Scapegoating the Minimum Wage

December 24, 2009 | Alex Stone

It wouldn’t be the holidays if we didn’t have grinches. In the spirit of the season, this week we saw calls to lower the federal minimum wage (yes, you read that correctly), thinly disguised as a way to help the economy. In this time of recession and high unemployment, however, that is actually the last thing policymakers should do.

The federal minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour, or $14,500 a year for a full-time worker. And for tipped workers, like the waitresses, car wash attendants and nail salon workers, it is a shockingly low $2.13 an hour (while tips are expected to bring workers up to a more sustainable level, often they do not). Calls to lower this already meager wage get the economics of the minimum wage completely wrong by ignoring the importance of a decent wage floor, especially in this recession.

Read more at the Huffington Post

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Posted in A Fair Deal at Work, Column, Minimum Wage

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