Minimum Wage

Raising the minimum wage is promoted as a way to alleviate poverty. While a minimum wage hike sounds compassionate, it can backfire on those whom we want to help. Minimum wage laws make it illegal for employers to offer someone a job for less hourly pay than the government’s mandated minimum. That means that lower-skilled and less-experienced workers will find fewer job opportunities as they are priced out of the employment market. Minimum wage jobs tend to be entry-level jobs, which means that their value is more than just take-home pay. In fact, most minimum wage workers receive pay raises after one year. In addition, less than one quarter of minimum wage earners live in households below the poverty line. More than half are between ages 16 and 24, and most are enrolled in school. Other targeted assistance programs are better vehicles for helping those in need.

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