<\body> Stories in America: House Dems Force Vote on Minimum Wage Increase

Thursday, March 09, 2006

House Dems Force Vote on Minimum Wage Increase

Forty years ago, CEOs earned $24 for each $1 workers got; in 2004, CEOs got $431 for every worker dollar. In 2004, total CEO compensation averaged $12 million, according to the Institute for Policy Studies.

Your Senators and Represenatives make $165,200 per year and average an estimated 1.9 percent yearly cost-of-living increase.

What about minimum wage earners? Minimum wage has been stuck at $5.15 an hour since 1997. At $5.15 per hour, a person working full-time will earn just $10,700 annually. Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage is now worth less than one-third of the average wage in the U.S. - its lowest share since 1949, when the minimum wage was worth more than half of the average wage. Research has shown that 7.3 million people would benefit from raising the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour, including 1.8 million parents with children under the age of 18.

Nearly three-quarters of minimum wage workers are over the age of 20 and many can't afford to buy food. In 2004, 23 million people used food stamps, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, up from 17 million in 2000.

Every year, the Democrats vote to raise minimum wage, while the Republicans vote to keep it at $5.15.

This week, the Democrats will force a debate and a vote on raising minimum wage to $7.25 an hour over two years. This issue alone could get the working poor to the polls. The majority of the minimum wage earners I met on my six-month road trip didn't even know that the government has the power to raise their wages. The problem is, the 'liberal media' doesn't care about minimum wage and barely gives it any coverage.

"I challenge every Republican member of Congress who has spoken in favor of a minimum wage increase but who for years has allowed the Republican leadership to block House action to sign on to our petition," said Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. "It is immoral to tell working Americans that they should try to provide for their families' needs while earning only $5.15 per hour. Democrats respect the value of work, and we have fought for years to try to ensure that the minimum wage keep pace with inflation and is updated periodically. American workers have earned it."


At 3/09/2006 1:47 PM, Anonymous p said...

What American adult can live off on $5.15 an hour? This is sick. Wake up America.

At 3/09/2006 2:15 PM, Anonymous truthseeker said...

This issue never gets any coverage. Can you imagine CNBC reporting on minimum wage?

At 3/09/2006 3:23 PM, Anonymous timmy said...

"In 2004, total CEO compensation averaged $12 million, according to the Institute for Policy Studies."

I just curious...does anyone here believe that if the minimum wage is increased it will affect a CEO's compensation? Or a professional athlete's salery? George Clooney's salery?

And why not raise the minimum wage to somewhere around $25 dollars?

At 3/10/2006 12:14 AM, Anonymous Stop Santorum! said...

That question is raised to avoid the issue at hand: People Cannot live on $5.15 an hour.

At 3/10/2006 7:15 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

"That question is raised to avoid the issue at hand..."

And that answer is provided to avoid the question I asked.

At 3/10/2006 9:07 AM, Blogger storiesinamerica said...

Is it? Why can't minimum wage be raised to $20? Why can't CEOs treat their employers with dignity and respect?

Wal-Mart's five owners are on Forbes Billionaire List, averaging $15 BILLION each. Surely they can afford to pay their workers a decent wage and provide them with basic healthcare for working 40 hours a week.


At 3/10/2006 10:41 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

The minimum wage laws exploit poor people (especially illegal immigrants) and reduces employment.

Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams have written some excellent essays on this issue.


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