The principal argument of business groups against minimum wage increase is the resulting effects on operating cost, which will inevitably lead to an eventual lack of competitiveness - primarily from product price increases to absorb the cost of labor. This in turn may lead to reduced market shares, and in some cases, bankruptcy. In either case, this contributes to lower hiring rate or retrenchment, which will burden the nation even more through unemployment and other ancillary social net mechanisms. A case can also be made that a national minimum wage structure is a precursor to socialistic statism.
Of course, on the flip side, advocates of a national minimum wage increase point out that too often businesses hide behind the profitability argument, ignoring the fact that people must be fairly compensated for their contributions to a company, and should not be expected to sacrifice for large enterprises. Asking workers to accept lower wages is akin to asking the average worker to bear the burden of subsidizing the operating costs of big businesses. There is also the fear that businesses may engage in cartel-like behaviors to set an 'appropriate' wage structure, instead of allowing market forces to naturally determine wages through economic forces.
Federal Minimum Wage
(Legislated under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007)
$7.25 w.e.f July 24, 2009
States With Minimum Wage Equal to the Federal Government ($7.25)
States, No Minimum Wages
Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee
President Obama is a strong advocate of raising the federal minimum wage. In 2008, he announced the
goal of increasing the federal minimum wage by a whopping 31% to $9.50 by 2011. He has unfortunately
failed to meet the objective until today.
Raise the Minimum Wage to $9.50 an Hour by 2011: Barack
Obama and Joe Biden believe that people who work full-time should not live in poverty. Even though
the minimum wage will rise to $7.25 an hour by 2009, the minimum wage's real purchasing power will
still be below what it was in 1968. As president, Obama will further raise the minimum wage to $9.50
an hour by 2011, index it to inflation and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that
full-time workers can earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic
needs such as food, transportation, and housing -- things so many people take for granted.
Agenda, Change.gov; The Office of the President Elect
“As the homecare business has
changed over the years, the law hasn’t changed to keep up. So even though workers like Pauline do
everything from bathing to cooking, they’re still lumped in the same category as teenage
babysitters when it comes to how much they make. That means employers are allowed to pay these
workers less than minimum wage with no overtime.
That’s right. You can wake up at 5:00 in the morning, care for somebody every minute of the day,
take the late bus home at night, and still make less than the minimum wage. And this means that
many homecare workers are forced to rely on things like food stamps just to make ends meet.
That’s just wrong. In this country, it’s unexcusable. I can tell you firsthand that these men
and women, they work their tails off, and they don’t complain. They deserve to be treated fairly.
They deserve to be paid fairly for a service that many older Americans couldn’t live without.
And companies who do pay fair wages to these women shouldn’t be put at a
December 15, 2011, Eisenhower Executive Office Building: President Obama
announcing a new legislation that ensures the 1.8 million home-care workers in the country are
accorded the minimum wage and overtime protections offered under the Fair Labor Standards Act.