Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Labor Department: 'Faith-Based Argument for Raising the Minimum Wage'

    In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed raising the minimum wage to $9.00/hour.   In support of this initiative, the White House has blogged about it and published a "fact sheet", as well.  Acting Secretary of Labor Seth Harris has even conducted a "minimum wage tour" to draw attention to the issue.  The latest salvo, however, comes from the director of the Labor Department’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  Phil Tom has written an article on the Department of Labor's official blog entitled "The Faith-Based Argument for Raising the Minimum Wage":
In the faith community, we know and teach that how we treat the weakest among us – those most in need, and who are doing the right thing but still struggling – affects the well-being of us all. My agency, the Labor Department’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, works with leaders of many faiths to ensure that low-wage workers are treated equitably and with dignity. This includes receiving compensation that enables them to afford the basics, like rent, transportation, doctor visits and food...
The religions of the world teach that people should be treated with dignity and equity, and also that we’re all connected. Even those of no particular faith understand that we’re all in this together. Increasing pay for those at the bottom of the pay scale is an investment in workers’ dignity as well as an investment in our communities. 

    Mr. Tom also says that although readers "might even understand if I took a condescending and condemning tone, and blamed the greed of others for the struggles that so many hardworking Americans face," the bottom line is that the minimum wage is "good for the economy."

Note:  This article first appeared at The Weekly Standard.

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