Minimum Wage:
One Selfish Argument for Raising It

by Linda Jenkinson |

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Nelson Mandela spent a lifetime working to ease the struggles of his countrymen. Isn't it ironic that, in its haste to feed us the news of Nelson Mandela's passing, the mainstream media forgot the struggles of the underpaid Americans who work to feed us everyday?

In other news on December 5, fast-food workers all over the country protested to raise the minimum wage. As usual, because there was a bigger fish to fry, the media threw the fast-food workers back into the pond. However, before the breaking news of Mandela's passing, President Obama weighed in, supporting a raise in the minimum wage. An excerpt from his speech:

"Now, we all know the arguments that have been used against a higher minimum wage.  Some say it actually hurts low-wage workers—businesses will be less likely to hire them.  But there’s no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs, and research shows it raises incomes for low-wage workers and boosts short-term economic growth.

"Others argue that if we raise the minimum wage, companies will just pass those costs on to consumers.  But a growing chorus of businesses, small and large, argue differently.  And  already, there are extraordinary companies in America that provide decent wages, salaries, and benefits, and training for their workers, and deliver a great product to consumers."

Additionally, MsNBC's "Now with Alex Wagner" reported that it would take the average fast food worker 930 years to bring home the pay that the top fast-food CEO brought home last year.

If you aren't a fast-food worker, why does this matter to you?

For starters, fast food workers often need:

  1. Food stamps to supplement their meager wages
  2. Medicaid because along with low wages, as part time employees they are not eligible for medical benefits.

But wait… all arguments aside. Here is what is important: If you ever eat fast food (and who doesn't) along with the fast food worker's health and well-being, your health depends on them.

Many fast food workers work at more than one job at check-to-check wages that barely allow them to survive. When they are sick, they can't afford to take a day off. Sick or well, these fast food workers handle your food.

The bottom line is these corporate profit-hoggers don't care any more about you than they care about their workers. Are you willing to allow them to compromise your health because they don't pay their workers a living wage?


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