From the Left: Minimum Wage

Donni Anderson

Donni Anderson

The fundamental tenet of the American Dream is the promise that in our country, when people are willing to work hard, they are able to afford a living for themselves and their families.

The present minimum wage of $5.15 per hour for a full-time worker yields an annual income of just $10,712 a year-far below what it takes for a single mother of two children to earn a living.

There is a common misconception that the minimum wage only affects suburban teenagers, but this is not so. According to the Economic Policy Institute, 80 percent of the people who will benefit from raising the minimum wage will be adults over the age of 20, over 1 million single parents with children under 18 and 3.9 million families with kids under 18.

Furthermore, despite seemingly strong economic growth, the median income has fallen during the last five years, in contrast to the average wage.

It is for these reasons the Democrat-led House approved H.R. 2, to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 during two years. The Senate passed the same bill, 93-4, with some modifications, illustrating what a fringe position opposition to minimum wage really is. Critics always worry that raising the minimum wage will hurt small businesses, but the Senate added $8.3 billion to small business tax relief, nullifying the ill effects.

Even without tax breaks, there is little correlation between minimum wage increase and job loss. A study by two MIT economists of the impact of minimum wage increases in several states saw no measurable negative impact on employment.

The minimum wage increase is not only responsible, but morally imperative.

#1.883409:1154436987.jpg:anderson, donni.jpg:Donni Anderson, From the Left: