In last night’s State of the Union Address, President Obama called for the Federal Minimum Wage to be increased to $9.00 an hour.
Think about what the minimum wage is. They should call it the, “Well, it’s better than nothing” wage or the “Hey, we could be making iPhones in China” wage, because hey – at least you aren’t making $1.31 an hour in a sweatshop in Bangladesh, right? MURIKA!
Obama’s proposal would raise the minimum wage by 2015 in several stages. After that, there would be an annual increase in the minimum wage pegged to inflation. It comes as part of a package of initiatives White House officials are hoping will appeal to middle-class and low-income workers, many of whom have seen wages remain relatively flat—or even fall—in the past decade.
Currently, a full time minimum wage worker makes around $15,000 a year. The poverty level for a single mother with one child is $15,130. We have the largest income inequality in the history of our nation.
On a sidenote – EXCELLENT job on the Latino outreach by opposing this, Republicans. Nothing says you care about the working class minorities like trying to keep their wages stagnant and below the poverty line. Sen. Marco Rubio, TIME Magazine’s “Savior of the Republican Party,” claims that raising the minimum wage has never worked to build a strong middle class.
I guess technically he’s correct, since a minimum wage earner would hardly be classified as middle class by modern standards. Thirsty for new ideas, Senator? How long do you think it would take Congress to raise the minimum wage if it determined their own pay?
Employers can’t afford to pay their workers more? Wal-Mart generates about 450 billion dollars per year, including around 16 billion that is pure profit. Wal-Mart’s poverty wages force employees to rely on $2.66 billion in government help every year, or about $420,000 per store. In state after state, Wal-Mart employees are the top recipients of Medicaid. As many as 80 percent of workers in Wal-Mart stores use food stamps. Hear that? Every time you pass a Wal-Mart store, remember that it’s costing you, the taxpayer about a half a million dollars to provide THEIR employees with basic support for things like food and medical care because their employees cannot afford them on their full-time salaries.
The question then becomes clear: Who is responsible for making sure that households working full time are not living in poverty? Should it be you and I footing the bill through social programs that are needed to supplement millions of working class households who are fighting every day just to eat? Or, are employers responsible for providing workers with a salary that allows them to be financially independent? Republicans are STRONGLY against the “takers” in society… right?
So shouldn’t they be the biggest fans of getting millions of people off of government assistance through a more livable wage?