Today, it seems that President Obama has opened a can of worms by not only calling on the Congress to raise the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, but also by having gone ahead to sign an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for the individuals working on new federal service contracts.
Now, for the most part, the Republicans are strongly against any move to raise the national minimum wage as in their view this will increase unemployment among unskilled and young workers as well as hamper economic growth.
However, a little fact check shows that the Republicans are being unreasonable or at least disingenuous in their objection to any form of increase in the minimum wage.
First of all, the minimum wage as it stands today is extremely low and disgraceful for a country that boasts American exceptionalism and the largest economy in the world.
Second, for over forty years, increases in the minimum wage have consistently lagged behind inflation, so that today in real terms the minimum wage is much lower than what it was in the mid twentieth century.
Third, there is little or no evidence to suggest that an increase in the minimum wage over the years has led to stress in marketplace or the economy.
Fourth, worker productivity has increased significantly over the years.
Fifth, companies continue to make super profits on the backs of many of these minimum wage workers.
The truth is an incremental increase in the minimum wage over time will not only increase earnings for millions of low wage workers, but also boost the bottom lines of businesses across the country.
In addition, raising the minimum wage will motivate workers as well as boost morale in the workplace, increases productivity, and ultimately create a positive impact on the economy.
That said, there is an overwhelming broad support among the populace for the raising of the minimum wage; a recent poll by Bloomberg puts support for an increase in the minimum wage at 69%.
Already several states and many companies have answered the president’s call by making the decision to raise the wages of workers.
Now, it seems that the only stumbling block in raising the minimum wage of workers is the Republican led Congress in Washington.
Going into the November election there ought to be a lively debate between the Democrats and Republicans on whether or not low wage earners deserve an increase.
Let the game begin and may the 99 percent have the last laugh!