Marysol Guzman |Staff Writer|
During this year’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama urged Congress to raise the minimum wage to $9 in hopes of leading Americans away from poverty and help stimulate the economy.
Obama believes people who are working full time with minimum wage pay shouldn’t have to live under the poverty threshold.
He believes that raising the minimum wage would help make a difference.
“[This] could mean the difference between groceries and the food bank, rent or eviction, scraping by or finally getting ahead,” said Obama.
His goal will be to reach $9 an hour by the end of 2015 and indexing the minimum wage, as the cost of living rises as well.
This issue has brought concerned opinions from people all over the country along with CSUSB students.
Student Michelle Vizcarra has a different outlook than Obama on the issue and is worried for small business owners.
“I think small business owners would suffer because they’re already tight with money and probably won’t be able to afford the salaries for their employees,” said Vizcarra.
She also said that raising minimum wage wouldn’t create new jobs but instead would make it harder since small businesses wouldn’t be able to afford added employees.
CSUSB student Jerry Nguyen said that raising minimum wage wouldn’t stimulate the economy and having more money does not promote the spending of it.
“If that was the case, raising the minimum wage to $100 would eliminate poverty,” said Nguyen. “Obviously $100 would be a disaster to the economy.”
He said that if minimum wage rises then it would cause small businesses that employ the middle class to go out of business.
“Companies cannot pay a worker more than the value the worker brings to the company,” said Nguyen. “Raising the minimum [wage] denies more low-skilled workers the opportunity to get a job and receive ‘on the job’ training.”
This can potentially lead to the increase rate of unemployment.
This was an issue that Obama was addressed during his State of the Union address.
Nguyen added that minimum wage will not help civilians who are unemployed.
“The poor [will] continue to remain poor, not because of minimum wage, but because of no wages at all,” added Nguyen.
A total of 19 states already have their minimum wage exceeding the current $7.15 pay.
San Francisco alone has its minimum wage pay at $10 per hour due to their high cost of living.
Student Roberto Martinez,brought up a different issue and said that companies might not adjust wages for their employees who have had raises over the years.
He gave an example that someone who has worked for a company for two years might have their pay up to $9.05 as opposed to their starting rate.
“When minimum wage goes up to $9, the company does not adjust the wage for the employee so now they are only making five cents more than a new hire,” said Martinez.
Congress has yet to reach a consensus on the issue.