A California lawmaker went on CNN’s “Crossfire” and argued that the state’s minimum wage should be raised to $26 an hour.
Democratic Representative Barbara Lee said she felt that hiking the state’s minimum wage up to $26 an hour would still be manageable for small businesses.
“In California, more than likely, from what I remember, a living wage – where people could live and take care of their families, and move toward achieving the American Dream was about $25, $26 an hour,” said Lee on the CNN program. “Trust me, believe you me, you would have a more productive workforce. You would have people who could afford to live in areas now where they cannot afford to live. You could increase diversity in certain communities where you don’t have diversity, you would have economic parity.”
Republican Representative Andy Harris said that on a state level, he would support minimum wage raises, but on a national level, the minimum wage should be left alone. Republican Senator Tom Coburn agrees, taking it a step further and saying recently that it should be taken away altogether.
“I don’t believe there ought to be a national minimum wage,” said Coburn. “That’s my position.”
The debate came as Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced his plan to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, more than doubling it from the current minimum wage of $7.25.
Huffington Post blogger Carmen Berkley has been advocating for a higher national minimum wage and argues that it will give people more of a chance to better themselves.
“We live in America, the country where we are taught any dream can come true,” writes Berkley in a recent Huffington Post feature. “Where young Latinas can aspire to be Supreme Court Justices and young Black men can look to be the President of the United States. But that cannot happen if their parents are working low-paying jobs and unable to provide them with the resources they need to achieve those dreams.”
So far, the fight for a federal minimum wage increase continues while more and more states and cities start to take action at a local level.