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Stooksbury 1 Michael Stooksbury Linda Choate AP English Language and Composition 14 March 2014 alse !

emand" #hy $aising the Minimum #age #ould urther !isrupt the %nited States Economy &n the last 'e( years) many lo(*(age (orkers) as (ell as politicians 'rom the le't) ha+e argued that the minimum (age is too lo( to e''ecti+ely li+e on in this day and age) and that an increase 'rom ,-.2/ to ,10.10 by 2010 (ould be an achie+able solution. 1hey claim that such a hike (ould only 2modestly 3raise4 prices5 and that 2(orkers 3(ould4 clearly bene'it5 67oard8. 1he le't also claims that 2increasing the minimum (age doesn9t kill any :obs at all5 6#eissmann8. #hy) then) should (e not raise the minimum (age; Simple" all o' these claims are incorrect and ha+e been pro+en incorrect time a'ter time. &n 'act) raising the minimum (age (ould increase unemployment) the rate o' in'lation) and 'urther upset the balance o' supply and demand. 7esides) minimum (age :obs aren9t meant to be permanent careers) or make much money at all) but only as an entrance into the :ob market. 7e'ore & di+e head 'irst into a sea o' 'acts and 'igures) lets look back at the history behind the minimum (age. 1he minimum (age (as started in 1<=> by president ranklin !elano $oose+elt as part o' his economic reco+ery plan) the ?e( !eal 6#eissman8. 7e'ore the ?e( !eal) most cultures actually set ma@imum (ages to curb in'lation) but no() a minimum (age (as necessary 6So(ell 2=-8. At that time) businesses commonly took ad+antage o' (orkers by paying +ery little to stay pro'itable during the Areat !epression) so the price (as set at ,0.2/) eBui+alent to ,4.0- in today9s money. &t gre( slo(ly until the in'lation o' the late 1<009s and early 1<-09s) (hen the minimum (age gre( o+er 400C in 'our decades. 1his brings us to today (ith a ,-.2/ minimum (age 6#eismann8. Most people talk like this 'igure is the absolute least you can make. &n his book Basic

Stooksbury 2 Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy) 1homas So(ell says other(ise" 2%n'ortunately) the real minimum (age is al(ays Dero regardless o' the la(sE5 6So(ell 2=>8. So(ell is right. ?o matter ho( many :obs are in the market) there (ill ne+er be enough unless (e abolished the minimum (age) making (ages 'luctuate (ith the economy) creating a true 'ree enterprise system 6So(ell 2=-8. 1hat) ho(e+er (ill not come any time soon) nor (ould many people (ant it to. #ho (ould really (ant their (ages to act like the !o( Fones &ndustrial; ?ot many at all. So that means by e+en ha+ing a minimum (age) (e are creating a 'alse demand) but the minimum (age is ingrained in our society) almost necessary at this point) and is here to stay. So i' it9s so necessary) (hy don9t (e raise it and gi+e (orkers more money; 7ecause raising the minimum (age (ould increase unemployment) and a'ter an economy like (e9+e had 'or the last 'e( years) (e cannot a''ord 'or an increase in that bracket. 1he le't) ho(e+er) belie+es this to be complete hokum) citing that minimum (age employees (ould ha+e more money to put into the economy. 1here are t(o problems (ith this type o' thought. irst) only t(o percent o' all (orking Americans o+er the age o' 24 make minimum (age 6So(ell 2=-8. Second) because o' lost pro'its) businesses (ould be 'orced to cut (orkers and raise prices to compensate) not only hurting lo( (age (orkers being laid o'') but also salary (orkers) (ho did not recei+e a raise because o' the (age hike) yet still ha+ing to pay the in'lated prices. &' you don9t belie+e me) maybe you9ll listen to a Gar+ard pro'essor on the sub:ect. Pro'essor Areg Manki( says that 2...a minimum (age increases unemploymentE5 Pro'essor Manki( goes on to say that it (ould a''ect young) unskilled (orkers the hardest) making it e+en harder 'or high school and college students to get a :ob to pay 'or e+eryday things 6Faarda8. 1hese theories are great and all) but & belie+e that gi+ing e@amples (ould do e+en better. irst) the %nited States) our home tur') has had its share o' minimum (age increases o+er the last 'e( decades) (hich increased unemployment. or instance) in 1<->) Congress increased the

Stooksbury = minimum (age (ith an unemployment number o' 0.4C. 7y the time $onald $eagan took o''ice in 1<>1) the unemployment had risen to 10.>C 6Faarda8. !uring the $eagan administration) ho(e+er) the minimum (age didn9t rise at all) yet the country en:oyed a decade o' great prosperity 6So(ell 2408. Another great e@ample (ould be the crash o' 200-) resulting in the Areat $ecession. 1he liberal !emocrats that (ere elected during the 2000 elections made it their mission to raise the minimum (age 'rom their 2Si@ 'or H005 campaign slogan. #hen they took o''ice in early 200-) unemployment (as at 4.4C. A'ter the hike) the unemployment peaked in Ictober 2010 at 10.1C 6Faarda8. rom these t(o e@amples) & belie+e it is sa'e to conclude that there is an apparent correlation bet(een the minimum (age and unemployment. &n'lation is a constant problem in modern day society. E+ery day) the dollar loses +alue) prices creep up(ards) and salaries stay the same. As (ell as (hat has been pro+en in the paragraphs abo+e) the minimum (age also has an e''ect on the rate o' in'lation. 1he le't claims that prices (ill 2modestly5 go up (ith the minimum (age increase) but not enough to matter 6#iesmann8. 1his is untrue) ho(e+er) because) again) businesses must recoup lost pro'its to stay a'loat) thus raising prices on e+erything 'rom hamburgers to hammocks. 1his is (hat & like to call the 7ic Mac la( o' economics) applying ?e(ton9s third la( o' motion to the economy. or e+ery action) there is an eBual and opposite reaction) meaning that 'or e+ery cent lost to the proposed minimum (age hike) a cent must be gained by cutting costs) or by raising prices. &n other (ords) 'or e+ery cent more that the 'ry cook makes) a cent must added to the cost o' that 7ig Mac he or she is cooking. &n his book The Conscience of a Conservative) AriDona Senator 7arry Aold(ater) discusses many political topics) including a section called 2 reedom 'or Labor.5 &n this section) Aold(ater talks about unions and (ages) and in conte@t) this ne@t Buote is also about unions) yet this also can be applied to the minimum (age. Aold(ater claims that 2such po(er hurts the nation9s economy by 'orcing on employers contract terms that encourage ine''iciency) lo(er production and high prices*all

