WAGES

Higher minimum wage would bring mixed bag

A new report on raising the federal minimum wage buttresses longtime calls by federal employee unions—and the labor movement generally—for higher wages, but the report also shows that raising pay could cause many to lose their jobs.

The report was issued by the Congressional Budget Office on July 8.

“The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour has not changed since 2009, though many states and localities have set their minimum wage above that level,” the CBO states in a summary of the report. “Increasing the federal minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers.”

“For most low-wage workers, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty,” CBO said. “But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall—in some cases, below the poverty threshold.”

For details, go to the report at: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/55410.

Reader comments

Mon, Jul 15, 2019 Jim

Higher minimum wage would help average people, period.

Wed, Jul 10, 2019 Richard Roanoke, Virginia

Even if it would bring "mixed bag" in short run, over time it would be good for the economy. Having ruined people living like medieval peasants is very bad in a modern world. Actually the working poor end up costing far, far more for all the supplemental services needed to keep it going. Bad diet and habits and bad health means lots of public healthcare costs later. There's also expensive policing and security costs when people are struggling and divided. And there's transporttation costs, remedial schooling for thosebrought up under stress, counseling and homeless care as they fall in and out of way too low minimum wage jobs. It's all just a big subsidy for the rich, and especially for the corporations who abuse and overuse the mimimum wage and 30 hour workweeks etc on "contractors" and employees. It's ridiculous. This would be a good first step. (the part of society who would lose work would possibly get it later as workers regain strength versus rich people and rich corporations and can better protect workforces.)

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