Raise the Wage


Matthew Ferraro

President Obama’s visit to Ann Arbor, on April 2, was to highlight his push to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. Will raising the minimum wage increase consumption or eliminate jobs? Over another election year, this battle will be fought in our political arenas.

It is a great mystery why the minimum wage is not tied to inflation. Inflation means general price increases: when the economy is experiencing inflation, goods and services cost more. Inflation is a natural part of the economy; it’s normal. So, the first question to be asked when you learn about the minimum wage is “why on earth is the minimum wage not tied to these price increases?” As a result of slow progress in raising the wage, and a steady wage instead of a flexible one, those who earn the minimum wage make less today than they would have 30 years ago. How is that possible in the United States of America?

Those who advocate that the minimum wage should remain the same use employment as their example. They say if they pay workers more, they can’t afford to keep them on. Sorry, but that doesn’t hold-water.

When the middle class is healthy, they buy more, which is the basis of our economy. If you pay someone a wage they can live on instead of the bare minimum, they will spend more. Being a consumer economy, the more people buying goods means the safer our national economy will be. With more buying going on, companies can hire back losses.

And frankly, I want everyone in this country to be able to support themselves–put food on the table, be warm, have some fun. Raising the wage is one of the best ways to help already hardworking Americans. I don’t understand how some people stomach their hatred for the minimum wage. How can you advocate for a low wage when it could be your daughter or son on it in a few years? The people who make minimum wage are human beings and it’s time we treated them as such; it’s time we paid them enough to live a nice life.

Raising the minimum wage and tieing it to inflation is important for those who live on this meager income, and all of us as a nation. It is about giving people basic human necessities. And for the nation: the stronger the weakest links are, the stronger the chain.