By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lawmakers try to live like low-income workers to draw attention to issue
For 18 Florida lawmakers, drawing attention to what they see as need for a higher minimum wage is best done by living like people who have $17 a day after taxes, childcare and housing are taken out of their minimum wage paycheck. - photo by Payton Davis
In a push to pass legislation, 18 Florida lawmakers hope limiting their spending to $17 a day will show those on both sides of the debate the need for a $15 minimum wage.

Why $17 daily? That's how much minimum-wage workers typically take home after taxes, childcare and housing bills are accounted for, according to Newser. The lawmakers' initiative kicked off Monday and ends Friday.

The Associated Press reported among their objectives, the politicians involved planned to grocery shop with a minimum-wage worker to get a sense of how those facing financial hurdles live.

And Florida Sen. Dwight Bullard told Fox35 Orlando that five days should be plenty to show workers making minimum wage battle difficult odds.

"I'd like my colleagues to see that supporting this bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour is the right thing to do for Florida's working families who struggle every day just to make ends meet," Bullard said.

According to A Plus, Florida residents who fit that demographic pulling in $8.05 per hour appreciate the lawmakers' efforts, which were spurred by a bill proposed in July to raise the state's minimum wage.

"I'm excited to see that we have representatives willing to walk a few days in my shoes and see what it's like," said Bleu Rainer, 26, who's worked in fast food for eight years and earns minimum wage.

Fox35 Orlando's report read similar attempts to pass bills that set higher minimum wages are now a nationwide trend: Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco have passed legislation, and fast-food workers in New York City expect to receive higher pay.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said benefits of such an increase include bringing 2.2 million hard workers out of poverty, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

"If you work full time, you shouldn't have to live in poverty plain and simple," Cuomo said. "Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will add fairness to our economy and bring dignity and respect to 2.2 million people, many of whom have been forced to live in poverty for too long."

However, a large percentage of economists doubt the new wage will do much of anything, according to Investor's Business Daily.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business surveyed a panel of 42 "eminent, politically diverse" economists to gauge their thoughts on whether a $15 minimum wage would boost the GDP of the U.S.

Just one person or 2 percent of the panel thought it would, IBD reported.

"They argue that budget-stretched lower earners getting a raise are very likely to spend virtually all of their additional earnings," according to IBD. "That would, in theory, more than offset the effect of price increases or thinner profit margins for business owners, who save a significant slice of their earnings."

Still, A Plus cited bipartisan support for a minimum wage hike and President Barack Obama's endorsement of an increase from $7.25 to $10.10 as signs of the public's concern about income inequality.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters