President Obama, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and TV talking heads are the voices we usually hear debating whether to raise the minimum wage. So it's refreshing to see Bloomberg Businessweek's latest covers, which feature the real-life workers a minimum wage raise would affect:
The magazine made six covers featuring low-wage workers. Each person is seen holding up an answer to one of the following questions: "What is your biggest financial fear?" "What do you think you should earn?" and "What do you do?"
"I'm a cashier. I make people smile," one sign reads. "I worry that the more time I spend working, the less time I have raising my children," another one states.
The story accompanying the cover delves into how different stake-holders make the economic case for raising the minimum wage or keeping it the same (the federal minimum wage is a measly $7.25). Democratic lawmakers have proposed raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour (with President Obama's backing), but the provision is stalled in Congress.
The affects of a minimum wage increase on the economy is one of the most hotly debated issues in economic research. Conservatives argue that a boost in the minimum wage would actually be worse for workers because it would make businesses more hesitant to hire. Six hundred economists, including seven nobel laureates, signed a letter last month backing a $10.10 minimum wage. The letter states that the “weight of evidence” shows that “increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market.”