The debate on the views of the Confederate flag went well. I am glad to say that I can understand the views towards the flag that differ from mine. The problem is that whenever we view a group of people, we judge them on the loudest members of the group. The loudest members of people who carry the Confederate flag tend to be red-necks, which is unfortunate. I respect those who carry the flag out of respect to their dead ancestors; however, I will not respect people who use the flag as a symbol of racism and “rebellion” .
Our next topic is the minimum wage and whether or not it needs to be increased or left alone. Once again, I find myself taking the middle road on the topic. In my opinion, minimum wage should not be increased everywhere all at once; it should be increased slowly, over a period of time, to adjust for inflation and economic growth.
The point of the minimum wage, created in 1938, was to help stabilize the economy after the depression and help protect workers from being underpaid. My history professor once argued that the minimum wage was not meant to be lived off of, but used as an encouragement to obtain a better job. However, in the world today, it is almost impossible to get a better job without going to college. Back when the minimum wage was in proportion to the cost of living (and college did not cost so much), one would only have to go to work 14 hours a week. Now, one would have to go to work 35 hours a week, as well as manage their studies in order to try to pay their way through college to have a better paying job. If the minimum wage was meant to encourage people to go to college (or get a better job), it should make it easier for them to do that.
Okay, so we do have a problem with the minimum wage; it is not proportionate to what it once was. The next logical solution would be to hike it up, right? Wrong. The United States takes the gold for freaking out over everything. If we hike up the minimum wage, chances are corporations are going to cut employees and increase the cost of whatever they are selling. I mean, in the words of singer Jessie J, “It’s all about the money, money, money.” Some places would be able to take the hit like it is no problem, however, places with low economic growth will continue to struggle, if not struggle more.
So… now what? Shall we just continue to struggle? No. If we choose to raise the minimum wage, we need to do it slowly, so we do not harm our national economy, and with careful evaluation. By this I mean, places that have a higher cost of living should have a higher minimum wage. Minimum wage needs to be evaluated by the costs of living. For example, California makes more money than Tennessee and has a MUCH higher cost of living. Despite this, their minimum wage is only $9/hr as opposed to our $7.25/hr. They would be able to handle the increase (and they probably should increase it on their own). However, Tennessee would not.