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78% Voters want NY Min Wage Hike - but $8.50 is too low

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  • Dunleamark@aol.com
    NYS Voters Want Minimum Wage Hike NY - but $8.50 is too low _http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/new-york
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2012
      NYS Voters Want Minimum Wage Hike NY - but $8.50 is too low
      Minimum Wage
      New York State voters support 78 - 20 percent raising the $7.25 per hour minimum wage, with no specific target offered in the question. Support is 53 - 43 percent among Republicans, 91 - 7 percent among Democrats and 76 - 21 percent among independent voters.
      Among those who support raising the minimum wage, 37 percent of voters support raising it to $8.50 per hour, with 52 percent who support an even higher minimum wage and 8 percent who want less than $8.50 per hour.
      Combined results for the two questions among all New York State voters show:
      • 29 percent of voters support an $8.50 per hour minimum wage;
      • 6 percent support a raise, but not as high as $8.50;
      • 41 percent support a raise higher than $8.50;
      • 20 percent oppose any increase.
      Small businesses will not reduce the number of people they hire if the minimum wage is increased, voters say 51 - 41 percent.

      My View: State should increase minimum wage to a livable level

      By Mark A. Dunlea
      Published: 2:00 AM - 04/04/12

      A hike in the state minimum wage is long overdue.

      We need to turn the minimum wage from a poverty wage into a living wage — at least $10 an hour.

      The Assembly has proposed an initial step of $8.50 an hour, up from $7.25, with an index to inflation. Senate Republicans oppose it. Gov. Cuomo has been silent, but is thought to support some hike.

      A minimum-wage raise would be a good first step in addressing the tremendous income disparity in New York that has developed over the past 30 years. The wealth gap in the state is the greatest in the country — and the U.S. has the greatest gap among the industrial democracies.

      Average wages are 7 percent lower today, adjusted for inflation, than they were in 1973. The last time we saw the richest 1 percent getting 35 percent of the income was in 1927, right before the Great Depression.

      The minimum wage was enacted during the Great Depression as a way to get the economy moving again by putting more money into the hands of the working poor. When the rich have so much money, tax cuts for the wealthy doesn't create jobs or stimulate the economy because they have too much money to spend.

      The number of people coming to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased 60 percent in the last four years. Many of the 3 million New Yorkers receiving emergency food have jobs but don't make enough to make ends meet.

      A recent survey found that 67 percent of Americans favor hiking the minimum wage to $10. Even a majority of Republicans favor the higher minimum wage.

      Raising the state's minimum wage to $8.50 would benefit about 1 million New York workers. Adults account for more than 84 percent of workers who would benefit.

      The minimum wage was not one of several key nonbudget items that were done as part of the recent state budget deal. Let's hope lawmakers agree to pay a hike for the working poor right after they get back from their vacation.

      Mark A. Dunlea is executive director of the Hunger Action Network of NYS.

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