The minimum wage doesn't guarantee anyone a living wage. It only makes it illegal for people to take a job that pays below a certain amount. This harms the poorest people the most - poor teenagers. Work skills and resume building is incredibly important to build your career, and minimum wage laws make it illegal to hire the unskilled people who need job-training so very badly. Milton Friedman says it best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca8Z__o52sk
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The minimum standard of living in America is much lower than it should be for a developed nation. When people can work multiple minimum wage jobs and not be able to support their families without government assistance, there is a real problem. By encouraging the idea of a "minimum wage" the government tacitly agrees with corporations that the minimum wage is capable of sustaining a worker. By abolishing the minimum wage, workers would be less inclined to accept jobs they know can't support them, and force employers to examine more fair forms of pay.
The minimum wage does more harm than good for the most part. The minimum wage basically harms small business from competing with larger businesses as menial tasks than require human beings cost so much to them. To avoid this, small businesses often pay worker "under the table" or undocumented wages which are often less than minimum wage.
The minimum wage in the US should be in the $23/hr range according to cost of living studies. As it stands, the average $7.50 is NOT enough to live on. In some cases, $10/hr still leaves you living solely on 10c noodles. However, if a minimum did not exist, then we would be looking at companies paying out even less. A great many people who work one or even two full times jobs still need government assistance to make ends meet. When I was working fulltime for $10/hr, after all of my bills (and I did NOT live in a very nice area, I lived in a cheap area) I had maybe $75. While I do think the payscale needs to be looked at, I do NOT think the minimum should ever be removed.
I believe that the minimum wage overall actually has a positive effect because more people can live in a stable setting without the need for government assistance programs like SNAP and Section 8 housing. Even if people continue to rely on those programs, they can put the money back into the economy and further establish the businesses and help more people self sustain. The consequence of lower minimum wages is that the bill comes back to the taxpayer and we are paying for their expenses instead of their employers.
When a person is working full time making minimum wage, this amount of money should allow them to be able to live on their own without assistance AT A MINIMUM. When a Mother with 2 kids is having to work 2 jobs at minimum wage to support her family has to also be on food stamps because they are still below the poverty line, there is a problem. In the 50's, a family could get by on the one salary alone and the mother often stayed home. Today, you are very fortunate if both parents have full time jobs and you own your own house.
No, minimum wage is necessary to keep individuals out of poverty. If an employer could pay an individual as low a wage as he wanted, the employees would suffer. If employees were to make less money, they would have less money to spend on things, hurting the economy. In fact, I don't feel as if minimum wage as it is isn't doing enough good. Cost of living is constantly going up and minimum wage should be adjusted to reflect that.
The minimum wage in America is very low for many areas of the nation. It does not provide a livable wage to those that live in areas where the cost of living is high. Despite this, having a federal minimum wage is necessary. If it were not in place, there are organizations that would take advantage of those desperate enough for a pay check, and opt to pay them a very low wage.