Increasing the minimum wage would create buying power and boost the nation’s economy.
The bins set up last month by employees of a Walmart store in Canton, Ohio, to collect holiday food for needy fellow workers symbolize to some Americans the nation’s growing economic inequality. A modest, reasonable increase in the federal minimum wage would help ease such disparities.
Walmart says the food bins show how the company’s 1.3 million U.S. employees rally around each other in hard times. But many of the nation’s large retailers and other big employers have effectively undone what Henry Ford started a century ago, when he doubled his workers’ wages and helped create a broad middle class that could afford to buy his cars.
The business model of part-time, low-wage, few-benefits jobs has helped to transform the American economy, shrink the middle class and increase the number of working poor to more than 10 million employees during the Great Recession.