Arguments About Raising the Minimum Wage

Fast-food-worker-protestPerspectives on the whether and how much to raise the U.S. minimum wage are heating up. A recent National Labor Relations Board ruling made it easier for fast-food workers to negotiate with companies, even if they are contractors or work for a franchisee. And the minimum wage in New York State will increase to $9.00 in December 2015 and likely to $15 for fast food workers

The upcoming presidential election also has heightened interest in the topic. A New York Times Editorial Board op-ed describes some of the Republican candidates' arguments: "none of which make much sense." Popular opinions include the following, according to the article: 

  • States should decide (Fiorina)
  • The market should decide (Bush)
  • Businesses will be hurt (Trump)
  • Robots will replace workers (Rubio)

The National Restaurant Association has been an active voice in the debate. In an article, the organization points to potential negative impacts on young workers and the industry. 

Image source. 

Discussion Starters: 

  • Which arguments do you find most and least compelling? What evidence supports your own point of view? 
  • Have you worked for minimum wage? How, if at all, does that affect your position in the debate?