Minimum wage

Map of minimum wage rates in the United States...

Map of minimum wage rates in the United States. See List of U.S. minimum wages. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The undocumented and newly arrived immigrants will work for the minimum wage or less. American citizens are reluctant to work for a wage that does not support a person in some dignity. That is especially true of minority members from inner cities. Employers say that they are reluctant to hire minority males because of poor work habits and a bad attitude toward them and co-workers. I believe that at least part of the observed bad attitudes stems from the feeling that minority males are taken advantage of by their employers and the system. They believe that the jobs offered to them pay too little and lead nowhere. And they are correct. In some respects, it is a chicken and egg situation; should wages be increased in advance of skills or should skills be improved first to gain higher wages.

I believe that to break the cycle of poverty, we must break the cycle at some point and paying a living wage is as good a place to start as any. Workers can improve their job skills ad infinitum and not improve their personal situations if the jobs are not there. On the other hand, a living wage can lead to the belief that the worker has achieved something worth working hard to keep. I believe that the living wage is a goal worth pursuing and an experiment worth trying.

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