April 23, 2015-2015 has been marked by political and media debate over the relative benefits and pitfalls of significant raises in the current minimum wage law. While politicians on the Federal and state level propose and debate legislation on this important topic many major corporate employers have begun to undertake voluntary increases, ranging from negligible to substantial. As 2015 proceeds the outcome of this legislation, these voluntary increases, and their economic impact will continue to be an issue of national discussion and analysis on both sides of the argument.
Dave Jamieson, of the Huffington Post, wrote a thoughtful article entitled “How Raising The Minimum Wage To $15 Changed These Workers’ Lives” which considers one position on the impact of raising the minimum wage for workers:
SEATAC, Wash. — In late 2013, voters in this airport town outside Seattle narrowly approved a groundbreaking measure setting a minimum wage of $15 per hour for certain workers. When the new law went into effect last year, Sammi Babakrkhil got a whopping 57 percent raise.
A valet attendant and shuttle driver at a parking company called MasterPark, Babakrkhil saw his base wage jump from $9.55 per hour, before tips, up to $15. Having scraped by in America since immigrating from Afghanistan 11 years ago, he suddenly faced the pleasant predicament as his co-workers: What to do with the windfall?