What Will a Higher Minimum Wage Really Do?


Murphy Eggers, Contributor


In Biden’s first weeks of his presidency he has signed a record amount of executive orders.  The contents of Biden’s agenda has a plethora of proposals that set their sights to try to help Americans.  Looking deeper, though, these executive orders and other acts may hurt people, leaving people jobless.

The “Raise The Wage Act” is the proposed plan by Biden’s administration that would raise the wage to $15 by June 2025.  Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 with only a handful of states having the federal minimum as their own.  This act could come into effect at the end of March, instantly starting the process of raising the minimum wage.

What would a minimum wage mean for the United States economy and population?

One of the main problems seen with a potential increase to the minimum wage is the certain increase to the national debt.  Currently, the national debt stands around $23 trillion, but with Biden’s plan that $23 trillion would soar to more than double.  This double in national deficit stems from the increased national spending.  A $15 minimum wage would increase prices of goods and services for the nation as a whole.  This is in part because many businesses provide health care for their employees.

One of the main problems seen with a potential increase to the minimum wage is the certain increase to the national debt

The discussion about minimum wage often becomes a heavy debate because of who it affects.  The minimum wage for a great number of adults throughout the nation are the main beneficiaries of the wage discussion.  Working 40 hours a week at a federal minimum wage job will not be enough to support a family and provide for themselves.  On the other hand, the minimum wage would also give teenagers the same wage who are just working for the summer.  This is an important distinction to make because if the minimum wage is raised the economy would also be paying for wages that won’t be used to support a family, rather extra-spending money at the mall.  Biden’s plan would help pave the way for nearly a million people to get out of poverty and become more financially stable, but with that decrease of the impoverished there will be an additional 1.4 million cut from employment. 

Biden’s actions have already begun to start the process of nationwide job loss.  Early in his presidency he rejoined the Paris climate agreement that Donald Trump left.  Trump left the agreement because he felt that the United States was at a severe disadvantage and that it would ultimately hurt the American economy. Since the Obama administration, it was predicted that there would be significant job loss in the future if the United States remained in the Paris climate agreement.

According to The Heritage foundation, “Based on regulations and emissions-reduction targets set by the Obama administration, Heritage economists estimate that by 2035 there will be: an annual average loss of nearly 400,000 jobs, a total income loss of more than $20,000 for a family of four, and an aggregate [gross domestic product] loss of over $2.5 trillion—all for a few tenths of a degree Celsius in abated warming.”  

Essentially, the whole world would have to be on board with actions to slow down and eliminate climate change.  The growth and development of jobs should be one of the top priorities for president Biden.  A characteristic of Trump’s presidency that greatly impacted our economy was “America First” because of his want to create jobs at home.

One act that Biden promotes is the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.  What this act essentially does is eliminate the opportunity for contract and freelance work.  The Freelance Union estimates 1 in 3 workers are independent, contractors or freelancers.  As of now, the PRO Act is not a federal one, yet similar acts have taken place in states like California.  California set this law which restricted the criteria of independent contractors and freelancers which left many people without work.

No one should be living in poverty or have to worry about where their next meal will come from.  Also, climate change should be a problem that everyone is involved in, not just the ones involved in the Paris Climate agreement.  There are better ways that Biden can prevent future economic and job crises.