Editor’s Note: A higher minimum wage would not only cost Americans jobs, but would also incentivize Americans to settle for low-skilled positions. Minimum wage is paid to workers who are required to have minimum skill. Do we want minimum skill to be the new norm?
While House Speaker John Boehner is suing President Barack Obama over taking too much action, and the president is calling out the GOP for blocking action — going as far as blaming the party for the state of the economy.
In a speech in Minneapolis as a part of a two-day trip, Obama called out Republicans in Congress for blocking votes on legislation. “So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every single serious idea to strengthen the middle class,” he said. “They’ve said no to raising the minimum wage. They’ve said no to fair pay. Some of them have denied that there’s even a problem, despite the fact that women are getting paid 77 cents for every dollar a man is getting paid.”
In April, Senate Republicans blocked one of Obama’s top legislative priorities: increasing the federal minimum wage. The notion is one Minnesota has embraced, raising its state minimum wage from one of the lowest in the country to one of the highest; recent legislation changed the wages from $6.15 per hour to $9.50 by 2016. Obama’s proposal would have increased the federal minimum wage to $10.10, the first increase since 2009. Obama said that business owners told him they “became more profitable when they made family life easier for their employees.”
“So more companies are deciding that higher wages and workplace flexibility is good for business — it reduces turnover, more productive workers, more loyal workers,” Obama said. “More cities and states are deciding this is good policy for families.” The president added that “the only holdout standing in the way of change for tens of millions of Americans are some Republicans in Congress.”