By Jueseppi B.
Raising the minimum wage isn’t just pro-worker; it’s pro-economic growth. Putting money in the pockets of working families, as Henry Ford explained, means they’ll spend it on goods and services, which in turn helps businesses thrive and create more jobs.
Obama At Costco Promotes Higher Minimum Wage
Published on Jan 29, 2014
President Obama notes that Costco pays its workers a higher starting wage and therefor has fewer workers quit, making it a better company. He speaks from a Costco in Lanham, Maryland.
That’s why 75 percent of Americans − including so many business leaders I speak to − support a higher federal minimum wage. That’s why there’s a proud bipartisan history of raising the wage.
The typical minimum wage earner is a provider and a breadwinner – most likely a woman – responsible for paying bills, running a household and raising children. How can we expect her to get by on a wage that, in real terms, isn’t worth as much as it was in the 1950s?
The value of the minimum wage simply hasn’t kept up with the cost of living, including the essentials a family needs to survive: a gallon of milk, a gallon of gas, monthly rent, a pair of children’s shoes and more.
Wages also haven’t kept up with workers’ output. Since 1979, productivity has increased more than 90 percent, but real average hourly earnings have gone up only 3.2 percent.
President Obama believes that income inequality is one of the most pressing matters facing the nation. If we are going to be a country that provides ladders of opportunity and believes in a thriving middle class, then we have to raise the minimum wage.
But don’t take my word for it. In recent weeks, I’ve had the privilege of meeting with many low-wage workers – proud men and women who want nothing more than a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. I’ve looked into their eyes and seen their struggle and their sacrifice; their dignity and self-respect.
They wake up every morning and do their jobs. Now it’s time for Congress to do its job. It’s time to give minimum wage workers the raise they need, the raise they’ve earned, the raise they deserve.
In the year since I asked this Congress to raise the minimum wage, five states have passed laws to raise theirs. Many businesses have done it on their own. Nick Chute is here tonight with his boss, John Soranno. John’s an owner of Punch Pizza in Minneapolis, and Nick helps make the dough. Only now he makes more of it: John just gave his employees a raise, to ten bucks an hour – a decision that eased their financial stress and boosted their morale.
Tonight, I ask more of America’s business leaders to follow John’s lead and do what you can to raise your employees’ wages. To every mayor, governor, and state legislator in America, I say, you don’t have to wait for Congress to act; Americans will support you if you take this on. And as a chief executive, I intend to lead by example. Profitable corporations like Costco see higher wages as the smart way to boost productivity and reduce turnover. We should too. In the coming weeks, I will issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour – because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty.
Of course, to reach millions more, Congress needs to get on board. Today, the federal minimum wage is worth about twenty percent less than it was when Ronald Reagan first stood here. Tom Harkin and George Miller have a bill to fix that by lifting the minimum wage to $10.10. This will help families. It will give businesses customers with more money to spend. It doesn’t involve any new bureaucratic program. So join the rest of the country. Say yes. Give America a raise.
Opportunity for All: Key Executive Actions the President Will Take in 2014
The President’s top priority remains ensuring middle class Americans feel secure in their jobs, homes and budgets. To build real, lasting economic security the President will work with Congress and act on his own to expand opportunity for all so that every American can get ahead and have a shot at creating a better life for their kids.
Raising the Minimum Wage through Executive Order to $10.10 for Federal Contract Workers. The President will also continue to urge Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 across the nation because no one who works full-time should have to raise their family in poverty.
President Barack Obama speaks about raising the minimum wage during a visit to a Costco store in Lanham, Maryland, the morning after last night’s State of the Union
President Barack Obama outlines his newly unveiled plans to boost wages for some workers and help Americans save for retirement no action from Congress necessary.
President Barack Obama as he tours Costco Wholesale in Woodmore Towne Centre in Lanham, Maryland