24 May 2006

Minimum Wage and Living Wage

Just found this article on MSN MoneyCentral, where it discusses the stagnant $5.15/hr federal minimum wage (unchanged since the Clinton era), and the state and local jurisdictions' rebellion against it by implementing their own minimum and/or living wage ordinances.

It also debunks the business community's argument that raising the minimum wage decreases working class jobs, by showing statistics that prove otherwise. As a business manager myself, I know that good employees deserve good wages, which are well above both the federal minimum wage and the California minimum wage ($6.75/hr); in fact, I often pay the prevailing Davis-Bacon wage for construction workers, which are theoretically based on the pay level for Americans and legal immigrants in a collective labor agreement, and are often over $20/hr (including fringe benefits paid in cash) for a basic laborer. (When working with government funds, these pay levels become mandatory.) Paying these good wages when others pay "illegal immigrant" slave wages has helped out with the retention of valuable employees.

MSN MoneyCentral