Raising the Minimum Wage

California minimum wage may be raised to $15 per hour in coming years.


Justin Angellar

The issue of minimum wage is a controversial subject in today’s politics. Should we keep it at $10 so the economy isn’t negatively impacted? Should we raise it to become more accommodating for those who depend on it? California voters have to make this choice very soon.

On Oct. 8, 2016 the issue will be placed on a ballot. To vote yes is to agree that minimum wage should be raised to $15 per hour.

Los Angeles already has passed plans to raise it to $15 by 2020. So no matter whether the bill passes or not, certain areas will still be affected. Los Angeles will act as a bit of a tester for the rest of the state to see what impact this new law could have.

So what are the benefits of each option? Let’s focus on the “yes” option first. There are many people that rely on minimum wage jobs to live, and many think it should be raised to help these individuals that rely on it.

The current minimum wage in California is $10 per hour of work. Many believe this is too low to accommodate the high number of people working minimum wage jobs. They believe that raising the lowest rung of income will help the economy for everyone else because the lower class will have more money to spend on goods and services.

Rocklin High sophomore Justin Ferraro is for raising the minimum wage. “I’m trying to get a summer job and any extra money I can get would be great.”

Young workers at their first job can look forward to some more money for their time. However, these places may not be hiring as frequently because they have to spend more money per worker, which may actually reduce teenage employment in favor of adults.

There are also many families that rely on minimum wage as a source of their income. The $15 increase could help these families that struggle financially. Raising minimum wage could reduce the amount of welfare the government has to issue out to people with low incomes.

On the other hand, there are many people that believe the raising of the minimum wage would have many ill impacts on the economy and America in general.

Many believe that prices of goods will rise when minimum wage does because companies will need to dish out more money to their employees. This could diminish the value of the dollar and have a hugely negative impact on California’s economy.

Sophomore Aabhash Gautam had many arguments against increasing the minimum wage.

“I think that on the surface it is a good idea,” said Aabhash, “but when you really look into the economic effects that it has, it is not that great of a plan.”

He describes a cycle of economic missteps.

“Inflation is going to increase, prices are going to go up, and within ten years we’re going to have to raise it again,” said Aabhash.

California voters have a very important decision coming up. Raising the minimum wage to $15 statewide is not a black and white issue. There are many different perspectives and ideas to consider, and it is up to California to decide for itself what the future of minimum wage is.