Letter: Hike the minimum wage
Minimum wage is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. This issue is particularly relevant to Franklin County and the Pioneer Valley, as many residents are currently living off of federal minimum wage.
The Massachusetts Senate made a statement by approving a bill that will raise hourly minimum wage from $8 to $11 by 2016. Raising the federal minimum wage as soon as possible provides multiple benefits for workers and citizens, including improved life for families, positive economic recovery and help people get out of debt.
According to research by economist James Galbraith, 28 million Americans will benefit from the minimum wage being raised. Women will particularly benefit, as they currently often work for less pay than men.
In order for the economy to return to full power, the wealth must be restored to middle-class Americans. A redistribution of wealth will not only create more equality among workers, but also close the gap between productivity and wages.
Finally, as the economy becomes constantly focused on Wall Street and stocks, the wealth travels to the top one percent. As this trend occurs, federal minimum wage remains frozen in time. The price of living increases, but the minimum wage does not, resulting in families plummeting into debt.
Raising the federal minimum wage will not only help families climb out of the government- inflicted debt, but also prevent this from happening again. Only time will tell whether the federal minimum wage will be raised, but the positive aspects overwhelmingly outweigh the negative aspects in this debate.
Turners Falls High School