Saturday, February 16, 2013

Minimum Wage Of $10, Tied To Cost Of Living... A Republican's Nightmare...

President Obama's call for raising the minimum wage in his SOTU address is a well placed and spirited continuation to a long process that was started quite a while ago and ardently fought for by Christine L Owens of the non-partisan, not-for-profit organization NELP [ National Employment Law Project]

The POTUS has said in his address that he is in favor of a raise of the hourly rate to $9, which is already creating an uproar in Republican circles as anything geared to build the middle class does. This increase is in keeping with the idea that the minimum rate should be tied to some indexing rate increase. NELP believes the rate should be at least $10.

The POTUS's views mirror those of past presidential rival Mitt Romney who said in Jan 2012..."My view has been to allow the minimum wage to rise with the CPI [Consumer Price Index] or with another index so that it adjusts automatically over time…."

NELP put out a press release that read in part..."The president said he was putting jobs and the economy front and center tonight – and that's exactly what he did by calling for a minimum wage increase,” said Christine L. Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. 
“President Obama's remarks tonight show he understands that a 
higher minimum wage is key to getting the economy back on track for working people and the middle 
class. The President's remarks also cement the growing consensus on the left and right that one of the 
best ways to get the economy going again is to put money in the pockets of people who work, who will spend it at small businesses in their communities. A minimum wage increase will stimulate consumer demand and help drive economic growth for the people who most need it in America – workers."

A 2012 survey by independent source Lake Resource Partners, showed this result..."A proposal to raise the federal minimum wage garners striking support, in terms of both breadth and intensity. Nearly three-quarters of likely voters support increasing the minimum wage to $10 and indexing it to inflation (73% support, 20% oppose) in 2014, including a solid 58% majority who feels that way strongly.... Stratospheric and intense support among Democrats (91% support overall and 79% strong support, 5% oppose) and independents (74% support overall and 55% strong support, 18% oppose) is complemented by robust support from    Republicans (50% support, 41% oppose) as

There is a record number of nearly 1000 CEO's and business heads who have signed a statement supporting the raising of the minimum wage, this includes noteworthy names and companies as ...
  • Jim Sinegal, CEO, Costco
  • Margot Dorfman, CEO, US Women's Chamber of Commerce
  • Paulette Cole, CEO, ABC Home
  • Mark Heaney, CEO, Addus HealthCare
  • Lya Sorano, founder, Atlanta Women in Business
  • Scott Hauge, president, Small Business California... 
Republicans intent on destroying any chance of an American recovery have already been saying that any raise in the minimum wage will make it harder for and raise operating costs of business. This is an old and tired claim that was disproved when it was first made, when child labor laws were enacted earlier in the last century. 

This claim was also disproved when it was made against women who were being allowed [as if they needed men's permission]  to come out of their home kitchens and join the work force alongside working men.

It is widely known that when businesses raise the rates of employees, the free market will facilitate the raising of rates by other employers, causing consumers to have more disposable income to spend in the same businesses.

In 1968 the minimum wage was comparatively valued at $10.59.  There are more than 3.8 million workers that are at or below the minimum wage, and the increase will put at least 22 Billion dollars into the American GDP... this is something the Republicans will fight tooth and nail to prevent.

The Republican answer is to cut programs that help feed and protect Americans like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and install crippling austerity measures which they have seen leading to crashes in countries where this is done.

Republicans seem oblivious to the fact that their fight for lower taxes does not affect the unemployed who first need jobs...and good paying jobs at that. There are 19 states that have already raised rates above the Federal level. The POTUS's call to index wages to the rising cost of living has already been adopted by 10 states.

Someone should tell the Republicans that their attempts to sabotage America's economic recovery will not be tolerated. Part of me wants the Republicans to succeed as this will seal their fate and spell their doom in any election in the future.

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