Dear Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,
The time is over-ripe to launch a legislative initiative to raise the minimum wage to that of 1968 which, adjusted for inflation, comes to about $10. The arguments – economic, political, polling, and moral – are overwhelming and long, long overdue. This used to be a signature dynamic by the Democratic Party.
There are about thirty million workers between $7.25 – the present federal minimum wage- and $10.00. All of the 17 small business tax breaks under President Obama and the yearly windfalls from wages falling beyond inflation, much less not reflecting major worker productivity over the decades, make the case for a move to $10 especially compelling.
Please read my short enclosed article (“Catching Up With 1968”) about the need for scores of groups, including the AFL-CIO, who are on the record for the higher minimum wage to move from talk to action in conjunction with your leadership in Congress, during this election year. At my suggestion, Steve Greenhouse of the New York Times wrote a longer report on this subject recently, which is also attached. My Congressman John Larson has expressed strong interest over at the House among his colleagues. But someone in elective office has to provide the energy and initiative now toward a major national campaign.