In June 2014 Seattle’s city council unanimously voted to raise the local minimum wage to $15 per hour. The change is going to be gradual allowing larger businesses with 500 or more employees up to five years to transition, and smaller businesses will have up to seven years.
For some the increase has been beneficial. It provides extra money to spend for families that were already struggling before and puts more money into the hands of the people.
Immediately, the effects of the raise seems beneficial, but it’s also important to look at the long term effects too. Larger corporations or businesses may have an easier time putting out extra money for employees; however, smaller businesses are being hit hard. In order to compensate and balance for the raise in money put out, the businesses are being forced to raise the prices of products and services, making the cost of living higher for many. Some businesses are even having to sacrifice certain benefits and vacation time for their employees.
While the increase of minimum wage immediately benefits our workers, it is important to also look at the long term effects. Our challenge to you is to ask yourself, “Does the good of now outweigh what could happen down the road?”