Today in the Washington D.C., Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said he did not believe in the minimum wage and compared it to welfare. Instead, he wants to increase the earned income tax credit to help the poor. He didn’t explain how a person making less money would be helped by the credit.
Huffington Post, which reported Senator Alexander’s comment, offered a second article examining the ways employers evade paying the minimum wage. One method of doing this is by classifying employers in a way gets around the law, including calling them contractors, which also lets employers dodge tax obligations. Between 2004 and 2011, the number of federal suits related to the minimum wage has nearly doubled.
What is the value of work? We need to answer that question, especially in a time when unemployment makes many low wage, low skill workers open to exploitation. Justice and morality require a minimum wage – except for Senators from Tennessee.