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The Bar Is About to Be Raised in the Debate to Raise the Minimum Wage

Fast Food worker
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Raising the minimum wage has been a very hot topic over the last twelve months and there is about to be a big push in Washington to get it done by 2016. Those who oppose raising the minimum wage say it will take away jobs and all but kill small business owners. Those in favor say it is long overdue and will put a dent in the poverty crisis in this country. Currently, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and after you make adjustments for things like inflation, that is about 30% lower than it was 46 years ago. As you can imagine, this is now a political debate with Democrats and President Obama pushing for a hike to $10.10 per hour, with the majority of Republicans opposing any hike. The American public by the way, is overwhelmingly in favor of the increase.

According to the figures by the Congressional Budget Office, increasing the minimum wage would eliminate about half a million jobs, while at the same time reducing poverty for almost one million Americans, which is the Republicans argument against an increase, while Democrats say American citizens have to be able to earn more for their families.

Economic experts have suggested taking pressure off employers in the event of a minimum wage hike by increasing the earned income tax credit, which puts the burden squarely on the government.

That would certainly be a more attractive solution for employers, but would cost the government billions of dollars so, what to do?

The bottom line is the fact that $7.25 an hour is completely out of step with the economic realities facing all Americans these days and is NOT a liveable wage.

To those who say if you don’t want to make minimum wage, go back to school or develop an increased skill set…keep in mind that a lot of minimum wage workers today are high school and college educated people who are taking whatever jobs are available to support themselves and their families. What do you think?

 

[Yahoo Finance]

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