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Twitter: @SteveAhlquist

Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

His photos and video are usable under the Creative Commons license. Free to share with credit.

"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

"There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame." - David Brooks

4 responses to “Raising the minimum wage in Rhode Island: Why it matters”

  1. Barry Schiller

    It always struck me that opposition to reasonable minimum wage increases by well to do opponents is unusually mean spirited, especially if they complain about the possibility of some small price increases (though labor is only a fraction of the cost of most things we buy) Good work EPI.

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  2. Douglas Hall PhD

    Thanks, Barry. One of my ‘favorite’ arguments is when opponents cite the increase in percentage terms. “This would be a 9% increase in wages. Not many of us have been getting 9% pay raises.”

    That’s maybe true, but not many of us are being paid so poorly that a 90 cent raise would be a 9% raise. Regardless, even at $10.50/hour, someone working full-time, year round would earn just $21,840/year.

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  3. A closer look at Rhode Island’s minimum wage

    […] Ahlquist’s February 13 article summarizes recent testimony in support of increasing Rhode Island’s minimum wage. When we […]

  4. jgardner

    Raising the wage to $10.50 will put $65.2 million in [recipients] pockets, and subsequently into the Rhode island economy.

    Such a statement begs 2 seemingly obvious questions: Where does the money come from to pay for this arbitrary increase in wages, and where was the $65MM before it was “added” to the RI economy?

    More workers on minimum wage are 55 and older than there are in their teen years.

    Has it ever been considered that’s the case because the minimum wage already prices many teens out of the labor market? Nationally, the white teen unemployment rate is 14% and the black teen unemployment rate is 25%. Compare that to an overall rate of ~5%. One of the conclusions reached by the CEPR study Mr. Hall likes is that in response to an increase in the minimum wage employers could shift employment towards higher skilled workers. It would appear that’s already happening, and continuing to push the minimum wage up will only further that trend.

    The $32 million in increased economic activity multiplies,” said Araujo. Taking the money out of the profits of employers and putting it into the pockets of employees is stimulative. Low-wage workers spend their money immediately

    Still buying into the false goal of increasing consumer spending as a measure of economic improvement.

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