Minimum Wage Hike - $11.50 for Federal Rate?

Business, Politics

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As this country has lived through, and is still living through, one of the most devastating recessions of the past few decades, it has produced hardships that are much too common for American families.

Americans in this economy have seen some hard hits with jobs becoming scarce, or none at all - and too many employed families who remain way below the poverty level.

Raising the minimum wage could bring those full time workers, still receiving minimum wage, out of the poverty level and back to where they should be, able to live without government assistance.

A policy research group suggesting raising the federal minimum wage above $10 an hour is saying in an updated report that doing so would boost, not harm, job creation.

This legislation was introduced earlier this year by Senator Tom Harkin and Senator George Miller.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Washington, D.C. council approved the $11.50 minimum wage for just the city area, although some suggested a $10 minimum wage was a more reasonable middle ground.

A $10 minimum wage is already in effect in California. Multiple states besides California have been proposing a $10 minimum wage that is higher than the Federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Michigan pushed for a $10 minimum wage, and one Michigan restaurant already pays $12 hourly and is still making profits. Illinois already has the fourth highest state minimum wage of $8.25, but Illinois politicians want a $10 minimum in Illinois as well.

The point is workers who put in 40 hours a week deserve to live without complete reliance on food stamps and welfare. If you work in America, educated or not, you should be able to support your family.

But would the $11.50 minimum wage be seen as a fair Federal minimum wage based upon economic data? In analysis collected and analyzed by economist John Schmitt at the Center for Economic and Policy Research proves that if the minimum wage is indexed to the official Consumer Price Index (CPI-U), then the Federal minimum wage should be $10.52 an hour.

President Obama is on board for the $10.10 increase. The jury is still out on the $11.50 proposal.

“We are very pleased President Obama endorsed a $10 an hour minimum wage bill,” Aaron Albright, a spokesman for Miller, said in an email. “This action unites all Democrats and minimum wage advocates behind one proposal that addresses income inequality in a powerful way. Congress must move to raise the minimum wage now.”

And from President Obama, from his State of the Union Address - “Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong,” Obama said. “Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty.”

Still, critics of the proposal to raise the minimum wage argue that even the $10 minimum wage is a “jobs killer,” and claim a higher Federal minimum wage will result in a worsened unemployment rate.

Anyone concerned for the millions of struggling Americans, instead of concern for the companies that are famous for paying minimum wage - McDonald's, Wal-Mart and others who are some of the wealthiest corporations in America, these corporations should be required to pay the wage increase, and then some.

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