News

Push for minimum wage hike gets another boost

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | May 26, 2015 5:15 AM
fastfoodprotests_miami.jpg

Photo by AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Protestors march in support of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour as part of an expanding national movement known as Fight for 15, Wednesday, April 15, 2015, in Miami.

(Harrisburg) -- The state faces an estimated budget deficit of between $1.5 and $2 billion.

Lawmakers will only have 30 days to meet the budget deadline when they return from their spring recess June first.

But some are pushing their pet issues now.

Discussions around the state's minimum wage picked up last session, and a senator from Philadelphia is trying to make sure the issue remains top of mind.

Democrat Arthur Haywood is going on the offensive, arguing any who are earning minimum wage also have to rely on public assistance because they live near the federal poverty line.

The gross paycheck for someone working 40 hours a week with no vacation is about $15,000 a year.

He says the rhetoric about pulling yourself up through hard work doesn't line up with reality for many workers.

"Then we say you can do that for $7.25. Doesn't match up. So we're gonna tell people go out and get a job, build a life, they gotta build a life on a wage that's sustainable. That's at least $10.10," Haywood says.

Haywood says he's confronted lobbyists for the business world when they argue a minimum wage hike would cost some workers their jobs.

"How many jobs were lost the last time the minimum wage went up? What did he say? I dunno. So they're so certain that we're gonna lose jobs this time, yet they have no evidence we lost jobs last time," he adds.

However, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour nationally would likely mean a loss of some jobs.

It says the decrease could be very slight, or could also reach as many as one million jobs across the country.

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Comments: 1

  • whatever5678 img 2015-05-26 10:07

    This argument has been used for decades as a means for establishing greater central planning and control for the benefit of the worker.

    ""Then we say you can do that for $7.25. Doesn't match up. So we're gonna tell people go out and get a job, build a life, they gotta build a life on a wage that's sustainable. That's at least $10.10," Haywood says."
    Where does $10.10 come from as the bare minimum. Does this new number distort the value of a person currently working and making $10.50 an hour? Do their wages rise as the result of their current salary not in line with their relative skill set?

    It is a line drawing fallacy to stipulate what threshold is needed, but the point is still valid, who determines what is the "right" amount arbitrarily? An economist? Of what school of thought is this economist in? Are they keynsian?

    The real issue here is not that wages need to arbitrarily rise and that politicians can buy votes by continuing to sell their vote to the highest bidder and/or populist standing. The issue is that prices continue to rise, that we have a govt. and economic goal of constant increase in prices. True economic growth would be prices falling as efficiencies in production are realized. Then the value of the dollar/money goes up. A person can buy more with their $15,000. But, this conversation won't be had because it's easier to argue the emotional egalitarian perspective, even though, that is a means to serfdom for even more of us.

    The market is already distorted by minimum wage laws, it will continue each time we adjust this. we need to review our monetary policy and taxation policy which affects us more than minimum wages. Prices and interest rates rise as a result of the imbalance the federal reserve puts on us all through the continuous printing of more money. This distorts the economy and causes prices to rise. Except they have just creeped up the last few years. More recently, prices have started to lift off some, this is bad news, because the same govt. that is going to save us was the same one that put us in the mess with the printing of 10s of trillions (with a T) of dollars out of nothing. Therein lies the real trouble with our economy.

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