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Toronto Star: Surviving on $5.15 an hour

Minimum-wage workers in the U.S. today have less buying power than counterparts did 50 years ago
By Tim Harper
Toronto Star, 2/5/07

ASHLAND, Va.–The last time the minimum wage was raised in Virginia, Khalil Shareef was a 12-year-old kid, perhaps heading down a path chosen by too many in his family.

His father shot and disabled his mother when he was 3 years old. His brother and sister are behind bars.

But Shareef, a star wide receiver on the Randolph-Macon College Yellow Jackets football team, has left a self-described "negative attitude" behind and is...

McClatchy-Tribune News: Minimum wage hike would be a good start

By Albor Ruiz
New York Daily News, Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News, 2/1/07

The Senate is set to pass legislation raising the federal minimum wage for nearly 15 million of the poorest workers in the country. Granted, a $2.10 an hour increase is not nearly enough, but it certainly is a small step in the right direction.

"The increase in the minimum wage is long overdue. I hope Congress and the President will move swiftly to enact sensible legislation that will demonstrate our nation's commitment to reward hard work."

These are not the words of...

Bloomberg: Senate Votes to Boost Minimum Wage, Includes Tax Cuts

By William Roberts
Bloomberg, 2/1/07

The Senate voted 94-3 to approve the first increase in the U.S. minimum wage in a decade after Democrats and Republicans agreed to extend tax breaks for small businesses that would bear the cost of the higher wages.

The legislation, a priority of the new Democratic congressional majority, must now be reconciled with a measure passed Jan. 10 by the House of Representatives that didn't include the tax provisions. Both measures would raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour from $5.15.

"The Senate has chosen the right...

Georgetown Voice: Editorial

Trying to catch ‘em legislatin’ dirty

Editorial, 2/1/07

If the “Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007” makes it through the Senate this week, and it almost definitely will, it will be the first increase in the federal minimum wage in a decade. And after ten years of watching the purchasing power of that wage fall, it is time to raise the bare minimum.

Wall Street Journal: Wage increase clears Senate hurdle

By John Godfrey
Wall Street Journal, 1/30/07

... Some business leaders say, however, that the additional wages will increase workers' purchasing power, in turn boosting their companies' bottom line. For example, Jim Sinegal, chief executive of Costco Wholesale Corp., backs the wage increase. And while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes the minimum wage rise, the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce supports it.

"We all lose when American workers are underpaid," said Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women's Chamber.

By John Godfrey
Wall Street Journal, 1/30/07

WASHINGTON -- A Democratic proposal to increase...

AP: Proposed minimum wage increase divides business over tax breaks, executive pay

By Jim Kuhnhenn
Associated Press, 1/30/07

America's businesses are at odds over minimum wage legislation, but the rift has little to do with a $2.10 hourly raise.

A Senate bill that could win final passage this week has divided the private sector, pitting small businesses and retailers that would benefit from tax breaks in the bill against the larger corporations and manufacturers that would have to pay for them.

At issue are tax breaks contained in the Senate bill as sweeteners to attract Republican votes for the minimum wage increase. The legislation would increase...

Washington Post: Maverick Costco CEO Joins Push to Raise Minimum Wage

By Lori Montgomery
Washington Post, 1/30/07

The chief executive of Costco Wholesale, the nation's largest wholesale club, yesterday became the most prominent member of a new organization of business owners and executives pressing Congress to approve an increase in the federal minimum wage.

Jim Sinegal, a maverick entrepreneur who founded Costco in 1983 and has resisted Wall Street pressure to cut wages and benefits for his 130,000 employees, said he signed onto the effort because he thinks a higher minimum wage would be good for the nation's economy as well as its workers.

Chuck Collins: Slapping The Invisible Hand

By Chuck Collins, 1/29/07

The Senate is scheduled to vote as early as Tuesday to raise the minimum wage for the first time since 1997.

The usual array of “Chicken Littles” have claimed a hike in the wage floor will be bad for business and hurt low wage-workers. Earlier this month, columnist George Will suggested that the “minimum wage should be the same everywhere: $0. Labor is a commodity.”

So it’s surprising and refreshing when you meet small business owners and CEOs who believe the opposite: that competing on the basis of who...

Journal Record: Oklahoma business owners support minimum-wage hike

By Marie Price
The Journal Record (Oklahoma City), 1/22/07

About 250 business owners, executives and association officials have signed a statement asking Congress to increase the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour, where it has been since 1997. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a measure raising the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour over two years. The U.S. Senate has yet to follow suit. About a dozen of the signers are Oklahoma business people.

Women's Wear Daily: Senate Expected to Add Tax Breaks to Wage Bill

By Kristi Ellis
Women's Wear Daily, 1/22/07

... Sen. Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.), a longtime champion of an increase who opposes the tax incentives, circulated a statement at a Friday press conference signed by hundreds of small-business supporters, including Eileen Fisher, president and chief executive officer of Eileen Fisher Inc.

"Higher wages benefit business by increasing consumer purchasing power, reducing costly employee turnover, raising productivity and improving product quality, customer satisfaction and company reputation," the executives said in the letter...

Stefani Greenfield, co-owner of Scoop, which operates 11 contemporary boutiques employing more than 350 people...

Dow Jones: Top Senate Democrat Predicts Quick, Clean Min Wage Vote

By John Godfrey
Dow Jones Newswires, 1/19/07

...Speaking at a press conference with Kennedy, Lew Prince, owner of St. Louis's Vintage Vinyl, a retail record store, said a minimum wage hike would help his business by giving his customers more to spend.

Edward Kuntz, executive chairman of the board for Kindred Healthcare Inc. (KND), also backs the increase...

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--One top senator predicted Friday that Congress will pass and President George W. Bush will soon sign into law a minimum wage increase without any other extraneous measures attached.

"The final bill will be...