It is just a sad fact that millions of workers in the United States make at or near the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour (about $15,080 a year). That's barely enough to keep a single person above the poverty line, and for those with a family (two or more people) it is a poverty wage. Republicans will tell you that the minimum wage workers are just teenagers living with their parents (who don't need a livable wage), but that is a lie. The overwhelming majority of minimum wage workers are adults -- and many are single parents supporting children.
These are not lazy people. They work hard in a full-time job -- and they deserve a livable wage. No one willing to work hard should have to live in poverty. And by 2020, it is estimated that about a quarter of the American workforce will be working at or very near the minimum wage.
The current minimum wage has 30% to 35% less buying power than the minimum wage did 50 years ago. That's unacceptable. The minimum wage must be raised. The chart above shows that a slim majority of Americans (52% to 46%) would support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. If you lower that figure to $12 an hour or $10 an hour, the support rises sharply. The American people know the minimum wage is too low, and they want it to be raised. The only debate is how much.
Unfortunately, the Republicans control both the White House and both houses of Congress -- and they oppose raising the minimum wage at all. In fact, many of them would like to abolish the minimum wage, and let employers abuse employees even more seriously than they currently do. This is one of many reasons why the Republicans must be voted out of power.
Let me give you two other good reasons for raising the minimum wage:
1. It will put upward pressure on all wages, and benefit workers making above the minimum wage.
2. It will save tax money by removing workers from government rolls.
The charts above are from the Pew Research Center.