Loraine Ballard Morrill is the award-winning Director of News and Community Affairs for Clear Channel Radio in Philadelphia. She's the host of Insight which airs on WDAS FM Sundays from 6:00-7:00 AM and on Power 99 FM from 7:00-7:30 AM.
WDAS FM - Sundays, 6:00-7:00 AM
Power 99 FM - Sundays, 7:00-7:30 AM.
When I was first starting out in life after graduation - the minimum wage was about $4.25
an hour. I managed to survive just fine with three roommates splitting the rent and expenses. We took turns cooking every night and we ate well. I had a pair of jeans I rotated with another pair of jeans. My parents (who were far from rich) made sure my tuition was paid for so I didn't have crushing college debt. I was single and marriage and a child were still far off.
If the minimum wage was indexed to inflation – today it would be around $10.55 an
hour. (some suggest it would have been much higher. ) It’s far from that. In Pennsylvania it’s 7.25 an hour. For the working poor life becomes a juggling act of making daily decisions between paying the rent, food and other necessities of life.
President Barack Obama has proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2015. Earlier this month, two congressmen introduced a bill to gradually increase it to $10.10 an hour, or nearly a 40 percent increase. Both plans would index the wage to inflation each year and raise the minimum wage for tipped a worker, which is now $2.13 an hour, for the first time in about 20 years. Advocates say a higher minimum wage would put more money in customers’ pockets and help all types of businesses. Critics claim it would burden
employers and hurt hiring. I had the chance to speak to Acting US Labor Secretary of Labor Seth Harris who addressed the issue in a recent edition on Insight. Hear the interview by clicking here.