Letter: Raise the minimum wage
Raising the minimum wage should be a no-brainer, but we will have to convince Rep. Scott Tipton and his Republican colleagues. The proposed $9 per hour minimum (up from the current $7.25), doesn’t even get workers to where they were in 1967 (it would have to be $10.56 an hour to have kept up with inflation), yet Republicans offer the same flawed arguments. Here are the facts:
It won’t ship jobs overseas. Minimum wage jobs are highly concentrated in the service industry: cleaners, store clerks, food workers, etc. — jobs that cannot be shipped overseas because they serve the people here.
It won’t hurt workers. Virtually all minimum wage earners support raising it — that wouldn’t be true if it was going to hurt them.
It won’t hurt business. Business will pass the costs on to consumers. Believe it or not, consumers overwhelmingly say they will pay the extra dime on their coffee or few cents on their purchases to support the working poor.
It will give more than 15 million people money to meet everyday needs — money that will immediately be poured back into the economy, boosting overall growth.
It will reduce the number of people on food stamps and other government aid. (Republicans should support the proposal for this reason alone!).
It will be representative of the American people — more than 70 percent of which support the minimum wage raise.
Here is a challenge to Scott Tipton and other Republicans: Do better than the Democrats — propose legislation that increases minimum wage to more than $9 an hour.
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