Should Minimum Wage Be Changed?

Minimum wage is the legal minimum a person can be paid at their job. Different states have different minimum wage rates, depending on the cost of living and other expenses. Lots of people argue that the rate should be changed due to the rising poverty rates, unemployment rates, small businesses closing, and the cost of goods. Some smaller businesses cannot afford to pay employees more than a certain amount, and this leads to hiring less workers, or to the business closing. On the other hand, a higher minimum wage could encourage more people to work because they will be getting paid more. 

In Iowa, minimum wage is currently $7.25, but it hasnt always been this way. In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act introduced minimum wage at a rate of $0.25 an hour, the equivalence to $5.99 in 2024. This rate was changed in 1950 to $0.75. Purchasing power fluctuated lots during this time, which is why the rate was raised. Minimum wage was finally raised to $1 by 1956, and it continued to rise. Finally, in 2009, $7.25 was set as the rate, and it has not changed yet, making this the longest period of time to maintain a minimum wage rate in history.  Although the rate is much higher now than it was, it has not kept up with inflation rates over time. Studies have showed that the $7.25 minimum wage rate from 2009 has not kept up with inflation. In fact, it declined 17% from 2009 to 2019. 

Some people think that the minimum wage should be raised. They think higher earnings would lead to a higher standard of living for minimum wage workers. The people who cannot get higher "tiered" jobs should be able to support themselves off of the rate. They also think that more people would be motivated to work because they would be making enough money to live, and the poverty rate would decrease. Another reason people think it should be raised is becasue it would boost our economy. We would have more money flow due to higher spending because more people are making money. 

Although raising minimum wage sounds like an amazing idea, there would also be some cons. For example, inflation is already rising at a high rate, but if minimum wage was higher, inflation would skyrocket. Like mentioned, the economy would be fueled so much that prices would start to rise even more. With higher prices and people getting paid more, the overall cost of living would rise as well. You would not be able to buy things as easily. People also think that if the rate was higher, smaller businesses would not be able to pay as many employees, leading to limited workers. If a business is no longer able to employ people, they have to go out of business. 

There are lots of variables that go into the changing of minimum wage, but people have lots of different opinions. There are lots of reasons the rate should be changed, and lots of reasons it should stay the same. I personally think it should be raised, but not by a lot. I think that the downsides listed are very possible, and I could see those things happening. On the other hand, these issues will have to happen eventually, because inflation is always rising. We don't have the same proces as they did 50 years ago, so why should we have the smae ones for the next 50 years? I think that we and our economy could benefit greatly from the minimum wage rising.,Basic%20Minimum%20Rate%20(per%20hour)%3A%20%247.25,set%20below%20the%20federal%20rate.

Do you think the minimum wage should be changed?

Why or why not?

What do you think the rate should be now?

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  • Excellent topic and super job Ainsley! Be sure to comment back on three different days. 

  • I think the minimum wage should be raised because being paid more would be nice and it'll make more teenagers want to work more if there getting more pay and lots of places that hire teenages wont have to worry about short staff.

  • I think it should be raised. I think this becuase everything else is going up faster then the minimum wage is paying us. I think it should be 15 dollars plus beucas you shoul dbe able to rent an appartment with that and get enough food to lats you until your next paycheck.

    • I agree it should keep up with the inflation rates, but I think that raising it too much would make inflation just rise faster.

  • I think that minimum wage should go up a little bit at least because I think that most people that work minimum wage are teens trying to save up for things and I think that it could help them buy a car and save up for college. I think it should maybe get raised to between 8$ - 10$

  • I think that minimum should be changed not to much but at least a little bit. Becasue many people already struggle with minimum wage and can barley get by. I think that it should be around $10.45 ish, I think that might help a little.

    • I agree, I think a drastic change would lead to other prices skyrocketing. I think anywhere around $10 would be a good rate.

  • I think that minimum wage should be changed because I think that inflation and minimum wage makes it hard to afford a lot of things for people. I think that minimum wage should be up at least 5-10 dollars.

    • I agree, the minimum wage should be raised a little bit. I think $5-$10 would be pretty drastic, but over time, that would be good. 

  • If inflation is rising and prices keep going up then I think they will have too. I think that minimum wage should be changed to $10 if inflation keeps rising so people can afford to live.  Right now I think that $8 or $9 dollars would mabye get you bye.

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