Should We Raise the Minimum Wage?

by on February 4, 2014

In which John discusses the minimum wage, and whether raising the minimum wage would negatively affect employment in the United States.

Thanks to Rosianna for graphics and research help: http://www.youtube.com/missxrojas

About Card and Kreuger's famous study of New Jersey and Pennsylvania: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_wage#Card_and_Krueger
Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment? http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/min-wage-2013-02.pdf
Do higher minimum wages reduce poverty? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/01/04/economists-agree-raising-the-minimum-wage-reduces-poverty/
A Washington Post overview of the minimum wage debate: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/02/13/the-minimum-wage-fight-explained/

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Chelsea February 5, 2014 at 12:04 am

I love you John, you’re my inspiration to become a writer.

Reply

Danielle February 5, 2014 at 5:06 am

Although I am not from America I believe they should, even here in the UK. Raising the wage would create consumer confidence, and encourage spending, this would encourage trading from other countries as well as internally meaning companies will be doing well=hiring more people. People in America would at least hopefully be able to afford health care then, which means it would result in less serious problems that may have resulting in death or disease.
Just my opinion though.

Reply

Jucilete Martins February 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Hello John Green, I’m a Brazilian girl who just read his book and it is with your heart in pieces. I’m using google translator because I do not understand English perfectly, and I think that will make it easier for you if you come to read my review, because I believe that you do not dominate my Portuguese. Incidentally, the book to which I refer is The Fault in our stars, and is making a huge hit here. But what I want to tell you is that you have no right to do this with other people’s feelings, Hazel created yourself, and you have created An imperial affliction, with all those end badly finished. As Peter Van Houten, you owe me an answer about what happens to Hazel after reading the letters of Gus. What happens? She lives for how long? I do not know how to convince you to give me a final to grab me and I resign myself. I’m just a Brazilian fan who have not read your entire collection but you want to do this. After I saw the trailer I was with immense grief to know that order has Hazel Grace, you must have had something in mind for her, and I can not travel up there to find out, which is a shame, then, please do me say right here, thank you, and I forgive you for that. Kisses, Jucilete.

Reply

MSLewis February 7, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Hi John! I’ve become a huge fan of your work, keep it up!

In response to the question about minimum wage… I’m all for people being paid an amount needed to survive. But there’s one point that you even bring up in the video above that has always bugged me, and I’m hoping you can shine the light of economical truth on this for me:

For argument’s sake: Corndog’s and Sodium is currently charging $3.50 for a corndog (approximation of a fast food sandwich without the meal here in suburban PA) and are currently paying their employees $7.50 an hour. Each employee is responsible for selling, for simplicity, 10 corndog’s an hour. That equals out to $27.50 in profit for C&S.

Now, take those same employees and increase their wage to $10/hour, an amount that is livable as long as you are living somewhere for free. For C&S to maintain their same profit margins, they would now need to charge $4.50 a corndog. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but it brings me to the point I’m trying to make here…

The people that can afford to eat at fast food restaurants, or restaurants in general, are usually people making above minimum wage (we’ll call them group B). It’s a sad truth that’s been around for most of history: the people who produce can rarely afford the things they produce. The problem is, that difference between minimum wage and Group B’s income is now substantially less. Considering that the cost of everything would need to increase in order for companies to maintain their current profit margins, those in Group B (who have likely put in the time in college or in the workforce in order to receive the higher pay) will have less to spend on life’s extras (i.e. fast food).

I guess what I’m really getting at is, being over minimum wage but still near it (I make $13/hour in PA), raising the minimum wage substantially ends up hurting me. I’ll be making the same amount, but everything will be getting more expensive. And this can’t be compensated by giving everyone a $2.50 raise (the increase from current minimum wage to $10), because we would be in the _exact_ situation, just with bigger numbers.

I really hope that made sense, explaining complex issues in a blog response… You get it, you do it all the time in your vlogs! Anyway, any input/response/explanation you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Keep up the amazing work!

~MSLewis

Reply

brnoze February 9, 2014 at 11:41 am

MSLewis,
Your comment was well written and continues the conversation about the minimum wage issue. Your insight and John’s brings about an interesting discussion that for me needs a future Vlog, tweet, and response from John. Yes John, the ball is now back in your court!

Reply

toms mom hearts women March 24, 2014 at 5:16 am

The ultimate approach for the men that you may explore straight away.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: