The debate over increasing the minimum wage has engaged the American public for a very long time. The issues of reducing poverty and increasing jobs are central to the vision of the future for many hardworking Americans. During this tumultuous election year, it has been a hot-button topic on the campaign trail. The Heritage Foundation released a new study indicating that 49 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia would be adversely affected by a $15 federal minimum wage increase. The Foundation’s investigation concluded that the increase would unfairly affect states with a lower cost of living, because a higher percentage of workers are paid minimum wage.
New York, along with 13 other states, opened 2016 with minimum wage increases. New York approved its own $15 minimum wage in April. The report indicates that every state in the Union, with the exception of New York, would undergo severe job losses in the thousands, if a $15-per-hour starting wage were mandated. The report estimates that Florida will lose close to 600,000 jobs and Texas will shed another 590,000 jobs under a $15 involuntary minimum wage increase.
As for the campaign trail, Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, has sanctioned a $12 federal minimum wage, whereas the official platform of the Democratic Party calls for $15 minimum wage on the federal level. Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, advocates that individual states should determine their own minimum wages but has favored a $10 minimum wage. The group most adversely affected by these compulsory increases will be the small business owners. The report states that a federally mandated $15-per-hour starting wage would cost 7 million or more jobs.
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