Are you for or against raising the minimum wage❓It really doesn’t matter. If America wants to raise the minimum wage, so be it. However, what does matter is how the idea is being sold and the claims being attached to the propaganda.
If you are a full-time worker and earn the proposed $10.10 per hour, you have an income of $21,000 or $1750 a month. Is that middle-class? Probably not, but nobody seems to know how to define middle-class.
There is no universally recognized definition of middle class. There are federal poverty level guidelines, so if you happen to wonder if you’re poor, you can consult the Department of Health & Human Services (not that you likely need guidelines to tell you if you’re poor). But after that, you’re on your own to decide if you’re lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class or in the fabulously wealthy territory. But to get us started thinking about financial status, a U.S. household with four people living off $23,850 or less is considered poor. (Hawaii and Alaska, with highest costs of living, have different guidelines.)
One helpful yardstick to judge whether you’re middle class: Median household income was $51,017 in 2012, according to the most recent U.S. census data. Robert Reich, a professor of Public Policy at the University of California-Berkeley and former Secretary of Labor, has suggested the middle class be defined as households making 50 percent higher and lower than the median, which would mean the average middle class annual income is $25,500 to $76,500.
If you’re in the middle of the middle, however – not lower or upper-middle class – that would be an income range between $39,764 and $64,582, says Aaron Pacitti, an assistant professor of economics at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. SOURCE: US News Money
If you look at some of the President’s policies, middle-class goes all the way to $200,000 a year income and then you become wealthy. Depending on where you live, your standard of living varies greatly within the middle-class. So, raising the minimum wage is not helping raise the status of the middle-class especially considering that most minimum wage earners are part-time workers.
What I really object to is the insulting propaganda from this government. Look at the sections below that I placed in bold. Does any of that make sense? First, given all the stated benefits of paying workers more, why would smart business people not be paying $10.10 already … or more for that matter? Then we have the business owner saying taxpayers deserve to have him pay his workers more. Has anyone thought about the fact that all this also means higher costs for government contracts?
Let’s have a serious debate about minimum wage without the political fog and ignoring of potential consequences. If America wants to pay its lowest skilled workers $10.10 and hour; fine but let’s do so with our eyes open and without false expectations of changing the middle class.
From the Department of Labor Blog
A Promise Made and a Promise Kept
by SECRETARY TOM PEREZ on OCTOBER 1, 2014
President Obama promised that 2014 would be a year of action to expand opportunity and grow the middle class. Today, the president upheld his promise to lift the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for workers who are employed under federal contracts. A final rule announced by the Labor Department today implements Executive Order 13658, signed by the president on February 12, and will directly benefit nearly 200,000 American workers.
The underlying principle couldn’t be simpler: no one who works full-time in America should have to raise their family in poverty. And if you serve meals to our troops for a living, for example, then you shouldn’t have to go on food stamps in order to serve a meal to your family at home. By raising the minimum wage for these workers, we’re not just upholding the president’s promise, but the fundamental American promise that hard work should be rewarded with a fair wage.
Our action today will make a big difference for workers like Jackeline Osorio. She’s a 21-year-old mother from Annandale, Virginia, who serves food to military personnel and Defense Department officials in the Pentagon food court. “I don’t make enough money, and I have to pay some of my bills late,” she says. “$10.10 an hour would help me pay my bills on time.”
The But this doesn’t just help workers. It will also strengthen companies doing business with the federal government, thus giving taxpayers a better return as well. Carmen Ortiz Larsen is president of AQUAS, Inc., a federal government contractor that provides information technology management support. She says that a higher minimum wage is better for the bottom line: “From a business perspective, a higher minimum wage will reduce turnover and training costs, and lead to more productive workers who are focused on the work at hand, not on looking for another job that pays more.”
Another business executive agrees. Jon Cooper is president of Spectronics Corporation, a leading manufacturer of ultraviolet equipment and fluorescent materials, which has been awarded numerous federal contracts over the years. “If a company is getting a contract paid for by taxpayer dollars, it’s only right that they pay a $10.10 minimum wage,” Cooper says. “Fair wages are part of the formula for success at my company.”