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Minimum wage raises: a positive step forward?

Everyone deserves the right to earn fair pay. Yet that sentiment appears to lie at the heart of the very issue: that fair pay in New York can take on a different definition from one person to the next. Yet a large majority of minimum-wage workers stress that their pay simply does not meet basic needs.

The topic of minimum wage has picked up traction for the better part of the last decade, and attitudes continue to change as laws surrounding the topic adjust to the needs of workers. Some argue against raising the wage, claiming it could only hurt the job market; others point out that there is no evidence of such damage. Will New York's rising minimum wage make a lasting and positive change?

Prospective Changes

Governor Cuomo is one state official in favor of these plans. Daily News noted in 2015 that raising minimum wage was one of many laws that took effect in the state this year, highlighting the advantages of raising pay for low-wage workers. In a multi-year-phase-in plan, the law raised the pay to $15 on January 1 of this year. It also allowed businesses with small numbers of employees to boost pay to at least $11-an-hour -- a significant increase from the previous $9-an-hour minimum pay. Pay increases vary depending on the county, with most New York City businesses expecting to see a minimum wage of $15-an-hour by the end of 2018. Daily News mentioned that lawmakers expect to the the following benefits as a result of this change:

  • Improved health care 
  • Extended resources for veterans
  • Safer roads 

Daily News elaborates on these improvements, along with other advantages to the increased pay rate for low-wage workers.

A More Balanced Future

PBS News Hour comments on why boosting minimum pay across the nation would benefit the economy as a whole. According to a 2016 article, the argument that hiking the minimum wage would destroy jobs simply holds no factual grounds. Digging deeper into the issue, PBS points out that mere competition fails to raise wages across the board, leaving millions of workers overworked and nevertheless settling close to the poverty line. On top of this reason, big-name companies such as McDonald's, Target and Kroger make billions each year while paying their employees miserably. The road ahead may be a long one, but a loud voice in America wants to be heard. 










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