Christmas this year has been a mixed bag for America. The Affordable Care Act is up and running (for the most part), but Teapublicans have gained something to whine about in 2014. The American people are focused now, more than ever, on the importance of restoring the middle class that decades of 1% domination has obliterated, but fast food workers in Chicago are still getting fired for protesting starvation wages.
In what is certainly a step in the right direction this New Year, at least 13 states will have instituted higher minimum wage requirements for employers. Statewide, Washington state leads the nation with $9.32 per hour, and SeaTac, Washington will decimate former city leader San Francisco (now $10.74) with its $15 per hour minimum wage. The SeaTac minimum wage will affect about 6,000 local airport workers.
The Federal minimum wage remains in effect in 31 states, but a further 10 states have increased last years minimum wage indexed to inflation. While not a stunning increase in itself, this inflation-index increase is exactly what President Obama has been lobbying for since his first day in office.
Of course, outcry from the Right is predictable, with the conservative Employment Policies Institute saying that wage increases will have “disastrous results for the most vulnerable job seekers.”
Or, to translate: “We can pay half of you enough to feed a quarter, or a quarter of you enough to feed an eighth. Take your pick.”
Voters aren’t buying it, though; approximately two-thirds are calling for higher wages, corporate bottom lines be damned. Even half of Republicans agreed that today’s starvation wages are too low. Courtesy of the Huffington Post, here’s a list of the state and local changes that will go into effect on January 1st, 2014:
Arizona: $7.80 to $7.90
Colorado: $7.78 to $8.00
Connecticut: $8.25 to $8.70
Florida: $7.79 to $7.93
Missouri: $7.35 to $7.50
Montana: $7.80 to $7.90
New Jersey: $7.25 to $8.25
New York: $7.25 to $8.00
Ohio: $7.85 to $7.95
Oregon: $8.95 to $9.10
Rhode Island: $7.75 to $8.00
Vermont: $8.60 to $8.73
Washington State: $9.19 to $9.32
Albuquerque, N.M.: $8.50 to $8.60
Bernalillo County, N.M.: $8.00 to $8.50
San Francisco, Calif.: $10.55 to $10.74
San Jose, Calif.: $10.00 to $10.15
SeaTac, Wash.: $9.19 to $15.00[/box]