Tuesday, December 07, 2004

New York to Raise Minimum Wage

Kudos to New York.

This week that state became one of a growing number of states to raise the minimum wage. The federal minimum wage has been stagnant at $5.15/hour since I was in high school. In overwhelmingly approving the measure, New York's legislature overrode the veto of Republican governor George Pataki.

Pataki claimed that "the federal government should handle the minimum wage." An interesting statement given that it was congressional Republicans who blocked the last federal minimum wage bill.

Indeed, if Pataki wanted the federal government to "handle the minimum wage" perhaps he should have endorsed Kerry instead of Bush -- Kerry supported a raise.

This is an issue that has not garnered much national attention in recent years, but I think one in which all Christians -- be they Southern Baptist or Unitarian-Universalist -- can find consensus on. Unfortunately, we will never get any movement on the federal minimum wage with Republicans in office.

2 Comments:

At 1:36 PM, Blogger david said...

To my way of thinking, far more important than raising the minimum wage, is reducing the agp between the minimum wage and the maximum wage.

Studies of violence and crime indicate that violent crime is higher in communities with the greatest discrepencies.

I just don't see anyway of closing taht agp without markedly more progressive taxation than we have now. And that leads to more money in the pockets of tax lawyers seeking loopholes -- not the pockets of lower wage earners.

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger jj said...

I tend to agree that the gap between the haves and have nots is unjust in and of itself without regard to whether the floor is livable. But surely raising the floor, thereby improving the physical conditions of the poor, is a worthy goal in and of itself too.
Also, there are ways to increase tax progressivity without creating more loopholes. Indeed, simply CLOSING the loopholes we already have (which we COULD DO if there were the political will) would IN AND OF ITSELF increase tax progressivity.

 

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