Debate Over Minimum Wage Splits Business Community
At Dempsey's restaurant in Columbus, the employees have something on their minds.
Manager Heather Ross says between student loans and health and car insurance, the federal minimum wage just doesn't cut it.
"Working for the minimum wage barely covers the minimum," said Ross. "Raising the minimum wage will create a less turnover rate as far as employees go."
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Ohio's minimum wage is already above that at $7.85 an hour.
A proposal by Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown would raise the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour.
"When you increase the minimum wage, it increases the economy over $30 billion dollars," said Brown.
But the National Federation of Independent Business strongly disagrees.
Roger Geiger from the National Federation of Independent Businesses in central Ohio says studies prove that when the minimum wage goes up, the economy goes down.
"You raise the cost of labor and guess what happens? People don't hire. It's as simple as that," said Geiger. "If you raise the price of anything, consumers buy less of it."
But Heather doesn't see it that way.
"At the end of the day, I definitely think it will help society as a whole," she said.
Two central Ohio representatives have opposite views as well.
Republican Congressman Steve Stivers says increasing the minimum wage isn’t necessary.
"I generally believe market forces set wages really well," said Stivers.
Democratic congresswoman Joyce Beatty has a differing view.
"If you're going to spur the economy, if people have money, they obviously spend it," said Beatty.
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