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Most economists argue that the government should not raise the minimum wage because doing so hurts the very people that the minimum wage is supposed to help.
The minimum wage is supposed to help low-skill workers who are in danger of being impoverished. If the minimum wage rises, some of them will benefit because they will get more money. But, economists say, more of them will be harmed. This is because a higher minimum wage leads to fewer jobs.
The more employers have to pay their employees, the fewer employees they will hire. They will cut back on their employees so that they do not have to raise prices. They fear that higher prices will drive customers away. If an increase in the minimum wage leads employers to hire fewer workers, then people with few skills are harmed by an increase in the minimum wage.
To economists, then, an increase in the minimum wage means a decrease in the amount of work available to low-skill workers. Therefore, they argue the government should not raise the minimum wage.
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