Monday, September 18, 2006

Ohio a bellwether on Minimum wage.

Ohio voters will decide on a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $6.85 with additional increases in future years in line with the cost of living. It has been 10 years since Ohio has had an increase in the minimum wage. A time period where Congress has given themselves pay raises totaling $30,000.

Senator John Edwards joined Ohio Senate Candidate Sherrod Brown in July at the national convention for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform now, to come out in support of this constitutional amendment. It is hoped that Ohio will be a bellwether to see how the issue will play nationally and thus encourage Congress to adopt a minimum wage increase.

Ohio’s minimum wage is actually below the federal minimum wage at $5.15 an hour. That amount of money has less purchasing power then at any time in 50 years. $5.15 an hour translates to $10,712 a year with the Federal Poverty Line at $13, 200. It is estimated that 719,000 workers in Ohio make minimum wage.

For years opponents of raising minimum wage have raised issues of harm to small business and they economy. They claim it will actually result in fewer jobs. However a recent study by The Center for American Progress shows those arguments don’t hold water.

Employment in small business grew 9.4% in states with a higher minimum wage and 6.6% in states will lower ones.

Where minimum wages was higher the number of small businesses grew 5.5%, where the wage was lower, 4.2%.

Retail employment grew 12.3% in states with higher minimum wage, and only 6.4% in ones with lower like Ohio. There was similar growth in the number of restaurants, restaurants jobs and restaurants employment in states with Higher and lower.

The fact is minimum wage is good for small business, good for jobs and good for a states economy and a good step toward reducing poverty.

It is imperative that the voters in Ohio vote yes for issue 2. Which will begin the momentum needed to pass such an increase in Congress.


Cross posted to


Blogger Saltworks said...

The problem is that the economy is sophisticated. It will quickly adjust to an artificial stimulus. Within months of bumping the minimum wage, inflation will bump just as much. This is will lead to COLA wars like we had in the 70's. Ultimately this will lead us to 12% interest rates, which will benefit the rich more than the poor. Inflation is the killer of the poor not the rich.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Joe R said...

I would rather make a dent to help raise the wage of the poorest americans then continuing government focus on the tax cuts for the rich and corporations.

Tax incentives for the oil companies sure havent stopped inflated oil prices.

Who has that hurt? All of us.

I can deal with paying a quarter more for a big mac.

1:06 PM  

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