Should Everyone Make at Least $10 an Hour?

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The minimum wage just went up, from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour. Many observers say that the timing of the wage hike—in the thick of the longest recession on record—is unfortunate if not counterproductive. But now a coalition of religious and community leaders is pushing for another minimum wage boost—to $10 an hour by 2010.

The coalition is pushing the wage hike for moral reasons—to ensure a “living wage” for all workers. Who can argue with that? Ten bucks is a nice round figure, and seems like a noble goal.

But if small businesses have to lay off employees because it can’t afford to pay them $10 an hour, or if inflation soars and the price of products rises to make up for increased wages, aren’t we back to square one? I can understand the popularity of another wage hike, but I’m just not sold that it would be much of a solution. For a true solution, we all better start praying.

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