The federal minimum wage needs to be raised. Time and labor are being stolen from the working poor when an employer is willing to accept their labor yet not willing to reward them with a living wage. The minimum wage has not risen with productivity levels for more than two decades, and it is time to stop stealing labor from those at the bottom of the labor market.

Our culture glorifies a good work ethic while demonizing those who rely on food stamps and government assistance, yet those who work full-time at minimum wage are forced to rely on these government programs for subsistence. A 2013 study by the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment showed that in states that have raised the minimum wage above the national standard, employers have experienced significantly less employee turnover. Better compensation for time and labor leads to greater satisfaction and more job loyalty.

In our current system, the poor have the Hobbesian choice of accepting a fraction of their real value in wages, or refusing to work at all. Raising the minimum wage rewards workers: those who are trying their best to support themselves, those who do not wish to rely on the government for survival. It is time to change this broken system and compensate people more fairly for their labor.

Adam Witt

St. George