War on Wages

1168 Words5 Pages
President Obama opened his State of the Union address with the dilemma of service employees earning minimum wage in the United States, “Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line…that’s wrong” (qtd in State of the Union Address 2013). The debate over whether or not the minimum wage should be raised has carried on for years between Democrats and Republicans. While many Republican politicians feel that an increase in minimum wage would be devastating to the economy in terms of job security and , in fact many fast-food and retail workers earn below the poverty level and rely on public assistance. An increase in minimum wage would not only help service…show more content…
His research found that there was no statistical correlation of minimum wage increase and unemployment rate increase, but rather that the only outcome of a minimum wage increase was the benefit of the minimum wage employees. The Republicans’ argument was struck down once again, but unfortunately corporate lobbyists have made them resilient against reason. The problem that many politicians seem to forget is that the fast food workforce is not only made up of high school and college kids anymore; the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics published a survey which found that the median age of fast food workers were 29.2 years. Many of the employees that are in their late twenties and early thirties are supporting a family on minimum wage which results in an annual income of $15,000 to $20,000 per year, which is below the poverty level for a family of four. Because of their low income, many families also rely on public assistance. The University of California Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education released a study revealing the amount of fast food workers still in need of government assistance which was an alarming 52 percent (Allegretto). This is where the American taxpayer is, or should be, concerned. According to Allegretto, the cost of public assistance going towards food workers is an alarming seven billion dollars annually. That is seven
Open Document