Raise minimum wage

Every proposal by the president these days evokes deep partisan reactions and the proposal to raise the minimum wage during the president’s state of the Union speech is no different.

Raising the minimum wage deserves a second look, especially from conservatives in the country and in our area.

Raising the minimum wage, at its core, is about valuing work. Most people can agree that no one who works hard, full time, should scratch out an existence below the poverty line.

This problem has become increasingly apparent in this economic climate, as many people have been forced to accept whatever jobs are available, even low wage jobs with no benefits.

Conservatives, who constantly complain that too many people are abusing a system that has incentivized laziness and turned millions of people into “takers” looking for government handouts, should support an increase in the minimum wage.

Haven’t the taxpayers been subsidizing these businesses and corporations who refuse to pay their workers a living wage with food stamps, heating assistance, Medicaid and more?

If these workers were paid more and provided benefits they could support themselves and not need government assistance.

An added benefit would also be that these people making lower wages spend their money, infusing that money back into the economy.

Isn’t it about time that these companies, many of which are making record profits, start paying their employees a wage on which they can fully support themselves without assistance from the government?

Raise the minimum wage – value work, smaller government, stimulate the economy.

Joshua McConnell, Altoona