Congressmen Bernie Sanders, Patty Murray, Bobby Scott, Pramila Jayapal and Stephanie Murphy announced Tuesday the presentation of the proposal for $ 15 an hour./File
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Weak labor standards are putting enormous pressure on many families and with it on the economy. One of these standards is the minimum wage frozen at $ 7.25 an hour since a phase-out at the federal level was approved in 2007 that ended in 2009. A Democratic Congressional coalition that includes independent Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced the Raise the Wage proposal. Act 2021 to increase the minimum wage and reach $ 15 an hour in 2025.
This is an operation that involves more than doubling the current value of the hour worked. Lawmakers believe that a 40-hour workweek should not be the same as living in poverty.
The rise, as proposed by the Democrats, would mean that this year this salary would be raised to $ 9.25 an hour and would also increase the salaries of workers who charge the so-called sub-minimum for having tips. This would go from $ 2.12 an hour to $ 4.95 in 2021. The minimums for adolescents would rise this year to $ 6. The upload calendars up to these last two reach 2027.
It is planned to later be indexed to the evolution of average wage growth to avoid the loss of purchasing power of those who earn it, as has happened in recent years. Inflation, although it has not shot up, has been reducing the purchasing power of those who still earn this salary every year.
In the event that this law reaches the president’s table, it is to be expected that he will sign it without delay because Joe Biden himself has advocated for it. What is more uncertain is the path it may take in the Chambers, especially in the Senate in which the Democratic majority is precarious. The last time such a proposal reached the Upper House, then-leader of the House, Republican Mitch McConnell, prevented it from getting a vote. The new leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, has endorsed the proposal.
The current wage freeze period is the longest in 82 years in which the minimum wage has not been raised. In the event that it had risen at the same rate as productivity, it would be around $ 24 an hour today.
The proposal would allow the wages of some 32 million workers to rise, 33% of them black and 25% Latino, who with the increase would have $ 3,300 more in their accounts or portfolios.
Sanders explained Tuesday that $ 7.25 an hour is a starvation wage. “Nobody can get by with a salary of three $ 8, $ 10 or one $ 12 an hour. In the US, a job must allow workers to leave poverty and not live in it. ” For Sanders there are no excuses to delay the climb.
Effect on the economy
Most companies, especially small ones, do not tend to like this type of law, but raising the minimum wage is a reality in states and cities. Many large companies have applied it or are doing it.
And it is something that is transferred to an economy that 70% moves to the rhythm of consumption. People who earn less more part of their salary use it in consumption. Proponents of the law believe that there will be more money in motion and there is no evidence that employment is reduced with the increases although they do not say anything about the cuts in hours, something that many workers lament.
More salary also means less dependence on the basic social network, which is a cost for taxpayers who at the same time, and thus, subsidize the employment of those who do not pay wages that allow them to live without that network.