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Ralph Nader: Minimum wage an important issue

Published 8:04am Thursday, March 20, 2014

The campaign to raise the minimum wage is at last in the national spotlight.

For decades, workers’ wages have stagnated even as their productive output has climbed. In fact, if the 1968 minimum wage had kept pace with inflation, it would be $10.92 today, as opposed to the miserly $7.25 level to which

Congress has let it erode.  This hurts taxpayers, for the less wages workers make, the more public assistance the government must pay out. That’s why 80 percent of Americans — including prominent conservatives like Bill O’Reilly and Phyllis Schlafly — support a minimum wage raise to correct this injustice.

Unfortunately, Congressman Fred Upton, in opposition to 62 percent of Republicans, is standing in the way of catching up with 1968.  Even worse, his silence means that the purchasing power of the minimum wage is lowered every year.  In a 2006 letter calling on John Boehner to support raising the minimum wage, Rep. Upton joined with 25 House Republicans to declare “nobody working full time should have to live in poverty.”

What changed?  Citizens of the Sixth Congressional District of Michigan should call Rep. Upton at (202) 225-3761, ask him why he is opposing the will of his constituents, instead of standing with American working families for a much-deserved restoration of the minimum wage.

 

Ralph Nader

Consumer Advocate

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