The Modern Minimum Wage Dilemma

By : Nic Falcione Presentation

Today, the minimum wage has been highly debated nationally as well in individual states. The downside of the situation is that there plainly is no simple fix to the problem. Along with inflation, the national debt continues to rise, as well as the cost of living. The three major factors/groups that the minimum wage amount effects are the people that rely on the minimum wage to live, the businesses that pay minimum wage, and the prices of consumer goods. Rationally, raising the minimum wage could hurt businesses that payout the minimum wage to keep costs low, but helps people relying on the minimum wage to survive. A counter to this is that the raising of the minimum wage would inflate the prices that businesses charge for goods, as they would need to counteract the raise in payment of wages to their workers anyways. Overall, there are many views that people hold regarding this continuous issue in the United States.


Left Leaning Media: This Billionaire Governor Taxed the Rich and Increased the Minimum Wage — Now, His State’s Economy Is One of the Best in the Country C. Robert Gibson (Huffington Post) 10/17/16

     This Huffington Post article shows how they display their liberal bias in a positive way. In this article, the author talks about the Democratic governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton. What makes the article biased is that it praises Mark Dayton’s actions over the years (specifically raising the minimum wage) in Minnesota. The article states that he has significantly made the state’s economy better. By raising the minimum wage to $9.50, he has also raised the median income significantly in the state. Huffington Post reports that this has caused Minnesota to have a median income that is 8,000 dollars more than the United States average today. In contrast to the Red State’s article, which harshly bashes the effects of raising the minimum wage in specific states, Gibson’s article within the Huffington Post shows how raising the minimum wage can definitely have positive effects on the economy in some situations/states. The article also successfully articulates against a counterargument made by Republican state representative Mark Uglem, who believed that Dayton’s plans to raise the minimum wage and taxes would cause all the business to leave Minnesota. The effects of the minimum wage increase by Dayton include an addition of 172,000 jobs and a much higher economic confidence than when previously governed by a republican beforehand in Minnesota.


Neutral Media: One Year On, Seattle Explores Impact of $15 Minimum Wage Law Ari Shapiro (NPR Economy, All Things Considered) 4/1/16

     This article documents an interview between Ari Shapiro from National Public Radio and University of Washington professor Jacob Vigdor about the recent law raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars in areas such as Seattle, California, and New York. Initially, Shapiro and Vigdor talk about what has happened in Seattle following the raise of the minimum wage. Vigdor reports that the raise has not had any major detriments to the economy and livelihood of businesses in Seattle. Additionally, it is stated that Seattle took a strategic route to the minimum wage increase by implementing the law so that the minimum wage would be incremented over time towards 15 dollars instead of an immediate “hike” up to 15 dollars an hour. Vigdor states that the law incrementing the minimum wage over time has been effective as it has given time for smaller businesses to adjust to the cost of paying these increased wages. Vigdor explains that through being the director of the Seattle minimum wage study, he has learned that many businesses have not been hurt by the raise of the minimum wage in Seattle. However, he assures that raising the minimum wage in areas that have a higher poverty and/or not have as much wealth to spread as Seattle might not work as well. Overall this interview is very informative and gives a non-biased approach to representing Vigdor’s findings in Seattle. Unlike media outlets like The Huffington Post and Red State, NPR does a good job making sure there is little to no bias in their news and reports.


Right Leaning Media: Minimum Wage Kills Jobs Again; …Diary, Joliphant (Red State) 1/26/17

     This article within the Red State website gives some statements regarding the effects of raising the minimum wage in certain states where legislation has been passed to do so. Showing evidence through observations stated within other conservative media outlets, the article advocates how the raise of the minimum wage in parts of California is hurting the urban economy and local business surrounding these areas. While citing the American Action Forum, another obviously conservative media outlet, the article states that in the year of 2016, states that have raised the minimum wage have had a significantly less employment increase in restaurants within major cities than surrounding states that have not increased their minimum wage in 2016. This evidence goes clearly against the liberal belief that the minimum wage should be increased significantly. Additionally, the article cites the Employment Policies Institute’s (EPI) resent statement on minimum wage. EPI states that the increase of the minimum wage of 36% to 12.25% is hurting major cities in California such as San Francisco and Oakland, causing many smaller and/or local businesses to close in response to their inclined overhead costs of paying workers. The argument made by the Red State article is strong in terms of their conservative bias and their reasoning on why they and many other conservatives believe that raising the minimum wage hurts the economy and livelihood of smaller businesses relying on the minimum wage to pay their workers and stay afloat. However, the article does not include statistics of the effects of raising minimum wage in non-urban areas where the minimum wage was increased in 2016.


Right Leaning Media: Minimum Wage Hike Backfiring? Wendy’s Increases Self-Service Kiosks (Fox News) 5/13/16

     This article by Fox News highlights the recent effects of the increase of minimum wage in many areas to fast food organizations, such as Wendy’s, and their push to introduce more automation to counter the costs of higher wages. The article references the recent changes to states such as California and New York as their minimum wages have been increased incrementally to 15 dollars an hour. Citing Stuart Varney, the article states that the push towards a higher minimum wage is directly causing these fast food companies to increase automation in their stores. One could infer that this drastic change in the minimum wage could heavily burden these fast food companies almost boycotting the wage increase by eliminating the jobs associated with ordering at many locations and replacing them with kiosks. More specifically, Fox highlights Wendy’s recent announcement that they will be introducing ordering kiosks to 6,000 restaurants in 2016. Stuart Varney says that raising the minimum wage is destroying entry level jobs and appealing to those that want a living wage for everybody who has a job. Fox News does a good job at highlighting the bad effects of raising the minimum wage by providing a recent example of how the minimum wage could hurt fast food restaurants and evidently take people out of their jobs due to automation. The conservative bias is also evident as the reporters highlighted in this article are openly expressing their opinions on the matter in a way that shades the liberal bias on the minimum wage debate.



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