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Public Statements

Minimum Wage is Arbitrary Number

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, despite vastly overwhelming numbers, I rise to address the House, and I apparently represent the entire body on this side of the aisle.

I want to say this to my Democrat friends, and I understand the vote here and I understand the politics of minimum wage, but why $7.50 an hour, $7.15, whatever it is? Why not $8? Why not $9? It is an arbitrary number anyhow. Maybe $15, maybe $20 an hour. It is an arbitrary number. If we are command and control, central government planning anyhow, why is $7 an hour sufficient?

In 1980, 15 percent of the workers in America were on minimum wage. Today, it is 2.5 percent. Who are they? Fifty-two percent are teenagers. Thirty percent are part-timers. And 40 percent have never held a job before.

Many studies show that when the minimum wage increases, small businesses who will be most affected actually decrease the number of jobs, thus hurting those whom we are supposed to be helping.

I would say to you that the reason most jobs do not pay minimum wage anymore is because the economy has moved the central government planning of Congress and the thinking of 1938 which set the law in motion to begin with. With that, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the debate today.


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