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Increased Minimum Wage: A Boost to the Economy

By: Stephen McLendon

Blog Category: Minimum Wage & the Economy

On September 17, 2013, Pennsylvania State Senator Christine Tartaglione announced new legislation that would increase the state’s current minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 by 2015. In 2013, ten (10) states showed increases in their minimum wage from $7.35 to $9.19, which amounts to nineteen (19) states and the District of Columbia having minimum wage rates above the federally mandated level. Is it time for Pennsylvania to join the rest of these states and increase its minimum wage?

An increased minimum wage will help bring people above the poverty line, which means a decreased amount of people using Medicaid benefits and other low-income benefits. It also aids to boost the economy by putting more money in the pockets of those who work, who in turn spend that money in their community. Though this proposed legislation seems good in theory, it is criticized because such an increase does not help those who are unemployed: It makes it harder for the unemployed to find employment.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.

Sources:

Sarah Glover, Pa. Lawmaker Proposes Minimum Wage Increase, But Local Economists Aren’t Loving the Idea, NBCPhiladelphia.com (Sep. 17, 2013), available at http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Pa-Lawmaker-Proposes-Minimum-Wage-Increase-224104181.html.

Tami Luhby, The impact of a $9 minimum wage, CNNMoney.com  (Feb. 13, 2013), available at http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/12/news/economy/obama-minimum-wage/index.html.

Melanie Hicken, 10 states to boost minimum wage, CNNMoney.com (Dec. 31, 2012), available at http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/31/pf/states-minimum-wage/index.html?iid=EL.

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