Minimum wage may see changes

Zoë Woods

Iowa has maintained the same minimum wage since it was last reset in 2009. Failed efforts to raise it has kept it at $7.25 an hour, but that may change.

In the 2012 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama made a proposal of increasing the minimum wage to $9 an hour.

Peter Orazem, ISU university professor of economics, describes how this could be harmful to our economy.

Orazem said that if a minimum wage escalation were to occur, businesses may decide to “cut back on hours or lay off employees in order to accommodate the increase.”

On the other hand, Orazem also said that jobholders on the “lower end of the economic chain” would benefit from the increase. These include minorities, young citizens and the inexperienced.

In Ames, small business like those on Welch Avenue could be greatly affected by this change. Other businesses, like North Grand Mall, would also fall into the mix.

The Department of Residence, however, believes business would go on as usual.

Cameron Aisenbrey, a communications specialist for the Department of Residence, said that their business would only be affected if the change were “dramatic enough to start affecting budget.”

He described that if the increase in minimum wage were to disturb their current budget they would need to “offset some of those costs on our end,” as well as “look into reorganizing our priorities to avoid reducing our staff.”

One ISU student’s feeling of a minimum wage increase was excitement. Garrett Bates, freshman in biology, said the extra money he would make would be very useful to him.

Bates said that other ISU students might respond to the change in minimum wage in a positive way and more people would apply for more jobs. He believed that it would be an all around good idea for the city of Ames.

Steffen Schmidt, university professor of political science, explained that the federal government put in place a set minimum wage to avoid the exploitation of workers.

The plan was to help avoid the problem of someone getting paid less than a current employee in order to get hired.

Schmidt also said that because of the Republican-run House of Representatives and the Democratic-run Senate, the proposed alterations to the minimum wage will not change anytime soon.