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Most students, including us, want minimum wage raised

Jerry Eicher and Alex Bruening

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The minimum wage for Wisconsin today is $7.25, but we believe it should be higher.

People in California get paid $11 an hour and closer to home, Michigan ($9.25), Ohio ($8.30), Illinois ($8.25) and Minnesota ($7.87) are all higher than Wisconsin.

Students at De Pere High School were surveyed about their beliefs on the subject.

Nearly one-half of the students (49.1 percent) want the minimum wage to between $7.25 and $9.00. Another 23.6 percent want to see it raised between $9-12, while 9.7 percent want to see a wage higher than $12. Only 17.6 percent want it to stay the same.

This would be appropriate considering the increase in cost of goods nowadays due to tariffs on imported goods.

In relation to keeping the minimum wage the same, one student sent a response saying, “Some small businesses can’t afford anything higher than what it’s at now.”

This is true for smaller-sized businesses, but businesses of considerable size can afford to pay a higher amount than minimum wage.

Furthermore, some students believe that companies should pay based on what an employee puts into the business.

Additionally, other students believe that the work they put into their job isn’t rewarding enough at the end of the week. A student who works as a cashier at Festival posted: “I feel like I should be paid $9.00 an hour. I work a lot of hours and I’m disappointed to see my paycheck on Friday. I also feel like I don’t get paid enough for dealing with people yelling at me and blaming me about their problems.”

Others believe they should be paid more for the work that they do and they are not wrong. People work hard every day, and only getting paid minimum wage isn’t cutting it.

They have to work long hours just to make some headway in either bills or costs.

Some teachers at DPHS believe that raising the minimum wage would benefit people in a positive way.
“More people will be encouraged to buy and spend more, and the economy would be raised,” Mrs. Juckem, who teaches business math, said.

Mr. Boyd, who teaches Government and Econ and is also an alderman of De Pere and on the city council for  De Pere, was asked if the minimum wage should be raised.

“Yes the minimum wage should be raised because it’s not kept up with the inflation and what the items of today cost,” he said.

Boyd was then asked if a rise in minimum wage would be good or bad for the economy.

“It would definitely be very good, because the people would have more money to spend,” he said.

Minimum wages are decided by multiple factors. The Department of Labor is what most people assume decides it. However, there are multiple factors in deciding the minimum wages for each state.

Some of these factors are supply and demand, cost of living, productivity, and cost of training. Also, the government has different wages for different states because of these demands. They don’t choose exactly what the wages are, but they set the standard for them.  That standard is used for helping different companies decide what they want their wage to be.

Thus, the minimum wage the is not easily changeable, but it would be marvelous if it was.

Other comments from the survey:

** “Raising minimum wage will ultimately only lead to further increase of price on products, produce, and services. McDonald’s isn’t scared to replace their workers with a computer, so don’t push it.”

** ”People are paid in direct correspondence with the value they bring to their company. Arbitrary increases the minimum wage doesn’t make any economic sense and will only cause further inflation.”

** “What minimum wage meant in the past was the minimum amount of money you could earn to live in America comfortably. Now, to live in America and have an apartment or house, you would need to make at LEAST $16-$18 an hour to afford even the cheapest and dingiest of apartments.”

** “If you’re on the side of the corporations instead of the workers whose lives they’re ruining, you’re a part of the problem.”

** “It’s not meant for people to live off it. It is meant for people who never have worked before or really don’t deserve more than that.”

** “Raising minimum wage is a selfish idea that only benefits the “common man”. A higher minimum wage will ultimately result in greater unemployment as small businesses will not see the monetary value in paying someone over $12 to do a low level job.”

** “I think it is important for the minimum wage to be a decent rate, and maybe a little higher than it is right now, but it needs to be realistic, and companies still need to make a profit.”

 

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Most students, including us, want minimum wage raised