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My mom worked at McDonald's, and she decided she wanted to make more money, so she got into the management program at McDonald's. And that's how you move up the chain. It's not by demanding that minimum wage is raised; it's by actually acquiring the skills. That's the way that people get ahead in life.
Anyone who's tried to pay a heating bill, fill a prescription, or simply buy groceries knows all too well that the current minimum wage does not cut the mustard.
It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle-class security all bear the union label.
In the 1960s, a minimum wage job would keep a family of three afloat.
I thought in this country, the best social program was a job. Yet minimum wage jobs aren't paying enough to keep families out of poverty.
On balance, I am a supporter of the minimum wage going up. We've got to be very careful what we wish for because some employers - and there could be a lot of them - will be scared away from hiring new people or creating incremental hours for part-time people as a result of that wage going up.
The minimum wage is something that F.D.R. put in place a long time ago during the Great Depression. I don't think it worked then. It didn't solve any problems then and it hasn't solved any problems in 50 years.
No person can maximize the American Dream on the minimum wage.
Benjamin Todd Jealous
At the current $5.15 an hour, the federal minimum wage has become a poverty wage. A full-time worker with one child lives below the official poverty line.
I do not support raising the minimum wage, and the reason is as follows. When the minimum wage is raised, workers are priced out of the market. That is the economic reality that seems, at least so far, to be missing from this discussion.
The minimum wage is not something that you want to stay on as a permanent basis. For example, if you have a minimum wage job, you don't stay there 20 or 30 years. You don't put your children through college working on minimum wage.
When we talk about the kind of folks whose lives will be made better by raising the minimum wage, we're not talking about a couple teenagers earning extra spending money to supplement their allowance. We're talking about providers and breadwinners. Working Americans with bills to pay and mouths to feed.
The typical minimum wage earner is a provider and a breadwinner - most likely a woman - responsible for paying bills, running a household and raising children.
Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will benefit about 28 million workers across the country. And it will help businesses, too - raising the wage will put more money in people's pockets, which they will pump back into the economy by spending it on goods and services in their communities.
The bottom line is that five million low-income Americans working full time for minimum wage, deserve a raise.
The real minimum wage is zero.
Most arguments for instituting or raising a minimum wage are based on fairness and redistribution. Even if workers are getting a competitive wage, many of us are deeply disturbed that some hard-working families still have very little.
No family gets rich from earning the minimum wage. In fact, the current minimum wage does not even lift a family out of poverty.
Taxes on capital, taxes on labor, inflation, bureaucratic regulation, minimum wage laws, are all - to different degrees - unnecessary slices of the wedge that stand between an individual's effort and reward for that effort.
Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do, but it's a popular thing to do as well.
The only way to grow the economy in a way that benefits the bottom 90 percent is to change the structure of the economy. At the least, this requires stronger unions and a higher minimum wage.
Whether it's raising the minimum wage, fixing our broken immigration system or supporting an economic climate that gives our businesses that chance to succeed, I hope to continue to fight these important battles on behalf of my constituents.
Joseph P. Kennedy III
The minimum wage was enacted in 1937 during the Great Depression and it has been increased 16 times. It's a well-established economic policy to help families.
Literally, if we took away the minimum wage - if conceivably it was gone - we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.
Raising the minimum wage isn't just pro-worker; it's pro-economic growth.
The value of the minimum wage shouldn't be eroded, and it has been.
Robert J. Garagiola
Martin Luther King, Jr.
C. S. Lewis
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