Monday, December 2, 2013

Americans Want a Higher Minimum Wage. Why Don't We Get One?

An Ohio Walmart is having a food drive for its workers. Real good, America.

Paul Krugman makes the case again today for a higher minimum wage and reminds us that all political classes of citizens -- even Republicans -- favor it. Why won't it happen?

That's why.

For fun, read this conservative argument against a higher minimum wage. Notice how its central tenet is that minimum-wage workers qualify for government assistance and tax credits. In other words, don't make Walmart and McDonald's pay for their labor, let the taxpayers do it! Beginning of the lead graph:
Steve Coll has a comment in this week’s New Yorker calling for a higher federal minimum wage. He points out that it’s awfully hard for a family of four to live on the current minimum wage, which would produce a family income of about $15,000 a year. That is certainly true, but Mr. Coll leaves out a few things. A family of four with an annual income of $15,000 would be eligible for food stamps amounting to $7,584 and an earned income tax credit of $5,372. That raises the family income to $27,911, which is quite an improvement. The family would also be eligible for Medicaid, school lunch and breakfast programs, perhaps housing assistance and other forms of help.
And here I thought conservatives hated government spending and waste, fraud, and abuse. Oh well, what do I know?

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