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Should the United States Have a $15 Minimum Wage?

37.5% yes
62.5% no

For many years, advocates have been pressing to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. Their efforts have renewed once again as Congress is considering whether or not to include this measure in an upcoming COVID-19 stimulus package. The debate on this issue highlights the different approaches that Americans have regarding the relationship between the government and the economy.

Those who support a $15 minimum wage argue that the current minimum wage of $7.25 is not enough to sustain an individual. They contend that the federal minimum wage has not been raised in a decade, despite cost of living increasing. Raising the minimum wage, they argue, would immediately pull millions of people out of poverty. Additionally, they claim that a raise would help offset income inequality in our country, which they believe the government has an obligation to work towards ending.

Those who oppose a $15 minimum wage argue that this measure would actually hurt low-level earners. They argue that if the minimum wage is raised, companies will need to lay off workers or find ways to automate services so that they don’t need to hire workers. They point to self-checkouts at grocery stores and self-ordering kiosks at fast food restaurants as examples of what happens when the minimum wage goes up. Additionally, they claim that while increasing the minimum wage would raise the pay of workers, it would ultimately be a trade-off because the cost of goods and services would also raise as businesses need to raise prices to maintain a profit. This side tends to believe that the government should have a minimal involvement in the economy.

So, what do you think? Should the United States have a $15 minimum wage? Students can answer Yes, it should; No, it should not; or a nuanced answer in-between!

Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:      

  • Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner     
  • Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers      
  • Are expressed in cohesive sentences and are free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors      
  • They address counterarguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner      
  • They organize their answer in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly   


For this question, BRI will be giving away two $25 gift cards, one to each person providing the best defense of each side of the debate. Both students will also win BRI swag. Each student winner will also be entered for a chance to win a grand prize of a $1,000 cash scholarship. Additionally, the referring teachers for both students will each win a $25 gift card and BRI swag.

Be sure to submit your answers in time to be considered for our prizes!

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