The Rich Versus the Poor

By Winnie Eke

The recent unsuccessful Senate vote and debate on minimum wage is an aberration, based on the history of

minimum wage law. In addition to the vote, many in Congress who opposed the wage increase also voted to decrease food stamp funding and other social services that help the poor.

The fact is: minimum wage increases affects only a particular group of the society–those not highly educated or low-skilled workers. Should lack of higher education or low-skills relegate people to perpetual poverty and suffering in the wealthiest nation on earth?

The idea that those in poverty do not work (Hassett, 2013) is not convincing. Nor is the idea that those earning minimum wage are not primary earners in the family. If the argument against wage increase is that it will cost jobs or punish business owners, why is it fair for business owners and executives to make 204 times more an average (Bloomberg News, May 14, 2014).

One can argue that the U. S. has a free economy. However, the history of this country tells us that is not the case. Businesses are likely to hire people who they can pay the least to make more profit. There may not be a unanimous agreement but there has to be a moral reason for advancing the increase in minimum wage. As President Obama indicated (February, 2013) people working full-time should not be homeless and hungry.

What do you think?


2 thoughts on “The Rich Versus the Poor

  1. At some point either private charities or the government will pick up the pieces for poorer workers.


  2. Let’s be more explictit, minimum wage earners are most likely those who are just entering the job market, or those who have no inclination to advance beyond the limitation they put upon themselves. Although we are in agreement that a fair wage should be paid for services, these are all at will jobs the the employee can take, or leave at will. What needs to be addressed by the administration is the creation of jobs for the less skilled. As any Public Manager knows being in the system is sometimes a life-time jail term. The perrameters and variables now in place make it nearly impossible for the poor to escape. The minimum wage is just another diversion in the next election cycle. Let the states adjust their own minimum wage based on the economics of the state. Allowing the Federal government to set national standards is ludicrous and short sighted. There are many industries in the nation that are already paying above the $10 mark. Furthermore those who put themselves behind with early pregnancy and having to support a family are just making the wrong choices.


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