Thousands of LBCC students deserve an increase in their minimum wages.
The nationwide debate is a divisive subject among blue-collar and professional workers that crosses racial lines and certainly both sides of the political spectrum.
Currently, the minimum wage in California is $10 per hour. In Long Beach, the rate will rise to $10.50 per hour on Jan. 1, 2017.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, a former LBCC teacher and public relations director, and the City Council should be commended for helping student and the rest of the population receive a pay raise.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s campaign to raise the minimum wage statewide was spearheaded by the Service Employee’s International Union representing healthcare workers and caregivers.
When the Long Beach Economic Development Commission decided to support raising the minimum to $13 over five years, that was a much needed boost for residents working and living on minimum wage.
President Obama since 2013 has pressed for an increase to the national minimum wage: “Of course, nothing helps families make ends meet like higher wages. …
“And to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this, if you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it and if not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise,” Obama said in his State of the Union address Jan. 20, 2015.
Another side to the issue of raising the minimum wage exists. Many economists, including the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan think tank for the White House, has said 500,000 jobs could be lost if the minimum wage were increased to $15 per hour.
While people make valid arguments for both sides of the issue, the minimum wage should be increased. The process to make decisions that may help the country cannot be clouded by our inability to try to make things work.