In the United States, fifteen percent of Americans struggle with the hardship of poverty. That comes out to forty-five million people living a poor way of life. One of the direct correlating causes of this is wages. The simple truth is that with a minimum wage barely reaching past seven dollars, these millions of citizens just aren’t earning enough to be able to support themselves and those around them. Most of these people are responsible for children and others as well. With an income so low, most families are living check to check just to survive. The very apparent solution is a federal wage increase. The national minimum wage in the United States should be raised to allow for economic growth, a decrease in poverty, and to actually save the country money. Doing this positively impact the nation on three levels. These being the community/society, and the economy. Starting in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared his War on Poverty by implementing government sourced programs such as medicaid along with social security improvements. By doing this he set a precedent that from that point in time, it is also the responsibility of the government to care for those in need (Ehrenreich). A recent study performed at MIT revealed the cost of living by each state. The state with lowest cost was well above the salary made by an individual making minimum wage. Today, there are millions of Americans on these programs and the government must do their part by issuing a national increase in the minimum wage to help them become more self sustaining.
The first area impacted by an increased wage would be the economy. A lot of people are very quick to assume that there is no possible way paying employees more money can bring growth to the economy. An increase in wage would give citizens more income which would then be spent by putting more money back into the economy. If the wage is not increased to drastically all at once, but rather more gradually to a number like ten dollars, then it can eliminate the worry of inflation. Businesses will also be forced to compete for workers as companies raise their wages. By creating this competition for workers, a chain reaction will naturally occur. Companies who pride themselves off offering wages above the minimum wage will then have to raise pay even further to compete with lower end jobs. Better pay has also shown an increase in work productivity and employee morale, leading to business growth. Raising the wage would bring more individuals out of poverty. Through a decrease in citizens needing government subsidies, the nation would save more money. The national debt in continuously rising, making this point so crucial. “The Economic Policy Institute stated that a minimum wage increase from the current rate of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 would inject $22.1 billion net into the economy and create about 85,000 new jobs over a three-year phase-in period”(procon.org). An increase in jobs with higher pay leads to a...