me: The consLeisure is something that I feel is important in everyone’s lives today, although not everyone is accessible to certain types of leisure. I feel in some way leisure has an effect on everyone’s lives in America, from those in poverty to the Bill Gates of the world. For some people leisure might be going to the park to picnic or just play basketball, but to others it is taking an exotic trip to another country. Whatever form of leisure each individual enjoys or can afford this leisure is most likely having a positive effect on their lives and is almost a necessity to them.This is not just my opinion it is also said by Kelly(1990) that, “Some indications have been presented that leisure is increasingly important in the value schemes and schedule of modern western adults”(p.
11). Kelly states some of the benefits of leisure are:”Self expression, companionship, integration of mind and body or Physical health, a needed contrast or rhythm in the work constrained schedule, rest and relaxation, a chance to try something new and to meet new people, to build relationships to consolidate the family, to get in touch with nature, to test oneself in risk or competition, to meet the expectations of people who are important to them, andto just feel good without analyzing why”(p.12).
I agree with Kelly and feel that these are some of the main reasons as to why leisure is an eccentric part in each individuals lives and that each member that contributes to society in some positive way should have a chance to participate in some form of leisure. Yet this is where the individuals economic status comes into play. Not everyone is able to pursue desired leisure activities but many struggle to experience the “normal” types of leisure, such as watching television or listening to music. Many politicians argue that raising the minimum wage will help the lower class and give them greater opportunities in society, but I beg to differ. I believe that the minimum wage should not be raised because it is in actuality not helping the economically lower class but hurting them.The minimum wage was established in 1928 at a wage rate of 25 cents. The minimum wage is a price that is imposed by the federal government on the labor market. The central aim of establishing a minimum wage was to increase the standard of living among low skill wage earners.
Since its introduction the minimum wage has been raised sixteen times in an effort to try and keep up with inflation. In 1989, President Bush signed an increase in the minimum wage from $3.35 to $4.25. In 1995 President Clinton and his economic advisers decided the minimum wage should be raise to $4.75 by July 1995, and to $5.
15 by July 1996. (In formation provided by American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research 1996.) It is now being argued again by Clinton and his advisers that the minimum wage should be raised beyond its current level of $5.15. They claim they are looking out for today’s poor working men and women, however increasing the minimum wage is a misguided and wrongheaded policy that will do far more to hurt the poor then help them.First of all when you look at American families there are a few different aspects to examine when looking at their wages. As stated by the National Center for Political Analysis (June 9, 1998), first of all about ten percent of families have less than $10,000 income and about thirty two percent of families have incomes of $50,000 or more, but surprisingly only fifteen percent of low wage workers are in the lowest income families.
This means that most of the low wageworkers or those making minimum wage are either teenagers or secondary earners for the family. Usually teenagers are not the ones supporting the family for leisure, rather the parents. So this is not going to benefit the low-income families. Yet why do low-income families have low incomes? Usually it is not because of the low wages people are being paid but rather no wages at all. Many of these people do not have the skill required to get a decent paying job. In fact many people do not have their high school diploma.This leads me in to one of the main reasons as to why I am in opposition of increasing the minimum wage.
As the minimum wage increases it has been concluded by a long line of research that this action reduces employment. As I said earlier many people do not have jobs because they do not have the skills, this is going to make it even more difficult for low-income people to get a job. The employer is going to hire a fewer number of people because they must pay the people they hire a larger salary. This goes back to the law of supply and demand because just as a worker will only offer his labor time for a wage he finds beneficial, so an employer will only be willing to pay a certain number of workers that permits themselves to make a profit. If the low-income families do not have a job I believe it is going to be extremely difficult to participate in many forms of leisure. It would be next to impossible for families to go on a vacation without a job because welfare only meets the bare necessities. I am not saying you have to travel or spend money to experience leisure, but it sure does help.
There are many forms of leisure you can engage in without spending money such as sex, reading, yard work and so on. Yet as said in Kelly(1990), most of the forms of leisure represented in public are those who contribute the most to the economy. So things such as the upkeep of public basketball courts or keeping a pond nice and clean so people can fish (those activities that do not require much money), are probably going to be ignored by the public and these are some forms of leisure that low income families can participate in.As if not being employed is not enough of a burden. As the NationalCenter of Political Analysis states, the minimum wage increases the cost of goods and services produced with low wage labor-goods that are disproportionally purchased by low-income families. So if obviously “goods” such as food or normal living supplies are going to be raised then the low-income people are going to struggle just to buy these goods and pay their bills. The issue once again goes back to money and that without money certain types of leisure are almost unattainable by the lower income population.
(e.g. traveling vacations, pro sports events, going to the movies, etc.)As I stated earlier I feel every individual who contributes to society in a positive way should experience some form of leisure. Basically anyone who can keep a job whether it be from McDonalds to the president of a large law firm needs leisure. It has been proved that there are many positive effects of leisure, such as it relieves stress and has a positive effect on peoples health, just to name a few. So inevitably people need leisure but many times it is accessible through money. With an increase in the minimum wage not only are the economically lower or working class going to struggle to find a job but as well keep a job and this is going to digger a deeper hole for the low income class to experience leisure.
Secondly if there is an increase in “goods” such as food or personal hygiene products, how are they going to manage to purchase these materials as well as purchase leisure? So the two main factors that are going to kill the working class of our society if the minimum wage is increased is one there will be a severe reduction in employment because the employer has to make a profit. It will also be even harder to keep a job because only the most skilled will be kept because it once again goes back to supply and demand and the employer can’t afford to pay so many workers at a higher minimum wage that he can not make a profit. The second being that the prices of normal goods will increase, such as gas, groceries and normal living supplies and most families have a set amount of money to spend on these supplies that if their price increases that will cut back on the money spent on leisure. Inevitably if there is a raise in the minimum wage it is only going to hurt the economic status of the lower and working class and these are the individuals or families who are struggling to obtain some forms of leisure.