This month around town, dozens of free-lance organizers have been waving petitions. These grass roots organizers are walking around Portland collecting signatures, with the goal to increase the federal minimum wage. In turn, these organizers are seeking to lobby state politicians in an attempt to raise the federal minimum wage to 15$ dollars an hour.
With election season right around the corner, many view these petitions as an answer to economic inequality. However, despite grass roots support, this issue itself is receiving massive political “turbulence,” with fair reasoning. These grass roots organizers are facing turbulence, primarily for 2 reasons.
First, because increasing the minimum wage, is a government tool for a free market issue.
And second, because increasing the minimum wage is a short sighted approach, to a long term problem. That is because, in my opinion, the larger issue surrounding the minimum wage is actually individual greed.
Expanding the minimum wage, from 10 to 15 dollars an hour, will only yield the smallest of gains. This is because minimum wage increases, in turn inflate American currency. Meaning, increasing the minimum wage will cause the rest of the economy to fluctuate over time. This short sighted approach then essentially increases American’s cost of living.
In this way, minimum wage increases will only yield the smallest of short term results, combating economic inequality. This is because changing the minimum wage creates a domino effect causing those same markets to adjust over time. This approach then makes things just as bad as they were before, or sometimes even WORSE.
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For all of these reasons, it is my belief that increasing the minimum wage IS NOT THE BEST SOLUTION, in fighting against economic inequality.
Nevertheless, this issue is more complicated than simply raising the minimum wage. Grass roots organizers essentially need to view this issue in terms of wage gaps and not simply minimum wage increases. The real issue, then becomes the difference between higher and lower class wages, which have continued to distance themselves over time.
The gap between the very rich and everyone else is wider than at any time since the 1920s. pic.twitter.com/f6pf3CYLxO
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 27, 2015
In an ideal world business owners WOULD WANT TO PAY WORKERS A FAIR WAGE!
In many ways, paying workers a fair wage benefits everybody in the U.S. economy.
My opinion is minimum wage shouldn’t be a matter of legislation. Yet, due to the shy and quiet nature of most Americans today, protests and concrete action never seem to take place. This is perhaps the most corrupt offshoot of America’s ever evolving, “prescription drug epidemic.”
Furthermore, when corporations drive employees into the ground through unfair wages, businesses are doing nothing but hurting themselves. Yet, increasing the federal minimum wage doesn’t necessarily attack the heart of this issue. This is because the real issue, is often times unfair corporate pay structures and revolving door employment, which in turn become aspects of American greed.
By: William Larsen
Civilians News – “News For All Views”