Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Federal Minimum Wage Is A Poverty Wage and $9.65 Is Not Enough to Live

          The Federal Minimum wage is a poverty wage and $9.65 is not enough to live

July 23, 2021 is the 12th anniversary of when the federal minimum wage was last raised to $7.25 An increase is long overdue. Since 2009 n, the real value of the federal minimum has eroded and is now worth $6.11 in today "s dollars.

Productivity and economic growth have outpaced wages. If the minimum wage  had been raised at the same pace as productivity growth since the late 1960's, it would be over $20 an hour today.

It's impossible to survive on $7.25 anywhere in this country. A $7.25 full- time job pays less than the federal poverty threshold. 

In Michigan the living wage for a single adult is $13.63, well above Michigan's $9.65 minimum wage according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator.

Michigan families deserve economic security. more than a third of moms in Michigan are single mothers, but the living wage for a single parent in Michigan is $31.15-more than three times the current minimum wage.

The Michigan Legislature robbed Michigan citizen of the higher wages they were advocating for 

In 2018, over 400,000 Michigan voters supported a ballot initiative to raise the state's minimum wage gradually to $12 by 2022, and to completely eliminate the tipped sub-minimum wage by 2024.

In September of that year the state legislature adopted, The improve Workforce Opportunity Act to raise the minimum wage and remove the initiative from the ballot prior to the November elections.

During the lame duck session , a few weeks, after the election, but before the newly elected legislature was seated , Michigan Legislator reversed their decision and passed a new bill to block these long overdue raises that would brought paychecks closer in line with rising living costs across the state. In all about 1 in 4 Michigan workers would have seem their paychecks grow, but legislators robbed their voters of this opportunity.

There is no county in Michigan where workers and their families can afford the basic necessities , save for the future , and achieve economic security under the state's current minimum wage.

If the legislature had not robbed Michigan voters of their raise , we would have be preparing to welcome a $12 minimum wage next year.

There is a national effort to win a $15 minimum wage and all Michiganders should get behind it.

A majority (59) of workers whose total family income is below the poverty line would receive a pay increase if the minimum wage were raised $15 by 2025. 

A $15 minimum wage would begin to reverse decades of growing pay inequality between the most underpaid workers and workers receiving close to the median wage , particularly along gender and racial lines.

Almost one in four (23%) of those who would benefit is a Black or Latina women

Essential and front -line workers make up a majority (60%) of those who would benefits a $15. minimum wage.

Although Michigan citizens will fight hard to reinstate the minimum wage increase they were denied , a federal minimum wage increase to $15 is long overdue , and would help reverse the Michigan State legislature's undemocratic practices and reinstate the will of Michigan voters.