YES? You’re not alone!
This year the National Employment Law Project (NELP), released their recent survey that shows how Americans really feel about the minimum wage. We were surprised by the massive support there is for raising wages in this country.
Two out of every three people in this country support an increase to $15.00 an hour by 2020. More than 75% of people surveyed supported a minimum wage increase to $12.50 an hour. America still believes in family supporting wages.
Big money, and the politicians they get elected, are way off base when it comes to the American people and where we stand on the issue of wages. While they cry “job creation” and point to the unemployment numbers’ decline we have been watching our wages stagnate while the NASDAQ and corporate profits reach record highs.
Let’s get real about where most low wage workers are employed. Retail, Foodservice/Hospitality and Healthcare. The companies leading these industries are laughing all the way to the bank.
Wal-Mart and McDonald’s employ millions of people around the world.
Their profits are in the billions every year. The first family of Walmart, the Walton’s, are worth $152 Billion. To put that in perspective–it’s as much as the worth of the bottom 40% of Americans. 127 Million people’s wealth combined is less than the 6 Walton heirs are worth.
At the same time their shareholders are doing just fine: Walmart profited $129 Billion in 2014.
Everyone knows that you can’t survive on $7.25 — which is why the vast majority of minimum wage workers live below the poverty line and qualify for government assistance in the form of food stamps, Medicaid or housing assistance. In no single state can a person work full time at minimum wage and still afford 2 bedroom apartment.
In Pennsylvania Wal-Mart employs nearly 50,000 people. Over 15% of them are on Medicaid. Fast Food is even worse. With over 50% of their employees on government assistance their minimum wages come with a supersize of taxpayer subsidy. The other big employer who rounds out the top three in PA with number of employees on Medicaid is UPMC–University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; another multi million dollar a year corporation.
It’s time to raise wages. Employers can afford it. Voters and taxpayers are ready for it. And working people deserve to make a living wage.