Raising the Minimum Wage for Working Men and Women in California and the Rest of America

Give Workers a Raise

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The long-standing effort to raise the federal minimum wage is approaching showdown time.Opinion polls show consistent support for a raise across the political spectrum. Cities from Washington to San Jose have passed significant local increases, and more are on the way. Last week, President Obama upped the ante with a push for higher overtime pay.

Scared, the same corporate establishment who declared through the National Association of Manufactures in 1937 that the minimum wage would be “a step in the direction of communism, bolshevism, fascism and Nazism” has resorted to spewing out every broken-record argument in the book. Though the minimum wage has been increased 22 times without calamity, the broken record continues to spin. This tune is getting tedious.

1. Raising the minimum wage is one of the most mainstream ideas in politics today. Spin masters argue that the minimum wage is radical and destructive. If this is so, why do 80% of Americans, 62% of Republicans and a growing consensus ofeconomists support raising the minimum wage? This broad coalition sees a minimum wage increase for what it really is: a recognition of work’s value; a restoration of the minimum wage to its mid-century inflation-adjusted level; and, as conservative Ron Unz asserts, a savings for taxpayers when fewer workers turn to public assistance.

• Category: National, Notable • Tags: Ralph Nader