"It's time to give Americans a raise", the president said in several addresses this year, as well as in this week's Weekly Address. "No one who works forty hours a week should live in poverty."
Many see $10.10 per hour as a step in the right direction towards helping hard working Americans take care of their families. Yet many employees in the fast food and retail industries held protests and went on strike in an effort to get the minimum wage even higher, to a living wage of $15 per hour.
How about a happy medium, we can all live with?
One Republican conservative is suggesting that the minimum wage be raised to $12 an hour.
Ron Unz says raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour would keep workers off welfare and government assistance, and allow workers to provide a living wage for their families.
Said Unz, "...the government spends over $250 billion a year on social welfare programs for the working poor - people who work but can't afford to survive on their pay checks. If we raise the minimum wage to a reasonable level, all those costs will be cut."
Unz claims he's trying to sway Republicans to agree with his notion, using Walmart as an example of how his idea would work.
While signing the minimum wage increase, the administration also continues to push the education agenda as a way to lift Americans out of poverty and minimum wage earning.
Speaking at a high school this week in Coral Reef, FL, both the president and Mrs. Obama used their own experiences to show the importance of a good education.
Said President Obama, "But one of the things I also realized was, even though we had grown up in very different places, her story was a lot like mine. Her dad worked at a city water plant. He didn’t go to college", the president explained. "He was a blue-collar worker. Michelle’s mom, my mother-in-law, who I love to death... was a secretary. No one in her family had gone to college. But because she had worked hard and her parents understood the value of education, and she had great teachers and great opportunities, and because the country was willing to invest to make sure that she was able to pay for college, she ended up going to some of the best universities in the country."
So, let's review, shall we?
We've got an increase in minimum wage for some workers to $10.10 per hour; workers protesting to gain a salary of $15 an hour; at least one Republican on board for wage increase above $10 an hour, and increased opportunities for college enrollment and graduation.
Looks like the wheels of American progress are moving in the right direction. Things look good.
Oh, but wait.
The bots are coming. Stay tuned.