A plan introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour for Americans employed by billion-dollar corporations.
Hawley’s legislation would require corporations with revenues of $1 billion or more to pay their employees at least $15 an hour, a wage increase that would likely boost salaries for millions of Americans while protecting small businesses. Hawley said on Friday:
In this moment of crisis, our country needs us to stand up and say, ‘We will not be ruled by giant corporations and liberal elite.’ We will not be told what to do by these modern-day oligarchs. What we need is a new nationalism, a new agenda to make the rule of the people real in this country and give the people American back, give it back to them.
The minimum wage has not been raised in any way since 2009, when the cost of living was 20 percent lower.
In addition, Hawley has introduced separate legislation known as the Blue Collar Bonus which would give bonuses to every small business employee currently earning below the median wage via an automatic tax credit based on the number of hours worked.
Hawley says the legislation would boost per hour wages to make them 50 percent closer to the median wage.
For example, a small business employee making $12 an hour would be eligible for a $2.25 per hour credit under the Hawley plan. Over the course of a year, the employee would be able to get a total credit of $4,680 in the form of four payments of $1,170 from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The latest Reuters/Ipsos survey finds that nearly 6-in-10 Americans support increasing the minimum wage. Only about 34 percent of Americans oppose increasing the minimum wage. About 40 percent of those surveyed said they would benefit from a wage increase.
Wages for working and middle class Americans have been exceptionally stagnant and low for decades — largely due to the United States’ free trade policies and mass immigration that has depleted communities’ economic wealth.
A study by the Economic Policy Institute found that between 1979 and 2017, the wages of the bottom 90 percent of Americans have grown by only about 22 percent. Compare that to the wage growth of the top 0.01 percent. The nation’s billionaire class saw their earnings increase more than 343 percent over that same period — more than 15 times the wage growth of the bottom 90 percent.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.