Due to the effects of globalization and our Great Recession, many well-paying jobs have been replaced with minimum wage jobs. In 2011, there were nearly 4 million American workers being paid the federal minimum hourly wage of $7.25 or less. Often referred to as the working poor, half of these people are over the age of 25 and most are women, many with families. In addition to their wages, many minimum wage earners are dependent on government benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid to survive. Advocates claim low wage-paying companies such as Wal-Mart are shifting workerâ€™s compensation onto government programs and taxpayers. It is estimated that raising the minimum wage to $10.10/hour would lift 1.7 million Americans out of government safety net programs. Advocates say that no American who works full time should be poor. Those opposed to increasing the minimum wage claim we need to be able to compete globally and that businesses canâ€™t afford to pay higher wages without laying employees off. Others disagree and say that increasing the minimum wage does not result in unemployment. They claim studies show that areas with higher wages do not suffer higher unemployment. They warn it is foolhardy to participate in a â€œrace to the bottomâ€ of the global labor market.
However, some say increasing the minimum wage is not the solution to low, unlivable wages because minimum wage increases occur infrequently and are often rendered meaningless by inflation. They believe a â€œliving wage,â€ indexed to inflation, is the answer to many of Americaâ€™s economic problems and the best chance to help restore our middle class. A living wage is the amount of income needed for workers to meet their basic needs, including food, shelter, clothing and healthcare. Some estimates have put this amount at about $15/hour. Supporters acknowledge the modest effect a living wage would have on our economy, but point out that ours is a consumption economy whose health depends upon our workerâ€™s ability to buy the items we produce. In 2014, President Obama directed federal contractors to pay a minimum wage of $10.10/hour to all their employees.
H.R.1346 – Catching Up To 1968 Act of 2013
H.R.229 – Original Living American Wage (LAW) Act
I oppose reforming current minimum wage policy and wish to defeat H.R.1346 and H.R.229
I support amending the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to increase to $10.50 an hour the federal minimum wage for employees; including all agricultural employees except those who are members of the employer’s immediate family, and any employee employed in domestic service employment to provide companionship services for individuals who because of age or infirmity are unable to care for themselves; prescribing the federal minimum wage for tipped employees to be 70% of the federal minimum wage in effect for employees, and wish to pass H.R.1346
I support paying workers a living wage; requiring that the federal minimum wage should, as a minimum, be adjusted every four years so that a person working for it may earn an annual income at least 15% higher than the federal poverty threshold for a family of two; it should be set at a level high enough to allow two full-time minimum wage workers to earn an income above the national housing wage; and Congress, any of the several states, the District of Columbia, any U.S. territories or possessions, any Indian tribe, or local or state government may establish a higher minimum wage requirement than established in this Act, and wish to identify a legislator who will either reintroduce H.R.229 – Original Living American Wage (LAW) Act (113th Congress 2013-2014), or a similar version thereof.