Wednesday, September 08, 2004


While George Bush continues to tell us a minimum wage is stupid, and while John Kerry continues to pretend that anyone, let alone tuition-stricken college students, can live on an anemic seven dollars an hour, we do well to examine some of the myths & facts about a living wage.

Thanks to some new light can be shed on this all-important issue to America's students.

Myth: "Teenagers and young adults will be hurt by the increase."
FACT: According to The Sky Hasn't Fallen, a study by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC, reporting the results of the most recent Federal minimum wage increase from $4.25 to $5.15 per hour, it was clearly shown that these workers were not adversely affected by the increase.

Myth: "The typical minimum wage worker is a teenager working at a fast food restaurant who lives at home with parents."
FACT: According to the study The Sky Hasn't Fallen and the study, Americans Well Targeted Raise, both produced by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC, those "typical" minimum wage workers (teenagers) account for only 7% of the total minimum wage work force. About two-thirds of minimum wage workers are over 20 years old; about two-thirds are women and about two-thirds do not live with their parents. The report confirms that 40% of them are the sole source of income in their households.

George Bush has, once again resorted to the protection of his corporate interests in spite of the needs of millions of Americans. He has pretended that a living wage simply isn't compatible with conservativism. Perhaps he would learn a lesson from Richard Nixon, his Republican Predecessor, who raised minimum wage to the highest it has ever been, inflaion-adjusted.

John Kerry is making every half attempt he can at wooing Nader voters without accidentally offending his own corporate interests. He hopes to deceive Nader voters into believing his 7 dollar an hour plan is satifactory. He does not tell us that if minimum wage of 1968 were inflation adjusted, today it would be nearly 8.75 an hour. He does not tell us that many living wage advocacy groups believe that minimum wage should be at least over nine dollars an hour, just to meet federal poverty levels.

In Washington, telling people the facts is a dangerous business.


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October 7, 2005 at 7:09 AM  
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October 10, 2005 at 11:53 PM  

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