UNITED STATES—This discussion has been had before and it’s back at the forefront yet again. Should the federal minimum wage which currently sits at $7.25 per hour be raised? If you want me to honest, the answer is yes. The minimum wage should be raised, now should it spike to $15 per hour like some people are demanding? No, that is a steep hike if you ask me and it will indeed take a toll on small business owners. Now, with that being said, we do need to see wages increase.

I have no idea in what country someone thinks that you can support yourself, let alone a family of four on $7.25 per hour. Look, I’m not about to do the whole math thing that I have done time and time again in the past. You’re bringing home less than $10k after taxes or less in a given year. For those saying it’s all about capitalism and we should not dictate how much money an employer says a worker should make, think about the worker.

A lot of people fail to realize the psychology behind work, or as some people call it organizational psychology. This is an interesting understudy I examined as a psychology major in college. It looks at the dynamics of individuals within the operations of a company. You might think it’s all about employees interacting in the workplace; and that’s true, but there is much more going on. An employee feeling like he or she belongs or is valued has a major impact on their productivity.

When you feel valued you return that value to the place of employment. When you feel you’ve earned a decent living wage, it makes you want to work harder to increase efficiency for the company. If you feel underappreciated and you’re not making a decent wage, that is a double whammy. Coming to work is like a bad chore, you find a way to get it over with as soon as you can and then you move on to the next thing. Your goal is to not even think about work, while you’re actually at work.

I see this all the time, where you have people ‘claiming’ to work, when in actuality they are just aiming to get that paycheck. Think about the cost of gas, the price of groceries, the cost to rent or paying a mortgage on a house. Now, factor in the federal minimum wage and ask yourself if you can survive on the basic essentials in life without anything extra. It’s impossible to make it without a little help, and that is where some members of Congress and others don’t get it.

I think if we seriously don’t think the minimum wage should be increased, then we should consider living on the federal minimum wage for a month and see how well we adapt to paying our bills and surviving without help? I know I’m going to get the argument: well it’s going to impact small businesses? Not if the increase is gradual; it does not need to be something massive overnight, but it should be a raise to help workers have extra cushion in their savings or checking accounts.

By raising the minimum wage it makes the market competitive in the job arena. People are looking for work that pays a decent wage, and if they can’t find it, I know people who refuse to work or go out on unemployment until they can find something better. No one wants to slave at a job and get a paycheck that just feels like pennies on a dime.

Look, don’t come at me about you go to school and earn a higher wage. That is a load of crap because I know so many people with college degrees and still not earning a decent paying wage. So if going to college is supposed to increase your paycheck, but it’s not happening, why go to college America? Isn’t that what we’re told most of our lives? Go to college, study, get good grades and in the end it will pay off big time, but for so many Americans that is not happening.

Written By Zoe Mitchell