Make the Minimum Wage a Living Wage

Target: Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate Minority Leader

Goal: Do not stand in the way of federal minimum wage increase.

As enhanced federal unemployment benefits end, many employers may believe that their labor shortage woes will also subside. Increasing evidence, however, indicates this sentiment may offer a false sense of optimism. Employees who have yet to return to the workforce have offered a number of reasons. Top amongst these is a desire for something better…better treatment, better wages, and a better life. A real living wage could go a long way in rebuilding America’s fractured labor market.

Despite polls consistently showing that most Americans support a minimum wage increase, the number has not budged from its current $7.25 an hour for over 12 years. In fact, when adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage was actually much closer to being a living 40 years ago than it is now. Even today, all workers are not entitled to the federal minimum standard because numerous exemptions apply based on the worker’s company size, his or her age, type of work, and other factors. Currently, five states do not even have minimum wage standards recognized in their laws.

Labor Day should mark a true new beginning for U.S. workers. Sign the petition below to demand reticent politicians finally take the reins on an issue that will fundamentally shape the economy and the lives of every American for years to come.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator McConnell,

“It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country…and by living wages, I mean more than a bare subsistence level, I mean the wages of decent living.”

These words, spoken by the man who helped lead the United States out of the Great Depression, are just as resonant today as they were when President Franklin D. Roosevelt first spoke them. Inflation has driven the cost of living up every year, yet the wages paid to America’s workers remain static and immovable. Rather than multiplying, opportunities for the “decent living” of which FDR dreamed have actually decreased over the past 40 or 50 years. Some economists say that if we truly aligned the minimum wage with inflation, workers would be making at the least 26 dollars an hour.

Yet the laissez-faire approach remains firmly entrenched amongst many of your colleagues, meaning that at least 1.6 million Americans scrape by at $7.25 an hour…if not less. Step from behind the podium, Senator, and for just a moment put yourself in these people’s shoes.

Whether incremental or at once, the narrative needs to change. America’s economy and its future will very likely depend on it. Support the long-overdue minimum wage hike now.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska


One Comment

  1. People need to get off welfare or waiting for their next check to arrive. If the want money, then they should be out there looking for a job in order to make a living. I agree wages need to be brought up to par but sitting around waiting for the golden eagle to hand them a pay check that they have not yet earned id a shame. They need to go out and find a job!!!

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