Recently, the Obama administration has started to push for a raise in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00, a $1.75 increase. This increase could do one of two things- substantially improve the lives of the minimum wage workers that will be affected by this increase or lower the incentive for businesses to hire employees and asking them to take a hit on their profits. I became fairly interested in this topic after I read a blog post on the Department of Labor’s blog. This post was about a roundtable discussion in Baltimore that told the stories of several different minimum wage workers. These workers work long weeks and still come up short for the necessities that them and their families require. Their stories opened my eyes to the everyday choices and struggles that these people must face because their wage is not high enough to support their family. Upon further research of this topic, I found some interesting statistics and numbers. “Nearly one-third of U.S. minimum wage workers last year were teens, and about 45 percent were 25 or older, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Two-thirds of all minimum-wage workers were women.” (Dallas Morning News) In California, “About one in eight California workers – about 2 million people – earns $8.80 or less an hour. And the vast majority of those workers are adults rather than teens at an after-school or summer job.” (LA Daily News) This is definitely a problem because though the teens don’t need to pay for their necessities, there is a large number of people that are not getting paid enough to put food on the table.
Though it seems simple and reasonable to raise the minimum wage, there are some costs to this increase. Critics of this plan say that “ higher minimum wage would lead to higher unemployment among lower-wage workers.” (Dallas Morning News) This problem arises because employers are not willing to keep employing/hiring new people because the minimum wage is higher. This causes excess supply of workers, leaving the US in disequilibrium. To some businesses, the increase in wage isn’t really a problem because their wage is above the state set minimum wage. A good example of this is Costco. “Costco chief executive Craig Jelinek said recently that paying “good wages makes good sense” because it lowers employee turnover and increases productivity, saving money” (Dallas Morning News) To others, specifically restaurants and fast food chains, this change seems detrimental and would cause all sorts of problems. “Very few restaurant operators are big fans because there are very few ways to mitigate the impact of increased wages.” (Dallas Morning News) These businesses have very few options to work around this increase of wage. They can basically either raise their prices or cut labor hours, both of which many restaurants are very reluctant to do.
In my opinion, the benefits undoubtedly outweigh the costs in this situation. Although our economy has just seemed to get stable, there are many people in the US who still have to choose between food for their children or their electric bill because they’re getting $200 a week without taxes.
In America today, voting is a key part in our government and elections. Though there are many opinions on how voting should work and who should and shouldn’t vote, The Globe has a good perspective on the issue. It says that it “would not take much time and effort to become informed about the candidates” and that one should “certainly weigh the options and decide which candidate is the best one”. It goes on to talk about how to weigh ones options best and not to just vote for one candidate because of the letter next to their name. This article basically tells the public to research their future leaders to make an informed decision, and if one decides that no candidate is worth voting for then that’s better than blindly not voting.
I really liked this article for many reasons. It shows that Americans need to be informed to make any kind of governmental decision, whether you vote or not. Weighing your options and deciding which candidate shares the same views on modern issues as you do is a huge factor in making your informed decision. I agree with this articles opinion on voting and how one should make a logical and informed decision on the elections at hand.
This directly relates to our government class because we spent a lot of our time talking about the elections, and voting is a key component in America’s democracy. This article talks a lot about “informed decisions”, and that exactly what we learned how to do in Government class.
After the Sandy Hook shooting, gun control has been a hot topic issue in modern America. According to a Reuters article on Obama’s speech, Obama says that he “can’t put this off any longer” and vows “to use ‘whatever weight this office holds’ to make his proposals reality.” Obama uses quotes letters from children that were affected by the shooting saying “Guns shouldn’t be allowed.” He wants to use this tragedy to help the gun control laws get passed easier and quicker. The President has taken several important steps to protect everyone from something like Sandy Hook happening again. One of his main points is to have more intense background checks before anybody buys a gun. This rule is criticized heavily from gun owners because they say that this rule won’t do anything to prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook because the gunman got it from his mom, who got the gun legally. Obama also wants to ban military style guns, like the ones used in the Sandy Hook shooting. This law is more likely not be passed because the majority of Congress are Republicans and will not give up their military style guns. Another one of Obama’s pushes is to allow federal funded research on gun violence, along with 23 more steps that he plans on doing without Congresses approval. A main critic of these upcoming laws is the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA wants more security for schools, better counseling and mental illness help, and to ban violent video games.
In my opinion, I think both sides should come to an agreement. Though I don’t think we should ban guns all together, I believe that some gun control laws should be put into action to protect everyone’s safety. Guns have been an influential part of our American history, but at the same time people have to see that gun violence is a serious and very pressing issue in America today. I also agree with NRA that there should be a better mental illness system, so that insane people can get help easier and faster. The old saying, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is a vital part to the NRA’s argument, and I agree with that. Although it’s easy to shoot someone, you have to start at the source of the pain and suffering of the shooter to completely stop these massacres and get those people help so they can get better and live normal lives. I think that we should definitely have better security for our school and better counseling for our children and teens to prevent shootings and massacres from happening in the first place. Security could also be a huge help in preventing tragedies like these. This also goes back to the old “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” in that if America starts helping the sick and mentally ill to begin with at a young age, then everyone will be safer.
This article can be directly related to our class in many ways. President Obama is wearing two hats in his speech, Legislative Leader and Chief Executive. Legislative Leader is an important role in this article because he is looking to get several laws passed by congress because he cannot pass them by himself. Chief Executive is equally as important in this article because he is reassuring the people in that he will He also is needing to go through Congress for his actions, vowing that he will use “whatever his weight this office holds” to make these laws a reality. This article really shows the President’s viewpoint and his ideas on gun control, while also making balanced by showing his critics.