people working part-time or full-time jobs at the federal minimum wage. People with a basic knowledge of macroeconomics can easily recognize the benefits of a significant growth in real wages among 13 million workers. More accessible and disposable income is available when a worker is paid upfront.
Sequentially, this results in a greater willingness and ability to spend, which stimulates the overall economy and perpetuates growth. On a much larger scale, a potential minimum wage increase would result in a direct and positive impact on the economy. Consumer spending is the engine that powers the economy locomotive. If that engine gets a boost as a result of an increase in disposable income for minimum wage employees across the nation, then this nation will see significant improvements in nearly every facet of the economy.
These improvements are not seen just on a spreadsheet. These are fully tangible and recognizable in the lives of those who previously were living below the federal poverty line. A single mother working multiple jobs and struggling to get by with two kids in college would appreciate the newfound comfort offered by these improvements. A newly graduated college student temporarily working at a low paying job might find it easier to pay the monthly bills if minimum wage is increased.
Despite the benefits and the positive motives for an increase in the minimum wage, there are those who would denounce any kind of significant raise and would, in some cases, prefer to see the minimum wage abolished altogether. The opposition would argue that the minimum wage has negative effects on the labor market and the economy as a whole that are not adequately or frequently discussed.
The problem however, is the lack of any empirical evidence that a minimum wage bump will have a considerably harmful consequence on the economy.
Throughout the whole of U.S. history, there has not been a case where an increase in the minimum wage has unilaterally led to significant decreases in overall employment, or has had adverse effects on the overall prices of goods. Some also argue that inflation will disproportionately intensify in the wake of an increase in the minimum wage rate and balloon the prices of goods and services, reducing purchasing power for everyone across the board. The current inflation rate is roughly 1.12 percent, and the direct impact a bump in the minimum wage rate would undoubtedly be neither significant nor evident.
Despite the preponderance of evidence that a minimum wage increase would be overwhelmingly positive for the economy as a whole, with negligible, if any, negative consequence, there remains a steadfast opposition to any proposed raise.
For the past two years, Democrats in both houses of Congress have attempted to pass legislation increasing the minimum wage to $9 and $10.10 in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Additionally, President Obama called for an increase in the minimum wage in all of his State of the Union addresses since winning re-election in 2012. All these attempts have failed.
The Republican majority once solely enjoyed in the House of Representatives is now extended to the Senate.  The Republicans are unlikely to budge from their stance on opposing any and all minimum wage increases.
No parent should have to come home from work and worry whether or not their children will go to bed hungry because there was simply not enough in Friday’s paycheck to afford enough food that evening. In the Land of Opportunity, we cannot, with a clear conscience and an a honest heart, financially stymie our minimum wage workforce by sending them home with an outdated, out-of-touch, and frankly outrageous rate of pay.

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