Butting heads: Minimum wage

College Democrats:

During the 2012 presidential election cycle, both Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama agreed that the minimum wage is unsustainable and should be indexed with the Consumer Price Index.

Today, a working American with two kids earns $3,400 below the poverty threshold. The current minimum wage of $7.25 fails American workers in their pursuit of simple tasks such as paying rent or buying groceries. Thus, the Marquette College Democrats stand by President Obama’s call to raise minimum wage to $9 per hour, which will ease the burden faced by American workers. Putting an upward pressure on wages and increasing consumer demand, raising the minimum wage can benefit the American worker and continue to move our country forward.

In the United States, an individual who works full-time should not be struggling to keep her or his head above water. By increasing the minimum wage, businesses will benefit from customers with more money in their wallets, and American workers will be less reliant on government support. As our country provides fair and decent wages to full-time workers, our economy will benefit. We must stand with American workers in order for our country to continue to be able to pride itself on being the land of opportunity, and we can do this by raising the minimum wage. We hope members of both parties can work together toward making it a reality.

College Republicans:

In his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama highlighted some economic proposals. While Obama insisted his goal to raise the minimum wage to $9 per hour will boost employment and help those in poverty, raising the minimum wage accomplishes neither.

Economists have proven that raising the minimum wage creates unemployment, because as the minimum wage gets higher it becomes more expensive for employers to hire entry-level employees.  These entry-level jobs are what allow people to gain valuable work experience and build their careers. In a recent survey, less than 50 percent of graduating students felt they were prepared for careers.

Think about your campus job. While it would be nice to have $9 per hour, Marquette’s student employees would cost significantly more. Four workers at $7.25 equals three workers at $9. One student job will be eliminated. These jobs are for experience. Do you want your tuition increased to pay for this?
Further, unemployment for young people aged 16-24 is nearly 17 percent. Throughout Obama’s presidency this statistic has been the highest in recorded history.
The same could be said for impoverished families. As the cost increases to hire employees, companies will lay off or hire fewer. With 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, we cannot lose more jobs.
Jobs and families should be a focus for Congress and the White House. The best way to do this is with policies that promote job growth while ensuring poverty programs are administered effectively and efficiently. This rapid rise in the minimum wage will slow hiring, and not bring people out of poverty. Watch out – you may lose your campus job.