Bryan Felix ’15
On January 28th of this year, President Barack Obama declared a shocking new policy decision. The President issued an Executive Order, a policy directly from the president bypassing congressional approval and subject only to judicial review, that will initiate a raise in minimum raise for government contractors starting in 2015. The order essentially raises the minimum wage of any worker under a government contract from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. Considering the recent volatile state between the Republican and Democratic political camps, this event has even more shaken up the 2 sides.
President Obama pulls justification during his speech, “Let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour,” fighting the case how that to push the economy forward, the government must raise the paying wage for full-time employees. On the other side the Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell states “We have a crisis in employment among young people right now, and generation 18 to 30, people that got out of college, are finding there are no jobs for them. The last thing we want to do is have even fewer jobs for younger people,” pushing that a raise in minimum wage would cause massive layoffs and employment cuts as companies try to maintain their profit margin.
This position also expands on the high unemployment and lack of experience in the young generation, holding concerns for the state of the market in 10 to 15 years with this. However it is fact that this order itself does not bring drastic change as it only affects new government contracts starting in 2015. However this does bring concern, especially in the GOP, on the direction President Obama is heading and the drastic action he has had to resort to to make the change, with some calling his order as unconstitutional. The next few elections and voting periods are vital to this issue as both state and national congress’s will debate over the pro’s and con’s of raising the minimum wage, while they watch the eventual successes and failures of Obama’s giant new leap for the nation’s economic policy.
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