Although I consider myself a conservative, especially in fiscal matters, today I joined Lehigh Valley's State Representatives and candidates in endorsing the bill to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. The event was organized by Alan Jennings of Community Action, and held at the Second Harvest Food Bank. My position is simply that the fruits of person's labor should earn them more than one Happy Meal. Although the sparse audience was essentially the food Bank workers, one by one, the representatives gave essentially the same speech, some even quoting Roosevelt and Martin Luther King.
reprinted from September 2014
A sample comment, submitted by Wayne Woodman in Sept. of 2014
Fewer than 2% of working adults earns the minimum wage. It will have no real effect other than to make self indulged elected officials feel like they have compassion for the working poor. Maybe it makes for good politics but it makes for bad policy. A fifty percent increase will definitely have a trickle up affect causing those making more than $10.10 an hour currently to demand commensurately more since they offer more value. In the least worst case this will lead to wage and price inflation negating the increase of the minimum. In the worst case, which is more likely, business owners, especially those in low margin businesses like restaurants, will have a greater incentive to invest in capital to streamline their services or, if possible, fully automate a position currently held by a low wage earner. To weak kneed politicians this is preferable to addressing the real problem. Failing schools are producing graduates, if they graduate at all, unqualified for all but the most minimal of tasks. Our economy is currently oversupplied with these workers and for many residents of inner cities, in particular, these minimum skill jobs are their only access to the first rung on the employment ladder. There is no doubt at all that having a job, even a low wage job, is better than remaining idle when it comes to producing a better future for ones self. This type of thing seems to always occur in election years as the equivalent of the tradition of the Roman Empire of providing bread and circuses to the mob upon the elevation of a new emperor. Once again what makes for good politics produces bad policy. Wayne Woodman September 2014
At the time, I received many comments opposing an increase to the minimum wage. Yesterday, Tom Wolf pledged to introduce a minimum wage bill to Pennsylvania's State House. Locally, Pat Browne supports the increase. With a Republican majority in both chambers, I see no possibility of it passing. My support is based on my experience as a property manager. When the fruits of a minimum paying job cannot support even a modest roof over your head, in a low rent town, some increase is in order.