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Summer 2013
Updated On: Aug 21, 2015


It’s time to raise the Minimum Wage

As the economy begins regaining momentum after years of sluggish gains, many Americans are asking tough questions about who is reaping the benefits.

They have pointed out the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009. Since then, the compensation packages of CEOs have gone up 30 percent, reaching a median of $9.7 million in 2012.

Past and present government leaders, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Robert Reich, former secretary of Labor during the Clinton Administration, are  advocating increasing the federal minimum wage to $9.

If $9 sounds steep, consider this: If the federal minimum wage kept up with productivity rates since 1968, today’s minimum wage would be $16.50 an hour.
change is necessary

Rewarding workers for their productivity seems like a no-brainer, but some business leaders disagree. They say a federal minimum wage 
increase would cause employers to reduce employment opportunities and ship jobs overseas.

But jobs in retail and restaurant industries, which would be most affected by the change, can’t be sent to other countries. In fact, raising the “floor” of wages in these industries would benefit everyone’s spending power and stimulate growth in the economy.

For example, if Walmart workers earned better paychecks, Union employers would feel less pressure to cut costs in order to remain competitive. And if workers at fast food restaurants earned more money, they could afford to go to a movie or take their own families out to eat more often.

Furthermore, if more workers benefited from growth in the economy, fewer would need to depend on public assistance programs. This would mean more taxpayer dollars could benefit essential services like police and fire departments.


Kirk Vogt, Secretary-Treasurer
By Kirk Vogt

No wonder a recent poll found more than 80 percent of Americans favor an increase in the federal minimum wage.

The prescription for a healthy and growing economy is a stronger middle class.

Increasing the federal minimum wage is an investment in our workers today and will pay dividends in the future.

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