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Stimulus in federal wage hike

Editorial 
Bemidji Pioneer (MN), Jul 24 2009
An economic stimulus of a different sort takes effect today, as the federal minimum wage rises from $6.55 an hour to $7.25 an hour. The move will create an extra $5.5 billion in consumer spending over the next year, Obama administration officials say.

Congress for decades has argued over the merits of raising the minimum wage, proponents calling the move necessary to more closer reach a living wage, and opponents saying the hike will cause the loss of jobs especially in small businesses unable to afford the higher wages.

Minimum wage hike could threaten low earners' jobs

By Dionne Walker
Associated Press, Jul 23 2009
ATLANTA — A federal minimum wage increase that takes effect Friday could prolong the recession, some economists say, by forcing small businesses to lay off the same workers that the pay hike passed in better times was meant to help.

The increase to $7.25 means 70 cents more an hour for the lowest-paid workers in the 30 states that have lower minimums or no minimum wage. It also means higher costs for employers who feel they've already trimmed all their operating fat.

Minimum wage increase on Friday

By Jonathan Springston
Atlanta Progressive News, Jul 23 2009

The federal minimum wage is set to increase Friday to $7.25 per hour. The Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign said in a press release this week that the increase is good but not enough. Their campaign calls for a $10 minimum wage in 2010.

Over 600 faith leaders from 50 states have signed onto a letter the group plans to send to the 111th Congress later this fall. Here’s an excerpt:

Fair Wages Help Small Business

Op-ed by Kent Ross
Distributed by American Forum, Jul 23 2009
As a small business owner, I find that people expect me to grumble about the increase in the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour as of July 24. But I’m not grumbling. In fact, I think it should be raised further.

Minimum Wage Hike Spurs Optimism And Debate

By David Greene
NPR Morning Edition, Jul 23 2009

Listen to the story: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106899398

Millions of America's low-wage workers are about to get a raise.

On Friday, the federal minimum wage will jump from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour. Congress approved that raise two years ago.

Back then, lawmakers didn't know the country would be in the grips of a deep recession this summer. And now, economists are debating how the increase will play out.

Minimum Wage Stuck in the 1950s

Op-ed by Holly Sklar
Distributed by McClatchy Tribune News Service, Jul 23 2009
Are you better off than you were 40 years ago? Not if you're a minimum wage worker.

It would take $9.92 today to match the buying power of the minimum wage at its peak in 1968, the year Martin Luther King died fighting for living wages for sanitation workers.

Minimum wage hike will help workers and economy - More needed say workers, business owners and faith leaders

Jul 22 2009

Minimum wage raises have been so little, so late that even with the increase to $7.25 on July 24, workers will still make less than the $7.93 minimum wage of 1956, adjusting for inflation. It would take $9.92 to match the buying power of the minimum wage of 1968. That's why the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign says the minimum wage raise on July 24 is good, but not good enough.

"It can get very difficult when you have to decide which bill to pay each month," says Anjail Hafeeza of New Jersey. "I'm constantly scrambling to keep from getting evicted or have the lights cut off. I'm a mother of 2 young boys, working two jobs, but one paycheck from being homeless."

Minimum wage hike will help workers, economy

Metro Latino USA, Jul 22 2009
Minimum wage raises have been so little, so late that even with the increase to $7.25 on July 24, workers will still make less than the $7.93 minimum wage of 1956, adjusting for inflation.It would take $9.92 to match the buying power of the minimum wage of 1968.

That's why the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign says the minimum wage raise on July 24 is good, but not good enough.
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