This oped piece by Don Baylor ran in the Austin American-Statesman on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. Read in the Statesman here.
In Tuesday’s State of the Union, President Barack Obama sounded the call for a higher minimum wage to boost economic activity and restore purchasing power to millions of workers and families across the United States, including Texas.
Simply put, the current federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour is too low for many families to afford basic items like housing, food, and transportation, forcing Texans to forgo the necessities or seek public assistance to fill the gap between their income and these routine expenses. As this gap widens, raising the minimum wage becomes a crucial correction to a labor marketplace that continues to create jobs that don’t pay enough to afford the basics of everyday life.