In the month of February, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that raised the minimum wage for federal contractors. It raised the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour. With this executive order, Obama intends to help our economy grow and also help increase the minimum wage for ALL Americans. According to the administration, this order would help out about more than 2 million employees. The article states that the President used the State of Union Address in order to help promote the idea of raising the minimum wage. The executive order would only affect those with new contracts or those that renewed their contracts. The issue of minimum wage has become very important in the past months. In a poll taken at Quinnipiac University, 71% of Americans favored the idea of increasing the minimum wage. After researching more on this, I was able to see that this new executive order has both support and opposition.
People who are in favor of the increase in minimum wage state that they are very happy because they feel like finally someone is actually doing something. They believe that by raising the minimum wage it will help better income inequality which has become one of the greatest economic issues. They believe that this order will affect many peoples’ lives for the better, because the federal government is “our nation’s leading low wage job creator.” It will also help those people who are suffering at the very “margins of the economy”. Many believe that by signing this executive order, Obama is showing how much he cares and how much he believes in the working people.
People on the opposing side of this issue believe that Obama’s executive order is of no use. Many believe that raising the minimum wage will cause businesses to higher less people because owners will not want to pay higher wages to a lot of people. Therefore instead of creating more jobs, as Obama plans it will do, it will decrease the amount of jobs. Opponents say that since the executive order will only apply to new contracts, it will not really affect anyone currently. They believe that Obama is not really seeing the reality of the issue. Many have said that this issue of minimum wage is just a way to distract people from the REAL issue which is that the U.S. still has a weak economy. A few even say that this order does not fit into any legal framework.
After reading about this issue and seeing what people on both sides believe I think that it is very complicated. Both sides have strong points to defend their arguments. At first, I believed that raising the minimum wage would actually be beneficial. It would allow for people to support themselves and not have to a live a life of poverty. Although this executive order would only affect a few as of right now, this is a great stepping stone. I thought, “we are on our way to higher minimum wages!” However then I began to think about other things. For example, if this happens other issues might come up. Like, if minimum wages go up, will the price of goods remain the same? Probably not since, business will have to pay their workers more, and then the prices of the goods being produced will also rise. Therefore this will not only affect workers but also customers of that company. So, I guess it’s just up to each individual person to see what is more important to them. I don’t really know where I stand.