by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
Many people believe increasing the bucks in minimum wage is a good idea. After all, Nickle and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America was not the only study conducted that found people working minimum wage jobs actually live at or below the poverty level. So of course, raising minimum wage sounds like a great idea, but economists say otherwise.
The American Economic Association conducted a survey that found 90% of economists say minimum wage increases unemployment. Walter Williams — economist, George Mason University professor, and author of The State Against Blacks as well as Race and Economics — explains:
“Let’s not look at the intentions behind minimum wage. We have to ask, what are the effects? Put yourself in the place of an employer who must pay $7.25 no matter whom you hire. Will that employer hire a person who can only add $3 or $4 of value per hour?”
He continues to suggest that the employer will not and that the result is a lesser number of youmg people getting hired and getting the work experience needed to tap into the workforce.
Williams also adds that “there’s a huge segment of the black population for whom upward mobility is elusive, and it’s because of the welfare state—because of government.” He says that welfare only keeps people dependent and compares welfare to a “drug pusher.” Specifically, Williams states that “(Without welfare,) people would decide, ‘I’m going to go out and get a job, I’m going to live more responsibly.”
Some people would argue that Williams is being too harsh since there are some individuals who really do need welfare checks. Not all people on welfare are just too lazy to get a job. At the same time, there are those people who abuse the system and make things bad for those who actually need financial help. Regardless of what side one is on, this information certainly provokes thought and provides a new way to look at how we view minimum wage and welfare.
Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer degreed in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, email submissions to ayvaunnpennspokenword at gmail dot com.