In the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” civil rights leaders recognized that income was critical in the country’s push for racial and gender equality. However, like others in her misinformed orbit, Congresswoman Ashley Hinson opposes the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, claiming it will hurt the economy.
The act would gradually raise the federal minimum wage over the next four years, from $7.25 to $15 per hour. A higher wage would have many benefits. For example, increased consumer purchasing power, which ultimately benefits the economy.
Hinson is under the antiquated impression that those who work minimum wage jobs are high school students looking to pocket a few extra dollars. The reality is different.
Almost 41 percent of workers making the current wage of $7.25 are over the age of 25, with about 25 percent of them working full-time. Many are employed in service occupations including health care and food, industries that employ large numbers of women and people of color. These workers, the so-called “working poor,” are the backbone of our economy. They provide the food we eat and care for our sick and elderly, work that too often is unrecognized and unappreciated.
Hinson doesn’t appear interested in discussing this and other issues in person with voters. She’s yet to schedule constituent town halls. If she’s reading this, I hope she joins the 70 percent of Iowans who support raising the minimum wage.