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Double Up and Win

Nov 15, 2008
Do the math.

$6.55 x 40 hours x 52 weeks = $13,624.

If Obama wants to stimulate the economy, he can do a far better job of it than by sending middle class Americans another rebate check, lowering their taxes, raising taxes on the rich, freezing mortgage foreclosures, paying businesses $3,000 for every new domestic hire, or bailing out General Motors. These are all ideas that have been floated recently and it is not to say that some of them aren’t excellent ideas that should be implemented on January 21, if possible (others aren’t and shouldn’t). However, we have an even better idea. On top of immediately infusing a big percentage of the work force with some disposable income, our idea will right a long-standing wrong and eliminate working class poverty in America overnight:

Double the federal minimum wage.

It is immoral to pay a full-time worker less than a living wage. This is the meaning of 1 Timothy 5:18: “For the Scripture says, ... ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages.’”1

For additional statistics regarding the minimum wage, poverty thresholds, and a living wage, click the Poverty or Economics tags in the left-hand column.

We can fiddle with the obscene wealth of the top one percent and fuss with bailouts and middle class tax cuts until the cows come home. But if we want to take a giant step toward redistributing wealth appropriately in this country, we should start by respecting the value of our labor. It matters not whether you flip burgers, clean toilets, or manage a hedge fund. Full-time labor is worthy of a living wage, and the 25 percent of the population currently earning less than that—yes, one out of every four workers!—should demand it, and those of us earning more should stand in solidarity with them.

Anything less in the richest country in the world is bad politics, bad governance, and just plain wrong.
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1 Parallel Translations, at Biblos.com, quoting the New American Standard Bible. See also Matthew 10:10 and Luke 10:7.
tags: Labor | Poverty | Governance

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