Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Majority of Americans Agree: Fix the Income Gap, Raise the Minimum Wage

Jacob Chamberlain
Common Dreams

A family with bags from a service that provides for people in need in Oswego, NY. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)The majority of U.S. residents agree: the current economic system works in favor of the rich over those who are not born into wealth and one way of shrinking the growing gap of income inequality would be to raise the national minimum wage substantially, a new poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News finds.

According to the poll, 57% of Americans think the federal government should "pursue policies that try to reduce the gap between wealthy and less well-off Americans."

Sixty-four percent, or nearly two-thirds of Americans, said current federal government policies do more to favor wealthy Americans over the poor.

And 66% percent support raising the federal minimum wage, compared to 31% who oppose it.

The annual salary of a full-time American worker employed at the current minimum wage, $7.25 per hour, is $15,080—less than the official federal government poverty level for a family of two.

According to a recent report, 52% of workers at fast food chains including those who work full-time, are forced to rely on safety net programs such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to meet their basic needs.

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