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Mar 16 2016
by Bianca D'Agostino

The Presidential Candidates on Minimum Wage

By Bianca D'Agostino - Mar 16 2016

Previously, I wrote about about the top 2016 Presidential Candidate's opinions and plans to tackle the problem of student loan debt in America. But until they are elected or any significant policies are implemented to help us students take on the debt, we will most likely take on jobs or internships that pay minimum wage. As of right now, the federal minimum wage is $7.25, which means that no employer is legally allowed to pay you below this amount, and that states he can chose to increase it above this rate. There is a huge debate over whether we should raise the minimum wage to $10.10 or even $15.00 an hour, or just keep it the same. So, here's a breakdown of what the Presidential Candidates believe the wage rate should be at and how they plan to implement this policy. 

Hillary Clinton

Clinton takes on the same ideals as most Democrats/Liberal voters, as she supports raising the minimum wage. According to her campaign website, she has previously supported the attempt to make the federal minimum wage $12, but is currently an advocate for the Fight for $15 (the name of the movement in which people are advocating for a $15 minimum wage). Along with these policies, she is also supporting the Obama administration and their attempt to expand the overtime rules for workers, due to the fact that many Americans are not receiving the proper compensation for overtime hours. 

Bernie Sanders

Like Clinton, Sanders takes on a similar approach as he also believes that workers should receive $15.00 for minimum wage. On his campaign website, he states that, "We must ensure that no full-time worker lives in poverty. The current federal minimum wage is starvation pay and must become a living wage." Sanders also advocates for the overtime compensation to be more enforced, along with the legislation that will make it easier for employees to unionize with his strong support for the Employee Free Choice Act.  

Donald Trump

According to On The Issues, Trump has taken the common Republican/Conservative approach as he stated back in November to not raise the minimum wage as it makes us, "non-competitive." Trump states that him being the, "Greatest Jobs-producing President that God ever created" will increase workers incomes and their overall wages without the need for a minimum wage increase. Besides this, he has not said much on the issue. 

Ted Cruz

Cruz has also taken on the the conservative ideal of not raising the federal minimum wage, but does intend to increase people's wages by 12.2%, as stated on his campaign website. He plans to do so under the Cruz Simple Flat Tax, in which everyone in America is taxed the same amount of money. As a result of this, there will not only be an increase by 12.2% in American wages without the action of actually raising the federal minimum wage, but a potential 1/2 a million jobs created and a boost in GDP

John Kasich

After his big win on Super Tuesday 2 in Ohio and with the suspended campaign of Senator Marco Rubio, Kasich seems to be making a bit of a comeback. Kasich also separates himself from his fellow hard-right conservatives, as he supports a "reasonable minimum wage hike," but not to raise it "willy-nilly." What does this mean? Well, he goes on to state that you have to have the raise be reasonable or else the American economy can experience,  ...unintended consequences if you start imposing a high wage, which could actually lead to fast-food restaurants putting in kiosks and middle-management people being upset that they can't get a raise." Kasich also believes this should be handled at the state level, not the federal level. 

Even though each of these candidates align with their ideological party on this issue, that does not mean you have to--there are multiple perspectives on this issue that go far beyond choosing between the two extremes (of either raising or keeping the minimum wage the same). People argue over the fact that raising the minimum wage can potentially raise almost a million people out of poverty, but with the consequence of a loss of about 500,000 jobs, as stated in a Wall Street Journal article. There are different pros and cons to the issue, and you educate yourself more on the issue here

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Bianca D'Agostino - University of Connecticut

Bianca is a freshman at the University of Connecticut majoring in business and minoring in communications and international business. She political articles and loves to be involved on her campus. Bianca loves to read, run, knit and craft. You can follow her on Instagram @biancadag!

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