Saturday, May 26, 2007

Minimum Wage Increase Falls Short

After a whole decade of working persons voting for Democratic politicians to increase their minimum working wage, a limited wage increase will finally become law. The bill was tacked on to the Iraq War funding bill that Bush will sign. But the full increase to $7.25 an hour will only take place in steps and stages until 2009. And little in the bill will help to lift many of the poor from poverty or an increased ability to pay their rent as the wage increase does not even keep pace with the huge inflation of energy prices including electricity and gasoline.

African Americans will continue to suffer from high unemployment as little new incentives to provide new jobs or offer more small business loans to the African American community seem to be coming from Washington either. Important social goals for American society can be realized if some serious goals of reducing African American unemployment could be coming from Washington. But instead only this very limited wage increase is offered to those lucky enough to have a job already, and offer nothing to those without work.

More pressure needs to be put on the African American members of Congress to offer bills to cut down on African American unemployment and create more loans to small businesses in this community. In addition, goals to protect American jobs from export to labor cheap nations need to be much stronger.

The new minimum wage bill is only a few baby steps in the right direction when much bigger steps are really needed. But a minimum wage increase after a decade long wait is at least something, although very little to expect from Washington.


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