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Should the U.S. raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour?

The debate over raising the minimum wage has raged on for years. While many states have increased the minimum wage on their own, the federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009. As inflation and an ever-rising cost of living continue to make it increasingly difficult to live off of a minimum wage income, people have begun to specifically demand a $15.00 federal minimum wage. While some are concerned that raising the minimum wage would ultimately hurt the economy, others argue that lifting low-wage workers out of poverty would benefit everyone. All of this begs the question: Should the federal minimum wage be increased to $15 per hour?


House passes bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15

Additional resources to think about

When does a minimum wage become too high?
This article from NPR looks into how more than doubling the minimum wage to $15 would have a different effect on the economy than would a more modest raise in the minimum wage.

This game from the Urban Ministries of Durham and McKinney challenges players to live off of minimum wage for a month. Starting from a position of hardship, then choosing a minimum wage job, players have to navigate a plethora of difficult decisions that low-wage workers are facing constantly.

A History of the Minimum Wage
Time Magazine's visual, musical, historical record of when the minimum wage has been raised and what it would be worth in today’s time.

Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025 would lift wages for over 33 million workers
An in-depth data analysis of how raising the minimum wage could benefit low-wage workers from one of the foremost economic think-tanks, the Economic Policy Institute.

A tale of two minimum wages
This video from CNN business looks at how different things are for the 39% of U.S. citizens that have a $7.25 minimum wage, than they are for the 61% who have a higher one.

Why Is There a Minimum Wage?
This video from Origin of Everything follows the history and debate around the minimum wage.

How Seattle businesses are responding to minimum wage hikes
This news story from CNBC follows how minimum wage growth in Seattle is having an impact on local businesses and the community.

As Fewer Teens Work Summer Jobs, Republican Lawmakers Propose Teen Minimum Wage
This article from WBUR talks about how Massachusetts lawmakers are looking to ensure that summer and part-time jobs are available to teens looking to gain on-the-job skills while still ensuring that businesses can afford to offer those opportunities.


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Should the U.S. raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour?

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