There are people in the United States that work 40 hours a week and still live in poverty. If a person works in a fast food restaurant or is hired at the current minimum wage they barely have enough money to pay for their monthly essentials. The government has kept the minimum wage low because the consensus was low wages give companies an advantage over imports. But economists like economic professor Christian Broda according to oxfordjournals say that’s the old way of thinking. American products and services don’t have to the cheapest on the world market. Apple and Microsoft have shown the fallacy of that theory, according to Professor Broda, the managing director of Duquesne Capital Management in New York City.

Congress is still fighting over a minimum wage increase, but some of the states are not. New York recently passed a law that will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next three to six years. Seattle, Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley and Los Angeles already have laws in place to raise the minimum to $15 an hour. Some business owners claim the increase will put them out of business, but businesses in Seattle say the opposite. The wage increase has helped their business and Broda and other economists agree.

Raising the minimum raise to $15 an hour is a sound economic move for the United States. Workers will be able to spend more and businesses will adjust their prices in order to maintain a certain profit margin. Consumers are behind the increase because new studies show they want workers to live above the poverty line in one of the richest countries in the world.

Some consumers feel the U.S government is taking advantage and is restricting these workers standard of living intentionally to produce more profits for giant corporations. In a sense that is a human rights violation, but the tale the government tells is one of competitiveness and economic health. Nothing is further from the truth, according to some economists.

Republicans and some Democrats in Congress say raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour will create job losses and will hurt businesses like small franchise owners that operate on low profit margins. The battle in Congress will keep a national law in check for years unless there is a grass-roots push to get the law passed by the sitting Congress. But while Congress is fighting over something that can help rather than hurt the economy, some governors are taking action and raising the minimum wage in their states.

A national minimum wage increase is necessary if America wants to be an advocate for human rights. The country must demonstrate the fact that all citizens have equal rights, and a chance to make a living that is above the poverty line. Other countries do it and their economies are healthy. There is no reason other than political tomfoolery that the United States Congress shouldn’t be on board with a $15 an hour minimum wage, spread over a three to six year period, according to economists.