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It’s time to raise the minimum wage.
Had it kept up with inflation, the current federal minimum wage would be $10.74. Instead, it's $7.25. For a full-time worker, that amounts to an annual income of $15,080, a total wholly inadequate for addressing the needs of working families.
Support for a raise is growing. As The Nation’s Steven Hsieh reports, a group of seventy-five leading economists recently signed a letter in favor of a Democratic proposal to raise the federal minimum wage by ninety-five cents a year over the next three years—bringing it to $10.10 by 2015—and to index further increases to inflation. In their letter, the economists point out that, far from reducing employment, raising the minimum wage will stimulate the economy as a whole. They also debunk the myth that minimum wage workers are teenagers looking to earn an extra buck, pointing out that the vast majority of those who would benefit from the increase are adults—a disproportionate number of them women—who depend on their earnings to support a family.
It is far past time that we make this necessary and common sense change. Contact your senators and representative today and tell them to support an increase in the minimum wage.
Darlene Handy of Baltimore holds up a banner during a rally to support raising the minimum wage in Maryland (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)