Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Minimum Wage Debate

Back when McDonald's employees began demonstrating -- not recently, but some time back -- a very articulate lady at one site said that in order to support her family she needs fifteen dollars per hour.  Some months later, Robert Reich answered a question posed by a reporter with the response that if minimum wage had kept up with inflation, the current minimum would be fifteen dollars per hour.  Whoa, hold it, I thought.  That's exactly the figure that woman said she needed to meet her family needs.

It is said that one of the reasons Republicans in Congress are reluctant to raise the minimum at all is because it will cost jobs just when we need to be adding jobs.  They follow up that the increase in prices caused by having to pay higher wages will cause people to eat out less or buy less items.

This attitude is somewhat sophomoric to say the least.  Why?  Because the more money families make, the more money they spend and the more employees companies have to hire.

Not only that, but the argument that only two percent of the population works this low level job, is faulty because all wages paid by any employer use the minimum wage as the base wage.  Thus, all higher level wages depend on how high the minimum is.  Once again, the more people earn, the more they have to spend and the more employees are needed.

The minimum wage which affects high level wages also affects Social Security.  The more wage earners earn, the more Social Security taxes are paid and the safer Social Security becomes. 

Then there is the fact that if wages are kept this low, more people have to work two to three jobs to make ends meet.  That simply increases the shortage of jobs. 

Thank you, Mr. President, for asking for $10.10 per hour, which I concede it will be hard to get out of this big business loving Congress.  But, as I have stated in an earlier article in my Trickle Down Politics blog, even when the tight fists are loosened, the increases are always several years late and several dollars per hour short.

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