Minimum Wage Causing Businesses to Raise Prices
Petaluma workers had their wages raised in 2020: the city council changed the minimum wage of small businesses to be $14 per hour and that of large businesses be $15 per hour. In comparison, businesses in 2019 with 25 employees or less held minimum wage at $11 per hour, while larger operations with 26 or more employees were paid $12 per hour. Though this change is what most local people have been fighting for, every benefit has its downfalls.
Dakota McMichael, Casa Grande High School freshman, works at The Sweet Zone in downtown Petaluma. Since The Sweet Zone is categorized as a small business, McMichael received the hourly pay raise to $14. He has noticed that many prices in this local store have been raised. McMichael does not agree with minimum wage being higher — he feels that this increase in salary does not help people out of poverty because it forces small companies to raise prices just to stay in business. According to McMichael, “this makes the raise almost obsolete as people are spending the extra money they get from the raise on products that have a higher price.” If corporations have to raise their prices to stay in business, it can be harder for people to afford their typical products.
On the other hand, Andrew Aja, an economics teacher at Petaluma High School, stated, “We do live in an area that has a higher cost of living and it would be beneficial to have minimum wage raised.” Aja pointed out that housing and other costs are higher in Petaluma, so the raise benefited many locals who want to live where they work.
Raising minimum wage can benefit a lot of people. Living is becoming more expensive and a higher salary will certainly help. Throughout time the fight for higher pay will continue and hopefully be settled.