Minimum wage increase should be approved

Published: Sunday, January 14, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 14, 2007 at 12:26 a.m.
It is time to raise the minimum wage. I know too many people in our community struggling to get by, working two and even three jobs, and having to chose between eating a decent meal or saving for the future.
In this country of supposed opportunity and mobility, how is a young person, working for minimum wage, ever supposed to improve his or her lifestyle when every dime earned is used to pay rent, utilities, electric, food costs, taxes, tuition loans, etc.
The minimum wage, even at full time, comes to $10,712 a year. This is far under the poverty line. Are we to assume that the government is intentionally trying to keep us in poverty?
The idea that America is a place for opportunity and chance, supported by a government and economic system that works for growth, fumbles when the pay of the people remains static for 10 years while Congress raises its own pay by $31,600 in that same time. The arguments against raising the minimum wage are creative manipulations designed to frighten consumers.
Business interests want the people to believe that paying workers a living wage will hurt the economy. In fact, studies have found that cities that raise the minimum wage generally maintain or increase employment levels.
Why are the 13 million wage earners in this country not worth more? The proposal would raise minimum wage to $7.25 an hour. Congress should pass this, and President Bush should sign it.
Jennifer Bame, Gainesville

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