The Murky World Of The Minimum Wage

The current job market has caused the oppression of teenagers in the workforce. While it is claimed worker’s rights are protected, employees take advantage of the desperation of many in order to make more profit. 
The obvious issue of contention is wages. For a long time, I have seen the minimum wage as a great law which protects those work from being paid at extremely low rates. However, recently I have realised that there are many problems with it. Firstly, it certainly is not enough for the average person living in London and perhaps the entire UK. The label ‘minimum wage’ sits at the forefront of employees’ minds when anything goes wrong in their job as well as not encouraging them to work harder.
Secondly, some employers feel that they can pay minimum wage regardless of the nature of the job. This is exploitative, it means a tutor will get paid the same as a cleaner, an admin assistant the same as a librarian, why? Because employers know the vulnerability of these people and that they have no better option. Many of these people are students and so many of them want to make any amount of money which is why minimum wage is offered, even if the job is far more demanding than another. Companies justify this by saying they are following the law and so employees should not complain. Rubbish.
 Furthermore, I have noticed an arrogance amongst companies offering jobs to students. They offer non-paid ‘internships’ which would normally be okay if the company was not merely a cafe, or the job was not only a secretarial position. What kind of internship is that? It is my understanding that an internship should pay and allow the intern to progress in the company upon completing their course. It is the same with work experience as when a company advertises for a work experience position, it is often just trying to get free labour. This preys on the people who are led to believe that the company is doing them a favour which drags the whole market down.
If there was no minimum wage, what would happen? The fear is that companies would try to pay even less but I think that there is a chance that workers would demand more as their employers would not be able to justify their low wage through the minimum threshold. This fear, is what prevents the abolition of the minimum wage and so perhaps the only realistic thing to do would be to push the minimum wage even higher and to reduce complaints, there could be a separate one for those living in big cities like London. Of course, that would be hugely political move. 
But something needs to be done. 


24 thoughts on “The Murky World Of The Minimum Wage

  1. Some companies in the U.S. offer scholarships for their minimum wage earners to help them move through college. Perhaps these companies like McDonald’s and Chick-Filet are in the UK?


  2. Minimum wage is a contentious topic in the U.S. and it sucks that unemployment for teenagers and young adults is very high. With that said, there are some problems with minimum wage.

    First, minimum wage only affects people already working and not those were unemployed. Second, there always unintended consequences when it comes to minimum wage. Usually, the result is fewer workers are employed and it also increases the prices of goods and services. Third, what is the considered the right amount of minimum wage or living wage? Companies only succeed as long as they have profit to pay their workers and offer goods and services. If a business cannot survive and everyone is out of work it sucks for everybody. Fourth, it’s not exploitation if an employee and employer sign a contact and gets paid or not. If that’s the case, why do people quit and look for other jobs?

    Unfortunately, the older generation is screwing the younger generation and what worked then doesn’t work now. So what can I offer? Take whatever job possible, learn some new skills, work under the table, take advantage of whatever tax break possible, start a business and screw the bureaucrats (just don’t screw your customers).

    I know a lot of young adults have a tough time out there. But you have this great potential and you can do great things. Just do what you can.


    • Yup it certainly is a controversial topic with many calling for its complete abolishment.
      True, there are always problems when jt comes to setting the minimum wage and especially the unexplainable differences in wages simply due to age.

      It really is difficult, thank you 🙂


  3. Minimum wage has given rise to the popularity of sites like fiverr where individuals decide for themselves what they’re willing to do and for how much. Where $5 would be below minimum wage and yet people are willing to pay other people to do small tasks for small amounts which can add up to larger amounts.

    And voila the private sector has circumvented minimum wage.


      • Not money offered. Income set. The seller decides for themselves what they’re willing to do and for how much. Usually it’s something small with add ons.

        Minimum wage prevents businesses from paying for these small tasks that end up getting rolled into someone else’s job, often times resulting in disgruntled workers doing menial shit and not focusing on real work which destroys productivity.

        Or everything gets moved off shore and no one has a job anymore. You simply can’t mess with the market. It just won’t work.


  4. Companies in Pakistan are inclined to follow the rules, regulations and policies of companies in UK, USA and other Western developed nations. However the unfortunate trends you have mentioned make life in this region even more difficult and impossible as here we live without any social security benefits and most of us don’t even have any benefits after retirement. Young people here keep on doing internships up to two years after completing education, and that too without pay.


  5. I completely agree! Minimum wage isn’t enough to live on in the UK, and you’re incredibly lucky if you even find a job!

    Personally, I have 11 GCSE’s, A* – B with one C, I got a D*D*D* (A*A*A*) at A levels in college and I’ve been part of every team, club, society and charity event that came at me during my time in education. I’m now 19 and have my first job. But not because I was qualified – because a friend knew the guy offering the job and told him about me.

    Thankfully I get paid more than minimum wage, but my work is temporary. I draw the floor plans for an estate agents’ records at £8 a drawing, and I can get through around 10/11 a day, which is good. But work’s not sent to me every day, and there are actually a limited amount of drawings, so who knows how long my job will last.

    Keep an eye out and keep applying. And, ironically, some of the worse jobs usually offer more than minimum wage, at least in my experience, i.e. cleaning/carers/that sort of job


    • You are right! I was considering becoming a babysitter since they earn more than me as a tutor at the tuition centre I work at.

      Congrats on your results by the way! Wishing you best of luck in the journey onwards 🙂


  6. if people are willing to work at that price, that is the price that they will be paid at. economic growth is the best way to raise wages, which generally is helped by not having price controls in place.
    You may feel exploited being paid the minimum wage, but the truth is that the minimum wage in englad is probably triple that of the US let alone the developing world. If you aren’t willing to do a job for that price, start your own business and see what profit you can command doing that.
    recently the minimum wage was raised to 15$ in a small town in the USs. the economyplummetted and people in the service industry including waiters and waitresses struggled to get by since they were better off making like 2 dollars per hour and tips instead.
    Learn a little bit about economics- it’s free thanks to the internet, which wouldn’t exist without the investment of billionairs and plenty of people willing to invest their own cash to make a profit- and you’ll have a bit less to worry about.


    • I think raising the minimum wage drastically is not a good idea but it should be raised a little more although yes the ideal thing would be for there to be no control and people would get paid fairly but would that happen? Those seeking to make profit may continue to exploit workers.
      Often the case is that people are not willing to work for a low wage but are forced to since it’s that or nothing. You can’t say then that it’s okay.

      In terms of wages across the world, there are differences but then again, money means different things in each country. The cost of living varies and that affects wages too.

      Hopefully this recent economic growth can grow into something more significant.


      • If it’s a low wage or nothing, they are chosing something over nothing. still a fair deal between individuals.
        the ideal case is for economic growth to cause a higher demand for labor, causing employers to be more willing to pay a higher wage and workers to have more negotiating power. if you want negotiating power, have a skill taht is highly valued in the market place.


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