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Have you ever started your day off in your parents’ home really wanting to move out but can’t? Because you can’t afford to pay rent let alone the basic necessities for yourself. In this essay I am going to discuss the debate over Florida’s minimum wage and answer the question ‘why should minimum wage be raised?’. As of 2019, the Floridian minimum wage is $8.46, only 2.5 percent improvement from 2018 minimum wage. But many still argue that it is still too low for those who live off of these low wage payments and are being taken advantage of under these conditions. Suggesting an increase of low wages by 3.54-6.54 percent or 12-15 dollars will be such a drastic difference that could lead to such improvement to many people and even the economy.
The current minimum wage in Florida fails to be sustainable for those who rely on them, for those who clean, serve food, care for the elderly, stock shelves, deliver food and so much more. It’s not just teenagers working these jobs but adults too. People who are trying to make ends meet and make a better future for themselves and their families. Many of these low wage jobs provide a minimum of 8.46 dollars currently in 2019. Regardless, it’s still not enough for those who live off of minimum wage to sustain one’s self. Even with the eligibility requirements for the tip credit under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA, where employers may take a “tip credit” of up to $3.02 per hour. It still fails to keep up with the average wages which are unbalanced to contributing to America’s growing inequality from America’s top CEO firms. “If the minimum wage had kept pace with productivity increases, it would be around $20/hr. Just 30 years ago, the average pay gap between CEOs and workers was 59 to 1; last year, it soared to 361 to 1. The average CEO makes $13,940,000, while a minimum wage worker makes $15,080: a gap of 924 to 1.” As promфpted by OXFAM America, they suggest the low-wage workers are not benefiting from economic growth and productivity as they should be along with the issue that it could even reduce poverty and induce economic growth. They even state that “The bump from $290 a week to $600 a week would lift millions of families out of poverty. More than a quarter of the workforce — 40 million workers — would see a raise in wages.” Even suggesting to raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars to achieve these improvements. For some people, they may wonder ‘why can’t they just ask for a raise?’ or ‘just get a new job.’ Many are unable to risk missing a paycheck, or don’t have time to look for a new job, even unable or denied a raise in these conditions. And most places take advantage of adding more hours to their employees, without the additional cost of hiring more employees which makes them short term liabilities. But to these employees, these jobs are their assets and unable to find a place to turn too, suffering in these harsh conditions.
Most lower and middle-class economies along with surveying activist nationwide believe that raising the minimum wage will provide help not only for the employees but “grow the economy and the modest increase would improve worker productivity, and reduce employee turnover and absenteeism. It would also boost the overall economy by generating increased consumer demand.” Stated by Robert C. Scott in his thesis for Raising The Minimum Wage. If the minimum wage increases it could lead to positive results in our economic growth. Such as increasing wages provide more opportunities in the workforce and create more employment opportunities. Workers can commit to working for longer periods, which reduces the cost of businesses turnover, hiring, and training costs. Also, lower unemployment and into higher wages the tax revenues for the people.
I can understand why they refuse to raise the wages by that 3.54 percent. It’s not seen as viable to these low wage jobs as other liabilities. These companies have a fixed compensation budget and to increase the minimum wage could result in layoffs or slower hiring. These Minimum wage jobs are restricted by these fixed budgets, rationalizing for the benefits of the company, and it seems easier to make the liabilities of these employees by increasing the hours to their current employees instead of the cost of hiring more. Employers might hire fewer workers for entry-level jobs, which makes it harder for workers to begin their careers. But reconstructing these fixed budgets could offer more humane resources and opportunities for their employees, provide more jobs and offer more benefits to the economy.
With the current minimum wages here in Florida, many people are struggling to pay bills and make ends meet. Compensating by working longer hours under inhumane conditions, serving our economy by providing practical services to keep our communities running, and by raising the wages by at least 3.54 percent would greatly help those who are struggling and aiming to make a better life for themselves and their families. Along with lifting people and families out of poverty, there’s a chance for improving Florida’s current economic status, making it a more comfortable and beneficial state for our communities. Allowing more balance revenue for those who earn income in a corporation by adjusting their fixed compensation budget, this could lead to better lives for many people and could save many more.
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