The Gettysburg Journal for Public Policy


This policy brief examines the minimum wage in North Carolina, its effect, and ways to increase the wage for the betterment of citizens. The minimum wage at its current level of $7.25 is not enough money for citizens to pay for all of their basic needs such as clothing, rent, food, and healthcare. Additionally, with increased inflation in almost all aspects of life, this minimum wage has not increased since 2008 making it even more difficult for individuals to survive. While a wage increase to $15 seems to be the most talked about in the media it can be costly for the deficit and risks layoffs which in the long run is not beneficial for citizens. While increasing the minimum wage to $15 is one of the options and possibly some states’ final goal, another option that makes sure citizens are not caught in their current situation of no wage increase in fourteen years, would be increasing the minimum wage to $12. One last solution is to pass a state-by-state regulated wage increase based on inflation during the year. Currently, 13 states have legislation in place to deal with inflation and the minimum wage, showing that this type of legislation can work and be beneficial for citizens while making sure companies can pay the stated wage. Therefore, my final solution is to increase the wage to $12 paired with a year-to-year wage increase based on inflation.