In Missouri and many other states, the governments have been attempting to help the local economies in the wake of the overall recession in the United States. Multiple steps are often taken to do this. Some of these steps include reducing the amount of income tax that people have to pay, reducing aid to those who are jobless for an extended period of time and keeping minimum wage low.

The hope is that this will make it possible for businesses to thrive and grow, which is good for the economy. However, some people have pointed out that there may be a big problem with these wage laws and regulations.

Namely, a lot of the breaks are only going to help those who are already wealthy, and they may harm people who are on the opposite end of the spectrum, who are struggling to make ends meet.

Some statistics seem to support this. For example, from 2009 — when the crash happened — to 2012, the changes in income for the wealthy and the middle or lower classes were much different. When looking at the highest 1 percent, the increase in income was an incredible 31 percent. For everyone else, though, the increase in income was a much smaller 0.4 percent.

While many factors contribute to things like this, it is very interesting to see how wage laws impact different parts of the population differently. Employees should know what rights they are granted under these employment laws, and they should keep a close eye on them if changes are made to help the majority.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “How state governments, including Missouri’s, expand wealth gap” David A. Lieb, Associated Press, Jun. 06, 2014