Minimum Wage Increases Sought in US States

Minimum Wage

President Obama wants to increase wages for workers with a federal minimum, but states and cities in the United States are already taking action as wage increases are sought across the country. Obama is reportedly rallying Democrats by pointing out that it is a popular idea among most Americans.

Politicians on the Republican side of the aisle have long argued that increasing the minimum wage would kill job growth at many businesses and the Democrats argue that it would stimulate the economy because low wage earners can’t afford to buy consumer goods any more. The problem may be compounded by inflation, a process that raises the price of goods, a phenomenon that is tied to the country’s national debt to the Federal Reserve system.

Jeffrey Dorfman, a contributor at Forbes, offered his analysis of the minimum wage proposals. In his piece entitled, “The Minimum Wage Debate Should Be About Poverty Not Jobs,” Dorfman makes a case for subsidizing the minimum wage. He started by exemplifying the dichotomy between two government office studies that had conflicting claims about jobs. The first report from the White House stated that wages could be increased to the tune of 40 percent, or from $7.25 to $10.10 in the next two years without risking a single job. The second came from the Congressional Budget Office and claimed that it would actually risk about a half-million jobs in the U.S. economy.

State and municipal governments have not been out of the loop on the issue, however. Minimum wage increases are actively being sought in several U.S. states, as Fox News and other media outlets have pointed out. Municipal governments in places like Oakland, Calif. are taking a looking at passing their own minimum wage laws, according to sources. The increase in minimum wage at the federal level has been pushed vehemently by President Barack Obama, who has recently tried to gather momentum by reportedly reaching out to state governors. It has clearly been a tough sell to Republicans, but Democrats may support it for political reasons.

As SFGate, a San Fransisco digital newspaper, reported, retailers are also looking at what effects the policies may have right now. The Gap, a trendy apparel retailer, announced that it will increase its hourly wage to $10 by next year. Walmart is reportedly neutral on the issue, but is weighing what the impact may be if such legislation is mandated. A spokesperson from Walmart reportedly considered the possibility that its customers would have more money in their pockets to spend at their several super-sized stores in America.

Obama gave much praise to the Gap for their decision. Other retailers have been a little more hesitant to make any declarations just yet, but many small retail businesses fear that Walmart can afford to bare the cost as the small shops could be put out of business by a minimum wage increase for its employees. Other retail analysts say the employees will be happier and treat customers better, which would yield more sales. The minimum wage increases that are sought in U.S. states, cities and federal government are gathering more attention now than in the past, but will it continue to garner support?


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