"Raise the minimum wage in Michigan to $16 an hour"

"Raise the minimum wage in Michigan to $16 an hour"

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Muskegon Green Party started this petition to Governor Gretchen Whitmer

  So much lip service has been given to caring for "essential workers".  But when it comes to making good on proposals and promises, those who claim to represent essential workers either lack the resolve or see said workers as a lower priority.  The Muskegon Greens believe the time for action is long overdue.  Studies* have shown, that a $19 minimum is needed as a bottom-line living wage, but we already know how some folks would feel about that, given pushback against previous lower proposals.  

  So, here is our compromise.  We're only asking for $16 as a start.  Call it a gesture of "good faith" with a commitment to reach $20 per hour minimum by 2025. Followed by an automatic adjustment for any increase in the cost of living. We see this as a reasonable proposal to help close the pay and wealth gap affecting so many here on the lakeshore.  It's time to take care of the least of us.  Let's start right here in our communities!  Are you in?  If so, contact us to help make this happen!

*SOURCE: National Low Income Housing Coalition 


1. A higher minimum wage would put more spending power into the economy.

Raising the minimum wage accommodates an increase in revenues for each community impacted by the change in legislation. When households spend their money at local businesses, then these dollars have almost double the direct and indirect economic value as they would with money spent at companies operating outside of the area. 

That means the people who need the cash get the chance to meet their basic needs more effectively. As the money is spent, more vendors down the chain of purchasing get to experience these benefits as well. 

2. Workers get to have a wage that maintains its overall value.

When the federal minimum wage rose to $7.25 per hour in 2009, it was the first time it had risen in total value by over 40% within a decade for more than four decades. Even with the hike in the minimum wage, the actual value of wages earned in that first year of the higher amount was 7.8% lower than what the minimum wage in 1967 was near its peak.

In 2011, the minimum wage reflected just 37% of what the average worker earned in the United States. Raising the minimum wage to $16 provides every household with an opportunity to keep their finances rising at the pace of inflation at a minimum, which maintains their overall spending power.

3. Job opportunities improve when the minimum wage goes higher.

Washington State has led the country in the total minimum wage it offers for most of a decade. The trends that occur with unemployment in the state have followed a similar path as the rest of the country. In June 2018, the rate of unemployment was 4.7%, which was 0.5% higher than California and 0.7% higher than Oregon for comparison. Washington, D.C. with its nation-leading minimum wage had an unemployment rate of 5.6% that same month.

The jobless rate for the United States at the same time was 4%. That means it is possible to pay someone a significantly higher wage without it significantly impacting jobs. Residents in the state of Washington earned $4.25 per hour more in 2018 than the federal minimum.

4. Raising the minimum wage can lead to lower employee turnover rates.

As workers increase their experience, employers find that there is a need to compensate them better. If that does not happen, then the experienced employees look for new employment opportunities are possible with a higher wage. That action forces employers into a costly cycle of turnover and training from which they might never escape.

With a higher minimum wage that extends to all worker opportunities, there is a real chance to keep experienced workers happy. This outcome can reduce hiring costs and reduce the adverse effects that high employee turnover rates can cause. There would be less movement between jobs because everyone would be earning at a similar rate.


5. Raising the minimum wage to $16 could improve local tax revenues.

Assuming that someone is working full-time at $7.25 per hour, then they would receive a total annual salary of just over $15,000. That means they would still need to file a tax return (the minimum threshold for a return was $12,000 in 2018), but their responsibility would be minimal at best. Most people who earn at the minimum wage receive a complete refund of their taxes because of their low income.

If you were a head of household earning the minimum wage, then you wouldn’t have needed to file a tax return in 2018. By raising the minimum wage to $16, there would be more money available in the economy. People could contribute more to their basic needs, and it would allow them to contribute more to local tax needs as well.

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