Wendy Davis supports a minimum wage increase to $10.10, but unsurprisingly Greg Abbott does not.
It remains a mystery why the “conservative” party that professes family values and less government would not support a measure that promotes financial independence and reduces dependence on social welfare programs.
The decision by Abbott is an affront to more than 2.8 million Texans of which over 50% are women and 55% are Hispanic. It is another in a long list of issues that side Abbott against those who are not well connected or well off.
More details below the jump…The Texas Tribune has rolled out a series of articles that focus on those, who despite their efforts, have not benefitted from the boom of the Texas economy. It highlights a small business owner who had to turn to food stamps, a family that has to make the choice between rent and electricity, and Texans facing crushing debt by payday lenders. Although these stories are anecdotal, they represent millions of Texas who struggle to make ends meet and would benefit greatly from an increase in the minimum wage.
Many detractors, for other than purely political reasons, are simply uninformed about who minimum wage workers are. There is a profound misconception that most employees making the minimum wage are teenagers in their first job. Unfortunately many are forced to try and raise a family which is nearly impossible without additional assistance.
In his State of the Union Address President Obama said, “that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.” That’s a statement that most people can agree with, but our political leaders have thus far lacked the courage to do much about it. On the local level several cities and states have led the charge, but the need for a baseline minimum wage is still great, especially in Texas where we have the most minimum wage earners.
Not since 1968 has a family of 3 been able to survive above the federal poverty line on minimum wages. In 2012 the poverty line for a family of 2 was 15,825 and a minimum wage earner was expected to make just $15,080.
Abbott contends that raising the minimum wage would be a job killer but not so says over 600 leading economists. In a letter supporting a $10.10 minimum wage, they wrote that,
- “In recent years there have been important developments in the academic literature on the effect of increases in the minimum wage on employment, with the weight of evidence now showing that increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market.”
Senator Wendy Davis joined their call and admonished Abbott for not getting behind working class Texans.
- “From working to strip our children’s schools of more of than $5 billion that has led to overcrowded classrooms and massive teacher shortages to his opposition to giving 2.8 million Texans a raise that will help them support their families and improve our economy, Greg Abbott is fighting against hardworking Texans.”
Harshipped Texans trying to remain financially independent would be wise to support Davis and her efforts. Unfortunately, statistics show that many who experience this struggle daily don’t feel their voices are being heard at the polls, and Abbott has worked his entire career as Attorney General to add additional barriers to the polls for those already find it most difficult.
All hard working Texans deserve to participate in our state’s success, we just need a leader ready and willing to make it happen.
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