WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     There  has been a lot of action in regards to raising minimum wage both at state and federal levels.

    I completely agree that minimum wage increases are long  over due.

    According to the Center for American Progress Action Fund, raising minimum wage will help, not hurt our economy.

    I have always said I think paying people a living wage should be a “Right,” people that put in a good days work should be paid a fair wage. I find  it difficult to understand why a worker at McDonald’s should be paid a third or less than someone who drives a garbage truck or dump truck. No offense to truck drivers, I am sure they are worth every penny they earn. However, why should the restaurant worker be paid so much less. For example, in some cases construction truck drivers often get paid a much higher wage than a restaurant worker. Yet in some cases the truck driver or construction  worker gets laid off for the  winter months and receives unemployment during that time. Meanwhile the restaurant worker works all year long seldom with any benefits, and receives less than half the salary the seasonably employed worker (with the exception of migrant workers) receives.

    The only way to rectify this problem is by making sure every worker gets a fair wage. I don’t know about the federal minimum, but states also have training wages or other stipulations that help soften the increase for small business, particularly in rural  areas.

    Opponents of the law in Minnesota were adamant that a cola for future cost of living increases not be a part of the law. To me this is the thing that makes most sense. Most of the state’s government employees already get this, on top of  annual pay increases. The reason I think this makes sense is that legislators would no longer have to fight about minimum wage increases any more or at least less often. However if that were included it would have to be tied to inflation and possibly have a cap on how high it could go.

    Academic studies the past couple of decades show there is clear evidence that raising minimum wage does not result in job losses, even during periods of high unemployment.

    My own argument for the increase is that it helps lower paid workers and women in particular. Having more income means more money to spend on goods and services, which are what fuels our economy. Demand for durable goods and food are what really creates jobs, not big business, no business in the world is ever going to hire more people unless they can see the demand for their products is forthcoming.

Another thing is that with people  making more money they will also pay more taxes, and be less burdensome on our social programs. Another thing that business will benefit from is less training costs as employees will be less likely to leave their jobs.

    Thirty four states are considering or have passed bills to increase minimum wage, and quite a few of those states have included escalator clauses of some sort. Oh by the way only one state had a lower minimum  wage than Minnesota, so it’s about time.


    Have a great week and do good!