The outcry to raise the federal minimum wage is starting to boil over with no intention of simmering down.
This past Wednesday, U.S. Congressmen John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced their “Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012″ during a press conference in Washington D.C. The act would increase the current minimum wage and would require an annual increase tied to inflation. If passed, the act would affect the lives of millions of workers who barely get by, living from paycheck to paycheck.
It’s time for a raise, folks.
If we kept up with the inflation rate, workers would earn at least $10.55 an hour instead of the current $7.25. The peak for minimum wage earnings occurred in the 1960s and we’ve been struggling to reach that pinnacle again ever since. In the meantime, the cost of gas, food, college tuition, prescription medication and other expenses have all increased astronomically.
All the while, America’s richest 1% have reaped all of the benefits; receiving 80% of all real income growth and CEO pay has increased 725% over the last 30 years. Workers struggle everyday to pay their bills because they only earn $7.25 an hour. This is equivalent to $15,080 a year and $9,000 below the poverty line for a family of four.
We cannot afford continue to live in a divided society of the haves and the have nots. We cannot continue to live in a world where the likelihood of success depends on how much is in one’s bank account. Everyone deserves a chance to live in safe, nice neighborhoods, receive a quality education and earn a good living wage. It’s not about greed or a sense of entitlement, it’s about doing what’s right for the 99% and our country. With $10.55 an hour, we would see a decrease in income inequality, a growth in small businesses as well as job creation.
It’s time for the candidates and Congress to take a stand and make increasing the minimum wage a top priority. If the cost of everything else increases, why can’t the minimum wage?
You can take action by signing our minimum wage petition here.
Why do you think the federal minimum wage should be increased?