The federal minimum wage is stuck at $5.15 an hour and since the last increase, it’s purchasing power has actually decreased 20 percent, leaving hundreds of thousands of families scrambling just to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.(sic)
(Hopefully this isn't too political of a topic for EW- my intention isn't to demonize (or beatify) any political party. I find this topic interesting and thought I'd bring it up here as I hash out my beliefs.)
This issue has much more to do with how the U.S. is treating those in society who are often the most vulnerable to exploitation (not to mention the stresses of a life in poverty): single parents, recent immigrants, teenagers and senior citizens, people who have mental or physical disabilities.
This topic is very personal to me. I spent a good portion of my childhood hovering at or below the poverty line. At one point my dad juggled two minimum-wage jobs (while also pastoring a new church) in order to support his family. It's a rough life even in the best of situations.
This kind of morality can't be legislated, of course - simply having a higher minimum wage isn't going to soften any hearts. I voted for an increase to the minimum wage when I sent in my absentee ballot last week, but I wasn't thinking of God, religion or morality when I did so. I was thinking of all of the people I know back in Ohio who could really benefit from this.
So, how do we as Christians respond to this sort of thing?
I'd be especially curious to hear the opinion of those who do not agree that the minimum wage should be raised. If this is what you think, how do you think those who earn a living on minimum wage would be better helped?