I have written about the minimum wage several times in the past, and I will continue to do so until it is raised to a decent level. The level the national minimum wage is currently set at is nothing more than a national disgrace -- a theft of labor (the only thing a worker has to sell). What makes the above figure even worse is that it is a gross earnings figure, not actual take home pay (after payroll taxes are deducted).
The Republicans tell many lies about the minimum wage. That's because they have never liked it and would like to abolish it. Short of being able to accomplish that, they want to keep it as low as possible. Of course, none of them have to support their family on the minimum wage (or anything close to it). If they did, they would be singing a much different tune.
They tell us that raising the minimum wage will cause businesses to lay off workers. They say raising the minimum wage will stunt economic growth. These are just outright lies -- invented by capitalists to justify their refusal to share the growth in productivity with their workers. Studies have shown that raising the minimum wage does not result in job losses, and states with a higher minimum wage than the national one actually have better economic growth than most states with the lower minimum wage.
Republicans also tell us that the only people who get the minimum wage are teenagers, who live with their parents and therefore don't need a livable wage. That may be the most outrageous lie of all. A huge majority of minimum wage workers are adults, and most of those are trying to support a family on that pitiful wage (including many single parents with one or more children to support). And that means these adults are living below the poverty line, even though they work hard at a full-time job. That's just wrong, and a nation that claims to have moral values should know that.
Today's minimum wage is not just low -- it is historically low. The 1968 minimum wage had the buying power, in today's dollars, of about $10.55 an hour. The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. That means that in the last 40 years or so, the minimum wage has gone down by $3.30 an hour, or about 31.28%. That's unacceptable.
Willard Mitt Romney and his Republican cohorts think those making minimum wage should pay income taxes. I agree. I would like to see all American workers have to pay income taxes. But the only way they will be able to do that is to make a decent and livable wage -- and that would require raising the minimum wage above the 1968 level (in buying power). This should be done immediately. Morality and common decency demand it.
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