Wichita has its own local “Fight for Fifteen” (raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour) activist who plan to hold a demonstration, this Thursday, Dec. 5, outside the McDonald's at 17th and Hillside, 11:30am to 12:30pm. Nation-wide, groups across the country are pushing to raise the minimum wage to a livable wage, now believed to be $15 per hour.
As reported by the Huffington Post, on a similar campaign in Seattle, Washington;
“Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer said there's no time to waste. What the nation needs is money in the hands of regular consumers. "A higher minimum wage is a very simple and elegant solution to the death spiral of falling demand that is the signature feature of our economy," he said.
Some businesses advocates say a higher minimum wage will make it harder for companies in Seattle to survive. They cite Wal-Mart, which has all but refused to accept a Washington, D.C., decision to raise the minimum wage to $12.50 an hour in big box stores.
A higher minimum wage eliminates low wage jobs because that's how small businesses cut costs and that ends up hurting the people it was supposed to benefit, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
More than 15 million workers earn the national minimum wage, making about $15,080 a year – $50 below the federal poverty line for a family of two. San Francisco currently has the highest minimum wage for all workers at $10.50 an hour.”
The usual arguments are being made that such a raise will close small businesses or caused them to fire workers. These arguments are almost always made by large corporations such as Wal-Mart, who usually make such arguments. The US pays more people in the service industries such as fast food and bargain mega marts such as Wal-Mart.
But the minimum wage has not been raised in years while inflation has gone up. There are already too few jobs so most of those arguments just don’t hold water during a time when the economy that is stuck and stagnating.
Thursday will be an opportunity for Wichita workers to raise their voices on this important issue.