Minimum wage is a guaranteed minimum amount of money that people earn every hour in order to make a living. This topic is an exceptionally important to me, considering I am working with a minimum wage salary at a medical clinic. Researching about this topic really defined and showed me how everything in the working field works and why minimum wage is important. Both human rights and equality are key concepts in which are linked to minimum wage. Human rights are rights in which everyone is entitled to. Everyone and anyone has the right to earn a minimum wage salary. In Quebec Minimum wage is $12.50, there for everyone is entitled to earn this amount of money and no less. If earned less, it’s considered abuse of human rights. Equality plays a key role when it comes to minimum wage, since people may be treated differently depending on your sex or even race. No matter who you are, you are equal to everyone. Meaning everyone gets equal pay, depending on your job.
For my first engagement I chose to speak to the owner of the small zipper tie company called Karizma. I asked him three main questions based on minimum wage and he responded with predictable answers considering its a smaller company. The first question I asked was, what would happen if minimum wage were to increase? He responded saying “ since it’s a small business I would have to let go of some employees considering it won’t be worth keeping them since I won’t really be making a good enough amount of money to keep them all”. Secondly I asked He thinks good and bad effects of increasing minimum wage are in his opinion? He responded with “ It could be beneficial since we would have to raise prices but it could also not so much since less people will buy our products, meaning we could go out of business. Its also not great since there will be a higher tax rate for employers like me, meaning the company may not be able to afford employment. Lastly, I asked if minimum wage was enough is his opinion? He responded with “ yes, because it creates employment. This would not be the case if it was higher. It gives opportunity for employment. Generally Having a smaller company has its pros and cons.
For my second engagement, I chose to contact a bigger and world wide company. Starbucks is a very successful company. I asked the exact same three questions from the previous engagement to see how different the responses from a small and bigger companies would be. When I asked what would happen if minimum wage were to increase? He responded with “ It would make no difference. Even increasing minimum wage to $15 would not make a dent since its stocks are at an all time high. I asked what the good and bad effects of increasing it would be in their opinion? They had a similar answer in a way to Karizma. They said they would also have to raise prices, meaning they may lose some customers but not really considering its such a popular place.They also said “It would make no difference in employment”. Lastly I also asked if minimum wage is enough in their opinion? They responded with, “ Typically yes, but only since we are a big company. Otherwise it would be a hassle for smaller businesses. “ The amount being paid is slowly but surely getting to the right level”.
There are both pros and cons to raising minimum wage. Obama once said “ raising minimum wage would improve the economy”. For reasons like helping families keep up with price inflation, it would increase wages and spending raise demand. On the other hand, it may be business freezing new hires, meaning jobs are limited. Minimum wage helps the political system in a couple of ways. One of which is that it gives everyone buying power as well as spending power, in which provides stability since we don’t rely on the vast majority of people. Minimum wage fluctuates all over the world. It’s basically the remuneration that employers are allowed to pay their employees. Any less is considered illegal. Raising minimum wage has been a topic always pushed aside and not full thought out by the government in most countries. Here in Quebec we are a more stable environment considering minimum wage goes up by 55 cents every year. Increasing it more and more is beneficial for employees but at the same time it would could place a burden on many employers. Especially employers of smaller companies.
Having done research on this topic as well as interviewing companies really helped me understand the true meaning of “minimum wage”. Both my research and engagements had similar attributes. The research I had done told me how bigger and world wide companies don’t have a problem with minimum wage changing since they can afford the change. Similar to this, for my engagements I took two companies. One in which is world wide and the other which is smaller. the company I chose, Starbucks is really working on improving the salary they give in order to influence other companies to give their employees a raise. Similar to this, when Obama was president he had ideas of raising minimum wage even higher. Smaller companies would really suffer if minimum wage were to increase as mentioned in one of my engagements with Karizma. In relation to this the CBO study says that “A higher minimum wage reduces the family income of business owners to the extent that firms’ profits are reduced.” Not only this, but unlike larger businesses, smaller businesses usually function in a highly competitive environment and competition makes it hard to pass on minimum wage hikes to buyers.
In conclusion, Minimum wage has it’s good and bad factors. Minimum wage stimulates the economic growth of a country by increasing the consumption. Balancing the minimum wage levels, may help to stimulate economic growth and welfare of life. Its proven that minimum wage does affect how you as a citizen live in in society. Within society there are the ones who want change for the better, which can mean different things in different mindsets. Personally raising minimum wage would be beneficial for me since I am paid the bare minimum. Raising it to 15 dollars per hour can be life changing for many people, myself included.