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Raise the minimum wage? One answer to income disparity, advocates say

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In his State of the Union speech this year, President Obama urged raising the federal minimum wage to an hour, but the White House now says it supports the 0.10 figure proposed by Rep. Miller and Sen. Harkin in the Fair Minimum Wage Act. The bill would raise the current federal minimum wage of .25 an hour in three yearly increments of 95 cents each, then tie it to inflation.

Opponents of raising the minimum wage frequently argue that workers at that level tend to be teens and young adults without families to support.

But a review of US Census data by The Sacramento Bee newspaper in California found that teenagers in fast-food and other low-wage jobs account for just 5.3 percent of minimum-wage workers; the rest are adults older than 21, including 34 percent who are older than 40.

In principle, most Americans support raising the minimum wage to 0.10 and adjusting it to increases in the cost of living, according to a July survey by Hart Research Associates.

“Approval is voiced not only by Democrats (92 percent) and low-income adults (83 percent), but also by such traditionally conservative groups as Republicans (62 percent), southern whites (75 percent), and those with incomes over 00,000 (79 percent),” the research firm reported.

Debate about raising the minimum wage comes at a time when the subject of poverty in the US is being discussed as well, including recent cuts to the food stamp program.

Learn more here http://www.gallup.com/poll/165794/americans-raising-minimum-wage.aspx

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“Raise the minimum wage? One answer to income disparity, advocates say”