Nov 13 2013
A stark example of the divide between elected representatives and ordinary people is the minimum wage. Currently the federal government guarantees a paltry $7.25 an hour for all work, although many states have pushed that number higher. President Obama earlier this year proposed pushing the federal base wage up to $9 an hour and a new bill aims to push it incrementally to $10.10 an hour.
But House Speaker Republican John Boehner staunchly opposes such an increase and even some Democrats join him. Their reasoning is that raising the minimum wage is bad for business and in turn will hurt American workers because companies will lay off workers if they are forced to pay more in wages.
But ordinary Americans disagree. Polls consistently show strong public support for an increase in the minimum wage. A new Gallup poll finds that three quarters of Americans back such a move, and nearly 70% would like to see a minimum wage linked to inflation.
The New York Times’ editorial board, in a surprisingly progressive Op-Ed this Monday called “Redefining the Minimum Wage,” asserted that “if the minimum wage had kept pace over time with the average growth in productivity, it would be about $17 an hour.”
GUEST: Amanda Rothschild is the Managing Partner of Charmington’s and a member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. Charmington’s is a cafe/coffee shop in Baltimore, Maryland.
Visit www.businessforafairminimumwage.org for more information.