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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Another Way Raising the Minimum Wage Only Makes Sense

It's been pointed out that raising the minimum wage would, besides helping the worker, also increase demand for goods and services in the nation, thereby helping and improving the economy. That would help companies' incomes, their profits and so, their bottom line.

Underpaying Employees Can Hurt 

a Company's Bottom Line

And this is why the minimum wage needs to be raised:

For most workers, real wages have 

barely budged for decades

But it has been shown that, because of an increased demand for goods and services, a higher minimum wage actually increases jobs and reduces unemployment.

2014 Job Creation Faster in States that 

Raised the Minimum Wage

This Is What Raising the Minimum Wage 

Did to Jobs in 11 States

You'd think that would be enough but as they used to say on "Saturday Night Live", but wait, there's more.  There's now this, too:

It only makes sense.

Burgeoning research in economics and epidemiology suggests that raising the minimum wage will improve the health of many Americans, especially low-income Americans, and this improvement should help bend the cost curve for medical care.

In a paper published by the University of Chicago Press, David Meltzer and Zhou Chen analyzed the relationship between obesity rates and the minimum wage, using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) from 1984-2006. The BRFSS interviews more than 350,000 adults each year, making it the largest health survey in the world. Meltzer and Chen test whether changes in the inflation-adjusted minimum wage are associated with changes in body mass indexes of adults. They find that gradual erosion in the inflation-adjusted value of minimum wages across states explains about 10 percent of the increase in average body mass since 1970. DaeHwan Kim and I found additional evidence that low wages predict increases in obesity in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). The PSID is a nationally representative sample of 5000 American families, who have been followed since 1968 by the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center.Obesity is estimated to cost $190 billion in medical bills each year. A 10 percent decrease in obesity would result in a $19 billion of savings every year.

But it is not just obesity that may be affected by increasing the minimum wage; mental health can be affected, as well. The British government increased the national minimum wage in 1999. To measure its effects on public health, Reeves et al analyzed data on 279 workers in the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). Their “experimental group” consists of 63 workers directly affected by the new wage and two “control groups”: 107 workers with incomes 10 percent above the minimum who were not directly affected by the increase, and another group of 109 workers employed in firms that did not comply with the new law. All 279 persons completed short mental health questionnaires as part of the BHPS. The “experimental group” (those who received the mandated minimum wage increases) reported improvements in anxiety and depression, but neither control group experienced improvements.

And there are more, other ways, too, the article shows that the health of individuals are improved. The clear results from that for a nation, possibly for us here in the US could be both improved productivity AND reduced health costs. Each, in their own right, are huge benefits to the nation to our economy and to the lives of the individuals, the Americans that get these benefits.

With all this, it seems clear raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do and for all the right reasons. Even businesses themselves get it.

Religious organizations recognize it, too. This from U.S. Catholic:

So it's time, America. It's long past time. We need to raise the minimum wage. Let's get to it.

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