Here are several pieces of background reading to get us started:
- Research from the Pew Research Center on who actually makes minimum wage, what kinds of jobs they have, and where they live: click here
- If you want to actually read the law as it currently exists: click here
- Check out MIT's Living Wage Calculator to find out how much a person would need to be paid per hour to afford the basic necessities of life in different parts of the country (organized down to the county level): click here
- Read an opposition view point to raising the minimum wage: click here
- Read the President's "Raise the Wage" campaign advocating for raising the federal minimum wage: click here
What does the Bible say about this issue?
Jesus talks a lot about money in the bible. Like A LOT. And he talks about justice. And the poor. I can quote you chapter and verse if you'd like, but suffice it to say there are plenty of examples. But really, is minimum wage, and the roiling debate about it, part of what Jesus is concerned about?
For me, the question about minimum wage is about more than which economists you agree with or whose politics you prefer. The real question at the heart of the minimum wage debate is, are we seeking to do justice, as Micah and other Israelite prophets call us to do? Will raising the minimum wage do justice for workers? Is it enough? Is it going to hurt our most vulnerable citizens or help them? Most importantly, what else must be done to ensure that we are adequately caring for the "widow and the orphan" (or the single mother and the person raised in the foster care system)? Is raising the minimum wage part of a larger picture of justice, or is it just a distraction from even more fundamental conversations that need to happen?
Engage these questions and many more at the next Untapped Questions. Everyone is welcome!
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