Opinion, point counterpoint

Fight of the Year: Minimum Wage


Blake Herrod

Minimum wage has gone up thanks to the voters in 2016, and will keep going up every two years until 2021. Having more money in your pocket is always nice. Making $11 an hour looks really great on paper. But perhaps this idea is hurting more people than it would have helped.

“Economic models predict that an increase in the minimum wage will usually lead to slower job growth and more unemployment in the long run,” said Roshan Chatty, economics teacher at SFCC.

“I’m against it, because I feel like it will hurt a lot of small businesses, and some were when the wage was raised” said Candice Brennan, student at SFCC. “I think it hurts people in general, especially if you have a small business.”

With prices going up on products “it seems cost of living will also go up in a few months. Making it harder to live than it was before the increase.

“I was doing research on places that had raised minimum wage before and it seems that the cost of living also increased” due to minimum wage,” said Ian Ibanez, student at SFCC.

“So it happens slowly and gradually over the course of a couple months.”

“While those couple of months, you’ll be ahead of bills, and be ahead in your payments or just have more money in general” at the end of the day” it’s still more expensive to live.”

Some owners of small businesses can’t pay everyone $11 forcing prices to go up ¨or laying off some of their employees.

According to www.odohertyspub.com they had to shut down the up north store due to the increase in minimum wage.

“After 6 years, due to soft sales and the rise in minimum wage our cute North Pub is closing this Saturday, Jan 21st,” said O’Doherty’s Irish Pub North.

With the increase to $11 it seems like it’s only going to hurt the people who make minimum wages and small businesses. By increasing the cost of living and the prices on food and other goods.

Chandler Pedersen

There are many positive perks to the increase of minimum wage, including the fact that workers will now have more money to put back into our economy and will be able to live more comfortably.

“The raise in pay could go toward meeting their basic needs and living expenses offering an improved standard of living.” said Brent Booth, a business instructor at SFCC, “Those affected by a minimum wage increase can gain the opportunity to improve their lives and move from where they are towards better overall living conditions.”

With people being able to afford and live comfortably, this should be good for businesses big and small. With employees now living comfortably, they should be happier with working, and could improve their work to better their companies.

“A boost in the minimum-wage could potentially improve worker morale,” said Booth. “Which in turn could improve worker productivity and customer satisfaction.”

One of the only issues people who are for the new minimum wage seem to bring up, is the fact that this new wage could hurt small businesses who do not have the funding to pay their employees the new wage without it hurting their growth as a business.

“The only issue is that there are some small businesses where I think that the employers, they might take a little bit of a hit, you know.”Said Chris Kohut, a student at SFCC, “But as far as corporations are concerned, if they are going to make ten billion instead of twelve billion, I don’t feel sorry for them.”

With small businesses possibly taking a hit, it’s without doubt that larger corporations will either adapt to this new wage, or lay off some employees to kept their income steady. Such corporations that have already laid off employees is the hardware store Lowes, which has recently fired 2,400 managers this January, across the country from multiple stores, according to www.usatoday.com.

“I also see some of these big corporations, like Burger King, where I work at, are in the process of raising their costs on food.” Said Ashly Hurt, a student at SFCC, “And that seems to be a benefactor of them keeping their people working there.”

  • Josh Granum

    It’s interesting to see these effects reverberate all throughout the state. In Bellingham my rent stayed the same but I have a lot of friends who’s rent went up 10, 20%. The issue is some of the not so small businesses taking advantage and strangleholding the basic need to survive with higher rent prices. Very interesting.