Is the $15-an-hour Minimum Wage Realistic?

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In 2012, fast food workers at McDonald’s went on strike asking to raise minimum wage to fifteen dollars, employers were not seeing that as a realistic option. A lot can change in three years as recently we have seen liberal cities all over the country raising their minimum wage, to the public’s appeal as well. A poll earlier this year showed that 63 percent of the nation is showing support for the idea of raising the minimum wage up to fifteen dollars by 2020. It seems as if political candidates have noticed this trend as well, considering that presidential hopefuls have picked up on this and have been using it to gain support from the voters.

Although many have shown support for this change there are still plenty of people hoping it does not go through. Alan Kreuger, previously a chairperson of President Barack Obama’s economic advisors, and now a writer for the New York Times states that he believes raising minimum wage that high is “a risk not worth taking.” Although congress has delayed raising minimum wages, cities and states have stepped in and raised their own minimum wages as public support continues to grow. Now we see over 60 percent of the United States population having minimum wages that exceed the federal level.

A question many people have is whether or not raising minimum wage will put a risk on the employment of low-wage workers. Many economists agree that raising minimum wage over the next few years will not have any large impact on employment throughout the United States. As public support grows, a nationwide 15-dollar minimum wage could be seen in our future.

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