Future-Proofing the Minimum Wage


It’s obvious to most people that the minimum wage right now is abysmal. We do want an increased minimum wage, but we want more than that.

When we talk about raising the minimum wage, I want us to talk about future-proofing worker wages.

What does that mean? Well, in my proposal, which I intend to turn into actual policy and legislation when in office, we raise the minimum wage in Kentucky to $15/hr over the next 3 years. After that, the law automatically triggers a re-evaluation every year or two that looks at the cost of living, and adjusts the minimum wage accordingly.
 
These evaluations can and should be local, meaning that someone in Greenup, KY, where the cost of living is 80% of the national average, would have a different minimum wage than someone in Lexington, KY, where the cost of living is 95% of the national average.  My proposal would also overturn the current laws that prevent communities from setting their own minimum wage, for obvious reasons.
 
The data is already analyzed and freely available, so the cost to actually update the law is minimal, requiring very little investment on the parts of cities and communities.
So, why do all this? It’s because we have to. Cost of living isn’t a fixed number; it fluctuates based on housing costs, food costs, transportation costs, and other variables.  If we raise the minimum wage without taking steps to re-evaluate regularly (every 3-5 years, I believe), then additional wages can and will be sucked up by corporate greed.  By ensuring that the minimum wage a company has to pay their employees will change based on the price they set for their goods and services, their incentive to gouge their customers is lessened.
With this in place, we will ensure that everyone working full-time will ALWAYS be paid a living wage. We can make Kentucky a shining example that other states will want to emulate.  It starts now.

 


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