It is absolutely time to raise the minimum wage. Government has been subsidizing workers who make low wages and thus subsidizing large corporations and preventing them from having to pay additional wages. If government were not providing necessary tax credits for people on the low income scales (as conservatives would like to yank away) … people literally wouldn’t be able to eat or feed their kids. It’s already unbearable to live on minimum wage in the present day … but taking away government assistance for WORKING FAMILIES who are not looking for welfare just a fair wage would be devastating.
And most of these low wage workers are employed by huge corporations that are making billions and billions in profits which funnel up to wealthy shareholders and the C-suite office. It’s really despicable. This is what income inequality looks like. And it degrades and destroys families. Parents have less time with their children … their children do not have the healthy childhood that they should and thus it can be a downward spiral. This isn’t always the case of course but in the aggregate – kids are much less likely to be successful if they come from poor households. That’s just a fact (source). So – now … I’m saying like many progressives that it is time for a living wage … one that rises with inflation or one that rises with Congress’s pay increases. If left to the free market – people will be working for serf wages in perpetuity.
MSNBC writes HERE:
A group of prominent liberal-leaning economists including Joseph Stiglitz, Jeffrey Sachs, Laura Tyson, and Robert Reich sent a letter Monday to congressional leaders urging them to raise the minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 per hour to $9.80 by 2014. “At a time when persistent high unemployment is putting enormous downward pressure on wages, such a minimum wage increase would provide a much-needed boost to the earnings of low-wage workers,” the group wrote.
Stiglitz is a former chief economist for the World Bank, Sachs runs Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Tyson served as President Clinton’s top economic adviser, and Reich served as Clinton’s Labor Secretary.
Ralph Nader writes an op-ed at Reuters where he blames Obama … but he points this out HERE:
Studies show that the minimum wage could help jump-start the economy and increase consumer spending. A 2011 study by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank found that for every dollar increase to the hourly pay of a minimum wage worker, the result is $2,800 in new consumer spending from that worker’s household over the year. And a 2009 study from the Economic Policy Institute estimated that simply by raising the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour, $60 billion in additional spending would be added to the economy over a two-year period.
Opponents of raising the minimum wage claim that it would increase unemployment. In fact, most studies not funded by front groups show that raising the minimum wage has no or little impact on unemployment. Also, small business has already received 17 tax breaks during the Obama presidency.
The National Employment Law Project put together a report detailing where these low wages are coming from HERE:
The central finding of this report is that the majority of America’s lowest‐paid workers are employed by large corporations, not small businesses, and that most of the largest low‐wage employers have recovered from the recession and are in a strong financial position.
- The majority (66 percent) of low‐wage workers are not employed by small businesses, but rather by large corporations with over 100 employees;
- The 50 largest employers of low‐wage workers have largely recovered from the recession and most are in strong financial positions: 92 percent were profitable last year; 78 percent have been profitable for the last three years; 75 percent have higher revenues now than before the recession; 73 percent have higher cash holdings; and 63 percent have higher operating margins (a measure of profitability).
- Top executive compensation averaged $9.4 million last year at these firms, and they have returned $174.8 billion to shareholders in dividends or share buybacks over the past five years.
They also share this chart below which details the top five low wage industries; these five industries accounted for 52% of all low wage jobs in 2011:
Think Progress points out the following from the study HERE:
In 2011, more than one in four private sector jobs (26 percent) were low‐wage positions paying less than $10 per hour. These jobs, moreover, were concentrated in industries where low‐wage workers make up a substantial share – in some cases more than half – of the entire workforce.
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