"What every American wants is a
paycheck that lets them support their families, know a little economic
security, pass down some hope and optimism to their kids. And that’s
worth fighting for."
– President Obama
The federal minimum wage hasn't kept pace with the
rising costs of basic necessities for working families, and today is
worth even less than it was in the early 1980s. That means someone
working full time for the federal minimum wage makes just $14,500 a year
— which is below the poverty line for a family of four.
Raising the minimum wage nationwide would benefit 28
million workers across the country, and lift nearly a million people out
of poverty. These aren’t just teenagers at their first job — the
average age of workers who would benefit is 35 years old.
Despite support from 7 out of 10 Americans, lawmakers have failed to act.
But momentum is on our side. So far in 2014, five
states and D.C. have enacted minimum wage increases, and many more
states have legislation in motion to follow suit. We've seen state
legislators from both sides of the aisle come together, because they
know that putting more money in the pockets of working Americans means
more spending at local businesses.
President Obama led by example, raising the wage for
all federal contractors by executive order. We've also seen business
owners raise wages for their employees, because they know that workers
who feel valued are more productive and less likely to leave their jobs.
Higher wages are good for workers and business, and are key to a stronger economy that creates opportunity for all Americans.
What's needed now is a strong show of support
from people across the country, to let our lawmakers know: It's time to
give America a raise.