Fix The Minimum Wage
Americans who work hard for a living should be able to make a living from their work.
Connect: Americans are working harder and harder for less and less while corporate CEOs get bigger and bigger bonuses.
Illustrate: Working full-time in a minimum wage job pays just $15,000 a year. That's not enough to live on -- whether you're a parent trying to raise a family or a senior whose savings vanished in the Wall Street meltdown.
Define: Americans who work hard and play by the rules should be paid enough to live off their wages -- not forced to live in poverty because the minimum wage is just too low for this day and age.
Connect the dots: People who work paycheck to paycheck are customers in our businesses and put their money right back into our economy. It should be a no-brainer to pay them a fair wage for their hard work.
Call to action: Politicians in Congress get an automatic raise every year if they do nothing. But we need to depend on Congress agreeing each year to make the minimum wage keep up with the cost of living. It's time to fix that problem.
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ATTACKS AND RESPONSES
ATTACK: "Raising the minimum wage will hurt job growth."
- Actually, raising the minimum wage helps the economy, not just working families. Americans who work for a living are customers in our businesses and put their money right back into our economy.
- So it's no surprise economists say there's just no evidence to back up Republican politicians' scaremongering over the minimum wage. In fact, our economy is overdue for another increase in the minimum wage.
- Increasing the federal minimum wage to even just $10 an hour would lift the wages for more than 28 million Americans -- boosting economic growth by more than $25 billion and generating more than 100,000 jobs. That's what Republicans are opposing.
- Ultimately this is about what values we hold as Americans. In this day and age, no one who works hard in a full-time job should be forced to raise their family in poverty.
ATTACK: "Raising the minimum wage will hurt small businesses."
- Actually, most of these jobs paying so little come from big corporations.
- These corporations keep giving their CEOs bigger bonuses every year, but then turn around and claim they can't afford to pay their workers -- the people who keep their companies going -- even the bare minimum needed to get by.
- People who work for a living spend their money in our businesses, putting it right back into our economy. It should be a no-brainer to pay them a fair wage for their hard work.
- Just this month Republicans in Congress voted to kill another small business bill. They have some nerve talking about small businesses when they keep rigging the system in favor of the big corporations funding their campaigns, all at the expense of our small businesses.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Three fourths of Americans -- including three fourths of Independents -- support increasing the federal minimum wage to $10 and making it automatically rise with inflation.
- The federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour, or only $15,080 a year. That's more than $7,000 below the federal poverty line for a family of four.
- In contrast, CEO pay has risen 725% over the last 30 years and 80% of all real income growth has gone to the richest 1% of Americans.
- Most Americans working in minimum wage jobs are not teenagers -- that's a myth. In fact, people in low-wage jobs are older and better educated than ever.
- There are at least 4 million Americans in jobs with wages at or below the federal minimum wage, although the actual number is likely far higher. One in four American are in jobs that pay less than $10 per hour.
- Two-thirds of American workers in low-wage jobs are employed by large companies with over 100 employees, not small businesses. Of the 50 largest employers of workers in low-wage jobs --
- More than 90 percent were profitable last year.
- They paid their top executives an average of $9.4 million last year -- that's $4,500 each hour for someone working 40 hours a week, or almost $800,000 each month.
- They paid out $175 billion to their shareholders in dividends or share buybacks over the past five years.
- Raising the federal minimum wage to $9.80, as a Democratic plan pending in Congress would do, would lift the wages for more than 28 million Americans, increase our country's economic growth by more than $25 billion, and create the equivalent of more than 100,000 full-time jobs.
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Posted in - Labor - Economy - Jobs