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Minimum wage raise too little, too late

By       Message Holly Sklar     Permalink
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Eight of the "SurePayroll Top Ten States for Small Businesses" in 2008 have had state minimum wages above the federal level. They include Washington, California and Oregon, three of the four states with the highest minimums.

Minimum wage raises are stimulus for an economy tanking from a housing bubble gone bust, sharply higher oil prices, extreme inequality, unsustainable debt, and fraud and speculation crowding out productive investment.

Higher wages benefit business by increasing consumer purchasing power, reducing costly employee turnover, raising productivity, and improving product quality and company reputation. They reinforce long-term success.

Let Justice Roll, a national faith, community, labor and business coalition, which I advise, is calling for a minimum wage of $10 in 2010.

$10 in 2010 will bring the minimum wage closer to the value it had in 1968, a year when the unemployment rate was a low 3.6 percent.

It will bring the minimum wage closer to the "minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency and general well-being of workers" promised by the Fair Labor Standards Act establishing the minimum wage 70 years ago.
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It will strengthen the foundation under our unsound economy.
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Holly Sklar is a widely published op-ed columnist whose books include "Raise the Floor: Wages and Policies That Work for All of Us" and "Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood," the widely taught story of how the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative is rebuilding a long impoverished Boston community.

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