Top Pro & Con Arguments

Pro

Raising the minimum wage would lead to a healthier population and prevent premature deaths.

A 2014 Human Impact Partners study by Rajiv Bhatia, MD, found that raising the Californian minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2017 would “significantly benefit health and well-being.” [38] The study found that those earning a higher minimum wage would have enough to eat, be more likely to exercise, less likely to smoke, suffer from fewer emotional and psychological problems, and even prevent 389 premature deaths a year. [38] A 2014 study by the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) found that minimum wage workers are more likely to report poor health, suffer from chronic diseases, and be unable to afford balanced meals. [39] The study concluded that “policies that reduce poverty and raise the wages of low-income people can be expected to significantly improve overall health and reduce health inequities.” [39] Edward Ehlinger, MD, State Health Commissioner for Minnesota, stated that raising the Minnesotan minimum wage from $6.15 an hour to $9.50 by mid-2016 was probably “the biggest public health achievement… in the four years I’ve been health commissioner… If you look at the conditions that impact health, income is right at the top of the list… Anything we can do to help enhance economic stability will have a huge public health benefit. This is a major public health issue.” [40]

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