US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Kudos to SeaTac, Washington for raising minimum wage to $15 an hour

By Caitlyn Schmid | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

With Election Day yesterday, many people all over the country are celebrating their victories at the polls. Joining the celebrations are the residents of SeaTac, Washington. SeaTac is a small town of just over 27,000 people with the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in the city limits.

In the election yesterday, residents voted to pass Proposition 1—raising the minimum wage for the car rental, hotel, and restaurant workers involved with the airport. The 54 over 46 percent victory bumped minimum wage from $9.19 an hour to a whopping $15 an hour. This raise is the most generous ever and will help the local economy. New Jersey also voted yesterday to raise their minimum wage by a dollar—from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour.

Back in July, the Huffington Post shared six ways the economy would be improved if minimum wage to $12.25 an hour for full-time, year-round workers. The non-partisan public policy center that conducted the experiment found that more than 700,000 Americans would be lifted out of poverty and that the GDP would rise by as much as $15.2 billion. And that’s just for full-time, year- round workers. Imagine what raising the minimum wage for all workers could do to help our economy.

If for one reason alone, helping people get off the ground and out of poverty is worth it. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has supported an increase in minimum wage for decades. They argue that the current minimum wage is not a living wage and that to raise it would help the economy recover. Increasing it provides low-income households to have dignity and a support system they need to flourish.

Kudos to SeaTac. It's life's little victories that matter most.

Image: Flickr photo cc by The All-Nite Images