Raise in wage will not hurt pocketbooks of rich


Fast food employees rally outside a restaurant in hopes of receiving an increased wage.

Each week Hilltop Views publishes a staff editorial to accompany our Viewpoints. 

The national minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. The yearly salary of someone working full time for minimum wage will be $15,080— barely above the poverty line. This needs to change.

Raising the minimum wage a few dollars is not a monetary issue, it is a social necessity.

Although many worry that an increased minimum wage will cause companies to eliminate jobs and reduce hours, this is not necessarily true. Companies like Wal-Mart can easily raise their wages at any time, but they choose not to for one reason— profit.

Executives, owners and shareholders of high-rolling businesses believe that profit is the most important aspect because they want to become even more rich. The Walton family— the owners of Wal-Mart— are worth over $145 billion, according to Forbes. To put that in perspective, their net worth is more than the wealth of the bottom 40 percent of America combined.

Raising the minimum wage for employees of companies like Wal-Mart will not severely damage the income of executives or owners, but it will help out a growing percentage of hard working Americans. In fact, if wages were raised it may encourage employees to shop more at their workplace, generating more income for the company. Another benefit of higher pay is that less people will need food stamps, which saves taxpayer’s money in the long run.

The risk of not raising the minimum wage is that hard working families will suffer the consequence of low wages. Low income families still have the same expenses as anyone else. However, they spend every cent on rent, utilities, food and other absolute necessities. They often do not even have enough money to cover these monthly expenses. Sometimes they even have to choose between paying a bill or eating dinner.

Texas is known for its job creation, but there is a dark side to that -Texas is home to the highest number of minimum wage workers. In Texas alone, there are hundreds of thousands of people in Texas scratching at the poverty line.

California legislature recently passed a bill that will increase the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2016. The California house, senate and governor’s seat are all controlled by Democrats who are big proponents of increasing minimum wages. 

A bill like this would not even make it out of committee in the heavily Republican Texas legislature. Even if it did, the governor would most likely veto it.

Low paying jobs are a real problem for college students as well. Collectively, we are already in astronomical debt. Individually, it will take years upon years for most of us to break even on our student loans. Some of us take unpaid internships. Some of us are lucky to have part-time jobs. Either way, it is virtually impossible to attend university and not struggle with money. 

Even if parents or scholarships help subsidize your necessary degree, having enough money to pay for other fees is not always a feasible reality.

If college students made $10 an hour at their jobs, that would probably alleviate some of their anxiety.

America prides itself on upward mobility and attaining the American Dream. We believe that raising the minimum wage will put many Americans on the path to prosperity.