Now that Democrats have control of the senate the first political battles of the Biden administration have begun and the recent congressional push by Democrats is extremely controversial for many congressmen. Biden promoted the idea of a fifteen-dollar minimum wage during his campaign and has started to push the idea into the halls of congress. This measure was previously passed in Florida in which the minimum wage would be slowly pushed to 15 dollars by the year 2025. The bill will be guaranteed to foster strong resistance because of the strong effects it might have on America.
A fifteen-dollar minimum wage could have huge positive impacts on the current American society. Many people who are currently working minimum wage jobs might not need to work multiple jobs to survive anymore. College students could use the doubling in wages of low paid jobs to help pay off the trillions of dollars in student debt off at a faster rate, so that a student debt crash is staved off until after the pandemic. Many poor or unemployed families could finally have more food security due to the increase in cash and not have to rely heavily on charitable donations. The increase in living standards for many Americans could significantly increase in the next few years.
Despite the possible benefits the minimum wage increase is not perfect and has many critics. One criticism of the upcoming bill is that companies might fire employees if the bill is passed due to the increased cost per employee. This outcome could be devastating in the current economic situation. Another criticism of the bill might be that it could slow business growth in the restaurant sector in a period where many establishments are already struggling. This point is especially potent in larger cities where the restaurant industry has collapsed in the last few months.
There is no doubt that the increase in wages will have positive and negative effects, but it could be the stimulus measure many people need. The increase in pay will consistently reach many poor individuals which is a stark contrast to the messy process that occurred during the first round of COVID-19 stimulus. Wage increases could also help the current chaos in the housing market by allowing renters enough income to start paying off their missed bills aggressively. Any economic band-aid at this point will be essential to restarting a healthy economy.
People’s increased wages are now riding on whether the Democrats can successfully ram the bill though both houses. Senate Democrats must unanimously agree on a proposition for it to pass the floor. This could create tensions among Democrats as one individual could destroy the entire political effort which might inflame tensions between Democratic factions. This bill will test how dominant Democrats are In the senate as a failed push would give minority Republican leaders a sigh of relief and fuel for the 2024 campaign trail. It is imperative that this bill pass for Democrats as the momentum from the bill could be invaluable.
Biden’s administration would benefit greatly from the increased minimum wage bill for multiple reasons. Public optics of the Biden administration would get a huge lift from the passing of the bill. Any major bills getting passes would also be instrumental in securing Biden’s reelection campaign in the future. An early completion of a campaign objective before 2022 is also necessary as the mid terms could make future congressional bids much harder.
The battle for an increased minimum wage could be the instrumental in securing Biden hegemony or a foreshadowing for a disappointing four years.