During Fox Business Network’s fourth Republican presidential debate, several candidates made clear they are opposed to increasing the minimum wage.
Prior to the debate, activists across the country participated in a nationwide protest. They demanded the minimum wage be increased to $15 an hour. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. The candidates listed several reasons between them for opposing any increase of the minimum wage.
“Taxes too high, wages too high,” Donald Trump declared. “We’re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out, they have to work really hard and they have to get into that upper stratum. But we cannot do this if we are going to compete with the rest of the world. We just can’t do it.”
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages higher than what the federal government requires. Thus far, no state has passed a $15 minimum wage but some cities have. New York, Florida and Massachusetts are all considering it. Seattle led the way back in June 2014 with several cities following. Each local ordinance phased in the new wage over the course of several years.
“Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases,” Dr. Ben Carson stated. “This is particularly a problem in the black community. Only 19.8 percent of black teenagers have jobs that are looking for one.”
Supporters argue raising the minimum wage will help the poor. They note it will allow them to more easily afford basic necessities. The increased spending would then in turn stimulate economic activity. Critics, however, say such an increase will actually hurt the poor by limiting job opportunities. Some businesses within Seattle have already reported problems because of the increase. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] noted his parents were able to provide his family a comfortable living when he was younger despite making the minimum wage.
“If I thought that raising the minimum wage was the best way to help people make more I’d be all for it,” Rubio said. “Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.”
The $15 minimum wage has grown in popularity in recent years. Fight for $15 has been at the forefront of the movement by using rallies and media campaigns. The group is highly influenced and funded by the SEIU. Democratic President Barack Obama supports the $10.10 minimum wage while Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton supports a $12 an hour minimum wage.
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