The proposal to raise the federal minimum wage appears to be a key struggle in the battleground that is Washington these days. With mid term elections looming, both sides of the aisle are trying to bring home a victory. But the question becomes a victory for who ? At the basis of the argument is the pros believing it will provide a standard of living improvement for the working poor, while the cons state it will not be affordable to small business and therefore create job loss. Is this just a grand gesture to appease the masses? Or is it an important stimulus for a fledgling (for most) economy? The answer could be a split down the middle.
Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. The proposal,would be to raise it to $10.10.
The increase would improve the income of some 16.5 currently employed at that figure. To complicate things, states use the federal minimum as a guideline that local legislators often vote to increase. Rhode Island and Massachusetts share an $8.00 wage while Oregon is a dollar away from the increase coming in at $9.10.
Opponents point to that as side stepping state sovereignty and placing the kind of sweeping mandates the extreme right abhors. They have support from the Congressional Budget Office figures which show a predicted half a million job losses or 0.3%. There is a variable on those figures as well. While proponents claim the job loss could be far less than that, some economists have predicated a figure as high as one million losses.
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