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The Global Minimum Wage Conversation: What Do You Think?

A global conversation is happening about the minimum wage that workers are being paid by companies for their talents and services.


Over time, there have been arguments for and against increasing the minimum wage. Currently, in the United States, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and the minimum wage for various regions and industries in New York State is nearing $15 per hour. We would like for you to read, at a minimum, the following articles to strengthen your prior knowledge about the minimum wage, and to help you become more informed about whats happening globally and locally as it relates to this topic:

  • How a Rising Minimum Wage Affects Jobs in Seattle, by Noam Scheiber.
  • World watches Britains living wage experiment, by Sarah OConnor.
  • Christie Vetoes Minimum Wage Bill, Calling Raise to $15 Really Radical by Patrick McGehan.

After reading these articles, performing additional research, and reflecting on your experience and prior knowledge about the minimum wage, we ask that you document your response to the following questions:

  • Reflecting on the article titled, World watches Britains living wage experiment, do you believe that the minimum wage in the United States is higher or lower than the minimum wage in the United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia? Provide one or two reasons why you think the minimum wage is different between the United States and these other countries?
  • Have you or a friend or relative ever worked at a low-wage job? Regardless of whether you have personal experience — but drawing on it if you do — describe the difficulties of living on a low-wage job in terms of stress, family life, housing, and education.
  • In your _____ course, you are learning about the various components of a company’s income statement. If the minimum wage is raised, what do you think the impact of a higher minimum wage might be on a company’s income statement? Note: Consider the effects of the increased wage on the costs of providing goods and services, and the selling price charged to customers.
  • Based on your discussion above, do you think that the minimum wage should be increased or not?  Note: In your response, be sure to consider the pros and cons for both individuals and companies.