Value Workers to Build Economy

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Editorial 
Hammond Daily Star (La.), Jul 26 2010
The value of minimum wage today is lower than the value of minimum wage in 1956, according to the Let Justice Roll coalition of faith, community and business organizations.

The decline in worker buying power is one of the reasons this nation is in the worst economic crisis since the Depression, and it is a big reason we are having so much trouble rebuilding the economy. Businesses are not hiring because they don't have enough customers, and workers are not buying because they don't have the money.

We cannot build a healthy economy with the greatest income inequality since 1928 and a minimum wage lower in value than in 1956.

The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act promised the minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency and general well-being of workers. Today, food pantries are seeing more and more workers whose paychecks do not cover the basic necessities.

Let's reward workers for rising productivity. A job should keep people out of poverty, not keep them in it.