7 Bipartisan Reasons to Raise the Minimum Wage

The minimum wage debate is back. Since last year, historically unorganized workers at fast food and big-box retailers across the country have been demanding a higher minimum wage and better working conditions. They are gaining popular support as they become more visible, rallying in big cities and during attention-getting events such as Black Friday.

President Obama, liberals in Congress, and liberals seeking office are making the federal minimum wage a central plank in the effort to combat runaway inequality—now at levels unseen since the 1920s—and push back poverty. Obama has called for increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10, with a built-in cost-of-living adjustment tied to inflation. He later announced an executive order requiring federal contractors to observe the $10.10 minimum. And activists at the state and local levels have gone further. California may vote this year on raising its minimum wage to $12.

Increases enjoy wide public support. Recent polls find 76 percent of Americans support a $9 minimum wage. Republicans are split, with 50 percent backing an increase.

There are at least seven reasons voters, if not politicians, in both parties favor a higher minimum wage. They involve concerns about inequality and poverty, about responses to poor wage growth, and about the status of work as well as community. These reasons sometimes conflict, but overall they explain why the minimum wage will continue to play an important role in politics and policy.

Read more at the Boston Review

Author: konigludwig

progressive social democrat, internationalist, conservationist

One thought on “7 Bipartisan Reasons to Raise the Minimum Wage”

  1. It would be great if congress would act on this, but I don’t think the GOP will. It wouldn’t be the first issue that the public overwhelmingly supported, that the GOP controlled house wouldn’t pass.

    It’s a good time to have this debate though. Maybe it will affect the 2014 elections.

    Here in Indiana, Mike Pence is trying to give big business a tax cut at the expense of property tax increases on citizens.

    There trying to outlaw gay marriage, refused to expand medicaid, and I doubt if they would even entertain the prospect of raising the minmium wage.

    Just a few years ago, these property taxes were capped when Mitch Daniels was Governor.

    Luckily, there’s a lot of pushback, even from some Republicans, but just the thought of giving big business another tax break, at the expense of the working middle class is horrible.

    All the states that are “right to work” states are probably not going to raise the minimum wage on their own.

    Most of these Republicans make no pretense about who they are working for, and it’s not the average Joe.


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