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California Workers Call For Federal Minimum Wage Increase

California workers have joined other workers in cities across the country in calling for an increase in the federal minimum wage.

Aired 7/24/12 on KPBS News.

California workers have joined other workers in cities across the country in calling for an increase in the federal minimum wage.

Today marks the three year anniversary of the last federal wage increase. Workers who rallied at the state capitol say that’s too long.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, or about 15,000 a year, which is below the federal poverty level for a family of two.

Jimmell Moore of Sacramento says California’s minimum wage may be higher, but he still struggles. “Even in the state of California where minimum wage of $8.00 an hour a total yearly income of $16,640 is not enough for one person, much less to sustain a family. Me, myself, I have two children, I’ve worked for odd minimum wage jobs and it really doesn’t help," said Moore.

Democratic Congressman George Miller has introduced legislation which would raise the federal minimum wage by 85 cents an hour for three years, and then adjust it annually for inflation.

Business organizations including the U-S Chamber of Commerce oppose a minimum wage increase, saying it would reduce the number of jobs that are available.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | July 24, 2012 at 4:29 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Why would Californian workers protest the federal minimum wage when California's minimum wage is much higher? Makes zero sense.

Besides, there shouldn't be a federal minimum wage in the first place. That is an issue for each state to decide.

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Avatar for user 'Gary1'

Gary1 | July 24, 2012 at 9:10 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

The minimum wage was never intended to be a "living wage". By raising it, many entry level type jobs would be eliminated because the work performed would not pay for the wages. As an example, many years ago in fast food places, there were people working the counter, and other people hired to cook, and those who cleaned. In most places now, there are fewer cooks, the counter help assembles the orders, and cooks french fries. The duties of cleaning are also now spread among the people who work there. The result is that jobs have been eliminated, because of higher wages. It hits minority youth especialy hard. The economist Thomas Sowell has written many excellent articles about minimum wages laws and he has an interview on youtube. Well worth the time to read and watch. Higher minimum wages only eliminate jobs and unemployment increases.

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