When I first lived in my own in the 1960s, I earned the minimum wage. I had no trouble paying my rent, buying my food, riding the subways and buses, and laving plenty left over for entertainment, in one of the most expensive cities in the US. Times sure have changed since then. If a man or a woman, goes out and works full time, for them to be unable to live on what they earn is criminal. It’s time to raise the minimum wage.
We already know that the minimum wage doesn’t pay enough to get a two-bedroom apartment in the vast majority of the country. Yet conservatives continue to push the same old lie: that raising the minimum wage causes unemployment. Now, a group of Democratic Congress members are trying to raise the issue:
If today’s minimum wage workers earned the same as their counterparts in 1968, they would receive $10 per hour. That, unfortunately, is $2.75 more than the current federal minimum wage.This would be a serious problem at any time, but it’s particularly relevant now, as the awful economy has forced millions of workers into minimum-wage jobs. (And they’re the lucky ones).
To that end, Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. has introduced the “Catching Up To 1968 Act of 2012.” Within sixty days of being enacted, it would raise the federal minimum wage to $10 per hour, and beginning one year after that, would index it to the Consumer Price Index. For workers that rely on tips, the bill would mandate the cash wage to be 70 percent of the minimum wage and never less than $5.50 per hour.
“We’ve bailed out banks, we’ve bailed out corporations, we’ve bailed out Wall Street, we’ve tried to create sound fundamentals in the economy—now it’s time to bail out working people who work hard every day and they still only make $7.25,” Jackson said this morning at a news conference outside the US Capitol. “The only way to do that is to raise the minimum wage.”
… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>
This video explains the problem and options in detail. It’s quite dry, almost to the point of rolling your eyes back, but it will give you a far better understanding.
On the Republican lie that raising the minimum will increase unemployment, consider Oregon. Our unemployment rate is 7.9%, below the national average, Our minimum wage is $8.80, one of the nation’s highest. It Republican claims were true, our unemployment rate should be much higher.
Of course Republicans object not only to raising the minimum wage, but also to the existence of the EITC. Instead, they propose that minimum wage earners receive a tax increase.