Thursday, June 02, 2011

minimum wages- minimum benefit

In America try imagine trying to live on pay of $7.25 an hour. Even if you managed to work full eight-hour days, you'd be making only about $58 a day, $290 a week, or a measly $15,000 a year. And out of that would come taxes and other deductions. According to the standards of the federal government, you'd be living in poverty. Yet $7.25 an hour is the federal minimum wage set by Congress. Far too many workers have no choice but to take minimum wage jobs, no choice that is, but to live in poverty.

In many states, the minimum wage laws are but barely enforced, in part because there's little or no money budgeted for enforcement. But it's also because the government agencies charged with enforcing the laws are clearly not much interested in carrying out their mandate. Equally at fault are the governors and state legislators who've done virtually nothing to try to help their state's neediest workers earn a decent living. They have to be aware that no one can make a decent living at the current minimum wage rates. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi – have no agency assigned to enforce the minimum wage laws and other laws designed to protect workers rights. Employers have little or no incentive to obey wage and hour laws if the only repercussion for violating them is to have to pay wages owed in the first place.

In Alberta, Canada Dan Meades, director of Vibrant Communities Calgary, said “The question I would ask today is how many people have been lifted out of poverty as a result of the minimum wage increase? And the answer is zero,”

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