Photo: Joe Lustri via Flickr
The simmering debate over the minimum wage erupted on Thursday when hundreds of fast-food workers across the country walked out of their jobs in protest of their low wages, and marched in support of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour from the current rate of $7.25.
While Congress is extremely unlikely to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, congressional Democrats are considering a bill written by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA), which would raise the rate to $10.10 per hour in three increments of 95 cents, then automatically increase it in the future by linking it to changes in the cost of living. The bill reportedly has the support of President Barack Obama, who had previously called for raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour.
Congressional Republicans have shown no interest in raising the minimum wage for the first time since 2007, but that is a major miscalculation. A minimum-wage increase would be good policy, and even better politics. Here are four simple reasons why Congress should ensure a living wage for every working American: