Increase overdue

Here’s something for all students who work their way through school to consider: A minimum wage, already long overdue for an increase, held at the current $3.35 rate for the next four years or more.

That’s what many voices in the Republican Party are promising in exchange for your support in the upcoming election. The current minimum wage has allowed big businesses to take control of the youth job market and to save a little money in the process. It has also created an economic class structure that puts sevice industry jobs in a negative light. It is sad situation. The minimum wage is too low to bring in a competetive working body. Adults, and many young people as well, will simply not work for employers paying the minimum wage.

Worst of all, the minimum wage is not working for those underprivileged workers for whom it was originally created. What was once a wage that prevented employees from being taken advantage of has become an easy out for corporations. The Republicans will tell you that increasing the minimum wage will hurt the small business owner, but this is just another lie. Our economy is based on incentives, and the higher paid worker tends to treat his position with more respect. The next time you complain about the service at a place of business, consider what the employees are probably getting paid.

The Republican won’t admit the real reason so many of them oppose an increase. The fact is they don’t want to do anything to endanger the support of the wealthy contributors to their campaigns. The rich get richer; it’s an old story with the G.O.P. and it isn’t getting any better with age.

Joel Wicklund

Young Democrates of NIU