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Greg

Here is a far better read

Will the new $7.25 federal minimum wage boost U.S. GDP?
http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2009/08/01/will-the-new-7-25-federal-minimum-wage-boost-u-s-gdp/

The Fed will also be looking for signs of another side-effect, and this one is a positive one: a GDP boost. That's because millions of workers are going to get a raise that they otherwise would not have gotten, and that will increase their purchasing power.

The significance? Some of those increased-pay workers will choose to spend -- perhaps buying a washer or drier, making a down payment on a used car, or paying down a debt. It's quite possible -- although in these "frugal consumer" economic times no one is certain- - that the wage hike will increase U.S. GDP, serving as a small engine of growth as the U.S. economy inches back toward health.

And if the Fed and other organizations can verify that the minimum wage increase has boosted GDP without a loss of jobs, or inflation, Congress may to consider another decision in the quarters ahead: a decision to raise the federal minimum wage again, this time to $8.25 per hour.

Minimum Wage: Better, But Still Too Low
http://www.hirediversity.com/news/2009/7/27/minimum_wage_better_but_still_too.htm

With low-wage work expected to be the most plentiful in the years to come, raising the minimum wage and growth opportunities should be a priority of the White House.

An estimated 2.8 million Americans received a raise on Friday, as the federal minimum wage went from $6.55 an hour to $7.25. Another 1.6 million whose hourly pay hovers around $7.25 were also expected to get a boost as employers adjust their pay scales to the new minimum. The raise is badly needed. It is also wholly inadequate.

With the latest increase, the minimum wage is still no higher now, after inflation, than it was in the early 1980s, and it is 17 percent lower than its peak in 1968. That means that no matter how hard they work, many low-wage workers keep falling behind. The latest increase will slow the decline in living standards, but it doesn't reverse the overall downward pull.

Even that understates the broader dimensions of the problem.

The minimum wage also sets a floor by which other wages are set. Keeping it low keeps wages lower than they would be otherwise, especially for jobs that are just above the minimum-wage level. That's a big problem for American workers because low-wage fields are the ones that are adding the most jobs.

According to the Labor Department, 5 of the 10 occupations expected to add the most jobs through 2016 are "very low paying," up to a maximum of about $22,000 a year. They include retail sales jobs and home health aides. Another 3 of the 10 are "low paying," from roughly $22,000 to $31,000, including customer-service representatives, general office clerks and nurses' aides.

Greg

"We know of no more crucial civil rights issue facing Congress today than the need to increase the federal minimum wage and extend its coverage. ... A living wage should be the right of all working Americans."

Martin Luther King
1966

One day before James Earl Ray shot and assassinated King he said the following.

"It is criminal to have people working on a full-time basis ... getting part-time income ... We are tired of working our hands off and laboring every day and not even making a wage adequate with daily basic necessities of life."

Martin Luther King
March 18, 1968


It would take $9.92 today to match the buying power of the minimum wage at its peak in 1968, the year Martin Luther King died fighting for living wages for sanitation workers.

In today's dollars, the 1968 hourly minimum wage adds up to $20,634 a year working full time. The new federal minimum wage of $7.25 comes to just $15,080. That's $ 5,554 in lost wages.

One could only imagine what Dr. King would think of people such as John Stossel and other conservatives when they trout out their never ending rhetoric. So much for compassionate conservatives. Kind of ironic how you all misuse and neglect much of what he spoke about, fought about, and died about.

Peg

Greg, is Congress going to pass a law mandating that companies must hire people?

If not, it still appears to me that something is better than nothing. "Nothing" is what people will get if companies cannot afford to pay them a mandated wage.

Some people would prefer to get a foot in the door and have a chance to prove their worth, than have the door shut because the employer either cannot take a risk on that person or simply cannot handle the price tag on the entry fee.

You can choose what you think is "compassionate" - and I shall choose what I believe.

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