Increase Minimum Wage


Published in Cape May County Herald.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have raised the state’s minimum wage from $8.38 to $15 an hour following New Jersey State Senate’s approval which would have implemented a gradual increase.

It's the second time Christie rejected a minimum wage hike. He stated that increasing wages would make businesses in New Jersey unaffordable.

According to media reports, when announcing his veto Christie stated, "All of this sounds great, raising the minimum wage, when you're spending someone else's money."

In my opinion, it is very important to raise the minimum wage for many single mothers and people who are having a hard time living with a minimum paycheck. Most men and women who are holding low-paying jobs in New Jersey are dependent on government support like food stamps, partial unemployment, etc., because they can't afford it even if they work two jobs with minimum wage pay. Even when people work more than 40 hours in a week, they are still unable to support their family and this is a sad reality we are facing right now.

After Labor Day, there are very few full-time jobs in areas of Cape May County. Many people who work in retail stores, restaurants and hotels start working fewer hours. Many people are unable to get jobs in the winter season because they can't find the full-time jobs they want and need. Raising the minimum wage is the best way to increase the living standard and people will have to be less dependent upon the government.

Increasing the wages doesn't necessarily mean low profits for companies. Looking at the wages provided to the employees at Costco Wholesale Corporation (one of the largest retailers in the world) proves it. Costco pays more than other retail companies in the U.S. By doing this, employees are more than satisfied. Hence, Costco can be an example; if you pay more than the minimum to your employees you get the best people to work for you which results in an increase in business and economy.

I don’t think raising wages will result in short-term success, as the government assistance system needs to be reformed, but in the long run, raising the minimum wage is the best way to stimulate our economy in New Jersey.