Agate Passage Friends Meeting supports the,
“Let Justice Roll Campaign,”
in support of Senator Kennedy’s Federal legislation entitled,
“2005 Fair Minimum Wage Act.”
September 18, 2005

In these times when our country has widespread pockets of poverty, Agate Passage Friends Meeting supports the National Council of Churches “Let Justice Roll” campaign  which is working to raise the Minimum Wage in the U.S. 

We suggest that an index of the cost of living in each area of the U.S. be established and that the minimum wage in that area be at least $8.00/per hour and that in some areas where the cost of living is higher it be adjusted to be higher.  A bill pending in the U.S. Senate, called the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2005, would help correct some of the inequities between the rich and poor.

The recent hurricanes in the Gulf have highlighted poverty in that area, but we need to let our Congress persons know we hope they will focus on poverty* everywhere in the U.S.




*Regarding the index of poverty..............
The federal agency in charge of this topic is HHS (health and human services). Their 2005 poverty guidelines are duplicated below.
# of people        $ amt for 48      Alaska     Hawaii
in household       states
      1                 $9,570           $11,950   $11,010
      2                 12,830             16,030    14,760
      3                 16,090             20,110    18,510
      4                 19,350             24,190    22,260
      5                 22,610             28,270    26,010
      6                 25,870             32,350    29,760
Compare and contrast these figures above with actual earnings for someone working full-time, 40 hours a week for 52 weeks a year.
    At a rate of $5.50/hr (current federal min. wage) = 11,440/year
                     $6.50/hr                                      = 13,520/yr
                     $7.50/hr                                      = 15,600/yr
So the problem is quite simple: if you are a single head of household earning one dollar more than the minimum wage and have two kids, you will be earning $13,520/yr but will need a minimum (and Seattle area will be closer to Hawaii's cost of living) of $16,090 to arrive at the lowly status of federal definition of poverty! Subtract transportation and child care costs and the gap between earnings and poverty level increases dramatically!
Roger Lauen