Most Americans support minimum wage increase
Published in the Leaf Chronicle – Jun 30, 2006
On June 21, our two multi-millionaire U.S. senators from Tennessee, Lamar Alexander and Bill Frist, voted “no” again on a bill to increase the minimum wage. I find this appalling.
Growing up on a small farm in Tennessee, it was impressed upon me that hard work was not only expected but also is an important character trait. I think most people agree that no one in the United States who works full time for a living should have to live in poverty. To me, that means they can afford basic housing, groceries (not including meals out), needed health care, child care and other necessities.
According to most polls, Americans from all social, regional and political parties overwhelmingly support an increase in the minimum wage — 82 percent by a survey in 2005 (see people-press.org). Aren’t politicians constantly claiming to support the views of their constituents? Support for an increase in the minimum wage has remained above 80 percent since this question was asked in 1998. The last increase was from $4.75 to $5.15 in 1997.
As a clever smoke screen, we’re told that this will have a negative effect on business and the economy. Do you believe that this issue primarily affects teenagers? About 70 percent of minimum wage earners are adults age 20 or older; over half are 25 or older. The reality is that many households depend on minimum-wage workers for a substantial portion of their income.
Recently, Tennessee attempted but failed to raise the state minimum wage. Did your county representative vote against a fair shake for working people?
Please don’t take my word on this issue. Explore the information for yourself: http://www.ceprdata.org/. Hard work should be rewarded with a living wage.