Articles

The Minimum Wage Debate Has Thrown Young People Under the Bus

In Youth Rights on October 27, 2014 by edwinforyouthrights Tagged:

Typed by Edwin Bonilla

The minimum wage debate is trying to paint young employees as people who shouldn’t deserve a minimum wage increase. You have probably read statistical illustrations which say that half of minimum wage employees are 25 and older. I saw this type of illustration from the AFL-CIO website. Those statistical illustrations are being used to marginalize young people out of the minimum wage debate. Young people, regardless of age, deserve to be part of a minimum wage increase. As important as this is that they should be part of whatever minimum wage increase that will come in the future. Organizations and political parties which want to describe young people as undeserving of a minimum wage increase are using a disgraceful strategy to get a minimum wage increase. This sort of strategy is designed to make sure that young people are paid less than older workers if a higher federal minimum wage were to become law.

Many young people who are employed are valuable to the company they work for. Even in unison, they are valuable to companies. Due to ageism that is encouraged in this society, it is easy for many people to dismiss young employees as being worthless at their job. However, many young people are productive in the job they perform. Young people deserve job protection, labor union representation and effective wage guarantees. I don’t care if an employee is 16 or 39; she or he deserves to be paid the published rate per year from the company. If a company was to be greedy and pay employees just the minimum wage, then young employees must also be paid the minimum wage as well. Progressive organizations are purposefully using age discriminatory strategy in trying to get a higher minimum wage. Organizations which support a $15 per hour minimum wage are guilty of using this strategy. I agree with a $15 per hour minimum wage but joining those organizations would be in joining age discrimination against young people. The minimum wage debate must effectively be representative to young people.

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