Stooksbury 4 o' (hich result in a lo(er standard o' li+ing 'or the American people5 6Aold(ater 4/8. &' salary (ages did not increase (ith the in'lation) caused by this hike in the minimum (age) their (ages (ould) in e''ect) go do(n (ith in'lation 'actored in. &n the article 2#hy #e ?eed to $aise the Minimum #age5 by Andy Stern and Carl Camden) ho(e+er) these le't*(ing authors claim that 2a'ter a long day on the clock) 3minimum (age (orkers4 come home kno(ing that) despite 3their4 hard (ork) 3they4 can9t 'eed their 'amilies) co+er their medical insurance) or pay 3their4 rentE5 6SternJCamden8. 1he problem is that only /20)000 people that li+e in po+erty ha+e minimum (age :obs. 1o put that into perspecti+e) there are 2.- million minimum (age (orkers. that means less than 20C o' minimum (age (orkers are in po+erty 621he I+erlapE58. or a de'inition o' po+erty) look no 'urther than the %.S. !epartment o' Gealth and Guman Ser+ices9 2201= Po+erty Auidelines.5 1hese guidelines say that to be a single person in po+erty) you must make less that ,11)4<0 in one year 6%nited States8. A person (orking 'ull time at minimum (age (ould make ,1/)0>0 in one year. 1his means that a single person making minimum (age is not in po+erty) and -=C o' minimum (age (orkers are single 621he I+erlapE58. Minimum (age is plenty enough to li+e on) especially a'ter the passage o' the A''ordable Care Act in 2010) (hich pro+ides a''ordable healthcare 'or e+eryone. E+en then) Minimum (age :obs are meant to be entry le+el :obs) and are not meant to be a li'elong career. &' one (orks his or her (ay up) he or she (ill not be in a minimum (age :ob 'or long. A success'ul li'e in the American economy rests on hard (ork and American ingenuity) :ust as it did hundreds o' years ago. &n conclusion) it is my +ie( that the minimum (age should stay the same as it is) seeing as the e''ects that raising it could be de+astating to our economy and many people9s e+eryday li+es. #hile closing) &9ll Buote . A. Gayek9s book The Road to Serfdom" 2 e( people e+er ha+e an abundance o' choice in occupation. 7ut (hat matters is that (e ha+e some choice...and that i' one position become Buite intolerable...) there is almost al(ays a (ay 3to a better 'uture45 6Gayek 12>8.

Stooksbury / #orks Cited 7oard) 1he Editorial. K7usiness and the Minimum #age.K New York Times 2> eb. 2014" A226L8. O osin! "iew oints in Conte#t. #eb. = Mar. 2014.

Aold(ater) 7arry M. The Conscience of a Conservative. Mans'ield Centre) C1" Martino Pub.) 2011. Print. Gayek) riedrich August Lon. The Road to Serfdom: Te#t and $ocuments % The $efinitive Edition. Ed. 7ruce Cald(ell. Chicago) &L" %ni+. o' Chicago) 200-. Print. Faarda) Christopher. K$aising Minimum #age &ncreases %nemployment.K&nem 'oyment. Ed. !a+id Gaugen and Susan Musser. !etroit" Areenha+en Press) 2011. Ipposing Lie(points. $pt. 'rom K&s the 200- Minimum #age &ncrease a Contributing actor o' the $ecession;K A (ine of Si!ht. 2010. O osin! "iew oints in Conte#t. #eb. = Mar. 2014.

K1he I+erlap bet(een Po+erty and Minimum #age #orkers.K )overty. Ed. Laura M. Egendor'. San !iego" Areenha+en Press) 1<<<. Ipposing Lie(points. O Mar. 2014. So(ell) 1homas. Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy. 4th ed. ?e( Nork" 7asic) 2011. Print. Stern) Andy) and Carl Camden. K#hy #e ?eed to $aise the Minimum #age.K (os An!e'es Times. Los Angeles 1imes) 10 Mar. 201=. #eb. 2 Mar. 2014. %nited States o' America. %.S. !epartment o' Gealth and Guman Ser+ices. I''ice o' the Assistant Secretary o' Planning and E+aluation. *+,- )overty Guide'ines. %.S. !epartment o' Gealth and Guman Ser+ices) n.d. #eb. 02 Mar. 2014. osin! "iew oints in Conte#t. #eb. 2

#eissmann) Fordan. KShould #e $aise the Minimum #age; 11 Ouestions and Ans(ers.K The At'antic. Atlantic Media Company) 10 !ec. 201=. #eb. 2 Mar. 2014.