On July 24th, Representative David Rowe released a statement to his Facebook page criticizing Governor Wolf for his hope to increase the minimum wage. Representative Rowe may think it is a good idea to keep the citizens of the 85th shackled to a failing economic system, but Katie Evans does not.
Representative Rowe believes that a pandemic is the wrong time to put more money into the hands of workers. Katie Evans disagrees. Now is the perfect time to provide our working families with the money they need to survive this virus. When so many of our essential workers earn the minimum wage, it is unfair and unreasonable to ask them to stand in harm’s way for a wage that is 78% of what it was when it was implemented.
Representative Rowe also claims that increasing the minimum wage would be harmful to small businesses in spite of the fact that there is no evidence to support this. In fact, Paul Krugman American Economist and Nobel Prize Winner, found that an increase in the minimum wage would only serve to decrease the number of families below the poverty line. Krugman himself stated, “There’s just no evidence that raising the minimum wage costs jobs, at least when the starting point is as low as it is in modern America.” Those who oppose the minimum wage have, in the past, also claimed that minimum wage jobs are not intended to support families, instead, these jobs are ideal for students. This idea is categorically false. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80% of people working minimum wage jobs are above the age of 18. That partnered with the rising costs of education means that even if the majority of people working minimum wage jobs were high school students, it would still be worth it.
Come November, keep in mind who you want to represent the 85th district. Someone who recently proposed anti-union legislation and has a history of putting big corporations before workers, or someone who understands the changing economic environment and believes in putting money into the hands of citizens rather than lining the pockets of corporate entities.
We must support our workers and businesses and the best way to do that is by ensuring that workers are paid a fair wage.