Robert “Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Virginia, introduced the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 (RTWA), which would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. Currently, it stands at $7.25, and it hasn’t been increased for nearly 12 years, which is the longest period of time since the minimum wage’s creation in 1938 during the Great Depression.
Proponents say the Act would finally ensure that all working people earn a living wage, raising what over 30 million American earn. It would close certain “loopholes” currently used to pay tip-earning workers, such as waiters and waitresses less, as low as $2.13/hour, as long as their base salary plus tips are over the federal minimum wage of $7.25 currently. Teens and persons with special needs would also be paid higher wages.
The RTWA would raise the federal minimum wage incrementally each year to be $15 per hour by 2025. Afterward, it would automatically increase each year by the same percentage by which the median hourly wage increases.
Opponents of the $15 per hour national wage floor contend a national standard is a bad idea because costs of living vary widely across the country. They also say the new policy would hurt small businesses that are already struggling, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Others argue the higher wages will displace lower paid and lower skilled workers because they will be simply replaced with automation, such as ordering stations at fast food restaurants, which are the cheaper alternative compared to a worker earning $15 per hour. Still others say that raising wages will not do a thing when the prices of goods and services raise with it, as more dollars chase those goods and services in the economy. Think: inflation.
A “Raise the Wage Fact Sheet” published by the Democrat Majority of the Education and Labor Committee is embedded below:
For the complete Bill, see the embedded PDF below: