American Politician and Senior U.S. Senator



Lamar Alexander was born in Marysville, Tennessee and eventually graduated from Vanderbilt University. After graduating he worked as a legislative assistant to Senator Howard Baker and later an assistant of the Nixon Administration in the 1960's. In 1978 he defeated Democrat Jake Butcher and became the 45th Governor of Tennessee for the next eight years. In 1996 and 2000, he ran for the Republican presidential nomination but was unsuccessful. Later in 2002 he defeated Democratic Congressman Bob Clement to become U.S. Senator and won reelection in 2008. He also will be running for reelection in 2014.

Pros of Minimum Wage

  • Provides Incentive: Minimum wage offers an incentive for unskilled and unemployed workers to find employment. A minimum wage ensures low-skilled workers that they will be paid a guaranteed minimum and encourages them to find work and provide for themselves.
  • Offers Job Security: During a weak economy, workers with minimum wage jobs benefit because they tend to be at the lower end of the pay scale. Part-time workers making minimum wage could be given full-time opportunity to help save an employer the cost of hiring and training new employees.

Cons of Minimum Wage

  • Slows Job Growth: Minimum wage law can discourage employers from hiring new employees. The guaranteed minimum wage can represent an expense that a small business may not be able to afford. If that is the case, small businesses will attempt to get more production from existing staff rather than paying minimum wage to new employees.
  • Applied Inconsistently: Each state has its own laws for minimum wage. The laws can vary greatly, making minimum wage an opportunity for some and a lost opportunity for others. Inconsistent minimum wage laws around the country can keep some workers living below poverty, while others are able to provide for themselves.

Lamar Alexander on Minimum Wage

Senator Lamar Alexander would like to get rid of the minimum wage and replace it with higher tax credits for the poor. On June 24th, 2013 at a hearing in Washington to raise minimum wage, Alexander veered off topic and suggested that minimum wage be abolished. At first glance his idea seemed absurd and unrealistic but recently it has caught a spark and people are considering his thought. His argument comes down to a economic and philosophical point: if the federal government wants people to have a basic standard of living, it ought to pay for it outright, rather than requiring employers to do so.