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The Morality of a $15 Minimum

October 20, 2015

Government as an expression of community (Robert Reich stirs me to blog once more, with a list of historical precedents):

“Have you noticed how often conservatives who disagree with a policy proposal call it a ‘job killer?’ …

But the “moral case is that no one should be working full time and still remain in poverty.

“People who work full time are fulfilling their most basic social responsibility. As such, they should earn enough to live on …

“What about the risk of job loss? Historically, such a risk hasn’t deterred us from setting minimum work standards based on public morality.”

A list of progress over fear mongering includes child labor laws and their opponents:

“The original child labor laws that went into effect in many states at turn of last century were opposed by business groups that argued such standards would raise the costs of business and force employers to lay off large numbers of young workers.

“But America decided the employment of young children was morally wrong.

“The safety laws enacted in the wake of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, which killed 145 workers, were also deemed ‘job killers.’ …

“It was the same with the 1938 legislation mandating a forty-hour workweek with time-and-a-half for overtime, along with the first national minimum wage …

“America enacted fair labor standards anyway because it was the right thing to do.” And for the community as a whole.

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