When it comes to debates over raising the minimum wage, facts provided by data on growing income inequality, economic stimulus, and real, past minimum wage increases overwhelmingly support the goal of raising the minimum wage. It is good for business and good for the economy when more people have more money to spend, especially when those people are on the lower end of the economic spectrum, people who need to spend all the money they have in order to scrape by. They spend that money, and it so it circulates back into the economy, translating into increased customers, sales, and profits for businesses. When it comes to the economic argument, it really is as simple as that.
Despite the frequency with which economic arguments against raising the minimum wage are used, we have tried to stress the moral arguments for raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Again, the argument is very simple: no one who works should live in poverty. Everyone who works should be able to afford to take care of their family without having to rely on public assistance. It is immoral that working people are unable to feed and house their families. It is unethical that taxpayers have to spend billions of dollars per year to subsidize the poverty wages of massively wealthy and profitable corporations like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Walmart just because they insist on gaining their own wealth at the expense of their employees and their families.
It is this basic moral principle, that in the wealthiest nation in the world there is no reason for anyone to live in poverty, let alone people who work for a living, that has driven this campaign since it’s inception 15 months ago.
Lending significant weight to this moral argument for fighting poverty by raising the wage floor, on April 15th the Public Policy Board of the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon voted unanimously to endorse HB 2009, the bill to raise Oregon’s minimum wage to $15 per hour over a three year phase in.
“Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon is a statewide association of Christian denominations, congregations, ecumenical organizations and interfaith partners working together to improve the lives of Oregonians…”