November 8th, 2006
|08:53 am - Among the results|
I found an interesting and surprising thing among the results of last night's election: six states passed increases to the minimum wage. This is typically an issue that small businesses oppose and anti-immigration groups hate as well. Even in Arizona where they passed some weird "English as official language" measure, the minimum wage was increased. In addition, all of these measures instituted annual cost-of-living increases, something the Federal minimum fails to do.
New minimum wages in states with ballot measures on the issue (Federal minimum is $5.15/hour):
Nevada: $6.15 (if employer does not provide health benefits)
Current Mood: interested
|Date:||November 8th, 2006 03:31 pm (UTC)|| |
State Minimum Wages
It's good news, and a good trend.
The real problem is that the federal minimum wage is about half of what the cost of living is. I saw a piece about Chicago trying to raise their minimum wage to something like the cost of living. The federal level is $5.15, the cost of living in Chicago is around $10.00. And Chicago isn't as expensive as let's say New York or California. IIRC the cost of living here is over $9.00. I've seen many reports and studies that it is officially impossible to have the very basics of life on the minimum wage. There is nowhere that a hypothetical person could live because they wouldn't even be able to afford the rent on a studio.
This is a bit of a hot spot for me.
|Date:||November 9th, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: The rub
Oh, I hear you. The guy who did the film "Fast Food Nation" did another film (or TV show or something) about he and his wife trying to live on minimum wage jobs. The results were appalling.
What I see of value here is that there is some traction in these traditionally conservative areas (for the most part) for a raise in the minimum wage. So if the voters can agree on this little hike, a bigger one put forth by legislation should not have great negative impact on the legislators.
I hope the U.S. House gets a good look at this when the Dems take power.
|Date:||November 8th, 2006 08:41 pm (UTC)|| |
Arizona is $6.75??!! I wonder if that will make a difference on the illegal immigrant problem...
|Date:||November 9th, 2006 04:14 pm (UTC)|| |
It will probably have an impact in both directions. On one side, more immigrants will look for legal working status because the pay is higher. On the other, businesses unwilling to pay the higher wage may increase demand for illegal workers.