There is a tendency in our society for individuals with certain jobs to be held in higher regard and considered more deserving than individuals in other jobs. This perception ignores the fact that everyone who works, whether as a server at a restaurant or as a CEO of a multinational corporation, is contributing to our economy and our society in terms of production. But the economic contributions made by individuals who are making less than a living wage is limited by the fact that they have little or no disposable income. As such, the financial concerns of many individuals who work full-time center around being able to provide enough food for themselves and their families and being able to pay rent and utilities. This lack of disposable income means that they cannot afford to purchase many goods and services, which reduces economic demand, hurts business, weakens the economy, and prevents economic growth. CEOs also weaken the economy by investing their money in the stock market rather than spending it on goods and services.
The solution to this problem requires ensuring that everyone who works is paid a living wage. Doing so will not only allow for individuals to pay for basic necessities, they will also be able to purchase additional goods and services.
The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 is inadequate and needs to be increased immediately. I support a living wage of at least $15 an hour. It is essential for any law that changes the minimum wage to include a provision that allows for the living wage to be adjustable based on inflation.
There is a compelling argument to be made that while large corporations may have the ability to pay their employees $15 an hour, an increase in the minimum wage may hurt small businesses. This can be rectified by mandating that small businesses pay their employees a living wage, but also provide a tax credit for these businesses to offset potential losses. This credit would not apply to large businesses who are fully able to pay their employees a living wage but choose not to do so.
In addition to supporting a living wage of at least $15 an hour, I also support expanding the earned income credit to cover anyone who works. This will allow workers to have additional disposable income.
Of course, paying individuals a living wage for their work isn’t just the economically sound thing to do. It’s the humane thing to do, too.
We all need to make a living wage regardless of the type of work we do.
All workers contribute to our economy and society.