Target: United States Congress
Goal: Honor commitment to working and middle-class Americans and raise the minimum wage
Amidst talks about austerity and budget cuts, corporations and Wall Street are experiencing all-time profit highs. This week, the Dow Industrial average closed at 114,253, beating the previous record that was set in October 2007. Despite these successes, the wages of most Americans continue to stagnate and unemployment is still hovering around 8%. Given the imbalance between growth on Wall Street and growth on Main Street, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelsoi (D-CA) is calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
Currently, minimum wage is a mere $7.25, meaning a full-time employee is earning just over $15,000 a year, a very difficult income to survive on in contemporary American society. President Obama has recently discussed the prospect of raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour, but Pelosi believes that is not enough of an increase to create a true living wage. She says there is “a strong case to be made” for a $10 an hour minimum wage given record-setting corporate profits.
During a briefing in Washington, Pelosi said, “This week, we saw something quite remarkable, the stock market soaring to record heights. At the same time, we see productivity keeping pace.” She added, “But we don’t see income for America’s middle class rising. In fact, it’s been about the same as since the end of the Clinton years.”
After adjusting for inflation, the minimum wage in 1968 was approximately $10.50, when borrowing power of Americans was at an all time high. Legislation proposed by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative George Miller (D-CA) aims to raise minimum rage to the rate of inflation, which they believe will create a more equitable system where middle and lower class Americans are able to stay afloat.
In his State of the Union address, President 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, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families.”
Call on Congress to raise the minimum wage and provide all working Americans with a livable income.
Dear Members of Congress,
America has always taken pride in its commitment to rewarding hard work. There are, however, millions of hardworking people all over the country who are unable to survive on the wages they currently earn. With rising food and healthcare costs, many families and individuals are drowning in debt and live paycheck to paycheck. As President Obama noted in his State of the Union address, there is no reason for people in the wealthiest nation on earth and work full-time to live in poverty.
We believe raising the minimum wage is an entirely reasonable request, particularly in light of record-shattering earnings on Wall Street. While millions of working Americans suffer, the wealthiest continue to do even better, and that does not reflect the kind of values this nation was built upon. The American Dream says that anyone who works hard will be able to thrive in America, and just because someone does not have a job in finance or an advanced degree does not mean they shouldn’t be compensated adequately for their work. The current minimum wage is unacceptable, and it’s time we prove to Americans and the rest of the world that this is truly the best nation on earth to live and work in. Please pass a bill increasing the minimum wage, and help the desperately struggling working families of America.
[Your Name Here]