I live in California and I am affected by this minimum wage increase as an employee.
I was previously above the minimum wage, but with this change in effect I got a little raise.
I'll try not to be biased in this, as I have benefited from this increase.
Some small, "low-income" business may be harmed by this increase. They will now need to cut at their profits to adequately pay their employees, or they will need to raise their prices. That may in turn hurt their business.
On the other side, we have huge corporations. They may pay their employees minimum wage in an effort to maximize profit. I'm reminded of these two quotes:
I am in the business of making money, I leave the matter of morals to the priests and the philosophers.
At least Henry Ford payed his workers enough to where they could actually purchase the products they produced. If all the workers get underpaid for the good they produce, who will purchase those goods?
But that's in the past, about 90 years ago.
In 1914 the Ford Motor Company announced that it would henceforth pay eligible workers a minimum wage of $5 a day (compared to an average of $2.34 for the industry) and would reduce the work day from nine hours to eight, thereby converting the factory to a three-shift day. Overnight Ford became a worldwide celebrity. People either praised him as a great humanitarian or excoriated him as a mad socialist. Ford said humanitarianism had nothing to do with it. Previously profit had been based on paying wages as low as workers would take and pricing cars as high as the traffic would bear. Ford, on the other hand, stressed low pricing (the Model T cost $950 in 1908 and $290 in 1927) in order to capture the widest possible market and then met the price by volume and efficiency.
What we need, as curefiend stated, a minimum living wage. We need a wage upon which a person can raise their familiy and live off of. Our society as a whole would be much better for it.
The time of the stay at home mother and the single-job, single income family are coming to an end. With wages the way they are (and other costs, including healthcare and other necessary expenses) a single income can not raise a family and sustain them.
The real problem is the unbalanced distribution of wealth.
From one of my Political Science books:
If we made an income pyramid out of a child's blocks, with each laver portraying $1,000 of income, the peak would be far higher than the Eiffel Tower, but almost all of us would be within a yard of the ground.
That gave me a sobering perspective of reality. I was under the impression that everything was just dandy in the world. I never realized what a dire situation this world is in. I recommend the book, it has a lot of good information and a different perpective of our country.
The increase to $7.25 at the national level is a huge step forward. Previous to this increase, the minimum wage hadn't changed for about 10 years.
Also, this increase is not a done deal:
This legislation would raise the Federal Minimum Wage to $7.25/hour over 26 months, and was passed by the House (315 to 116) on January 10, 2007. To become law, the bill would also need to be passed by the Senate and signed by the President.
The Senate must still pass it and then it needs to be signed by the President. Of course a vote of 290 (in the House) will provide the required 2/3 vote to override the potential veto. The Senate would need a vote of 66-67 for that 2/3 vote.
Just wait and see. Let your representatives know how you feel on these issues. They're voting for us, remember. It's still our country even though it may not always seem like it.