Amendment 70 – Why you should and shouldn’t vote for Amendment 70 on Nov. 8th

Taylor Tougaw

Don’t vote for it:

Amendment 70 is proposed to raise the minimum wage from $8.31 to $9.30 per hour and increase it 90 cents each year on January 1 until the wage reaches $12 in 2020. In essence just raising the Colorado minimum wage from $8.31 to $12.

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Raising the minimum wage, whether it be state or federal, is always a bad idea, not to mention morally reprehensible. Raising the minimum wage makes employees cost more to their employers. Thus their employers will not be able hire as many people or will cut their employees hours. Additionally, when minimum wages go up, cost of labor obviously increases. When cost of labor increases, prices on the goods that labor produces also goes up.

Many will say that when the water rises, all ships float. However, the point in raising the minimum wage is to help the lowest earners in society. If the minimum wage rises, all wages rise. If all wages rise, minimum wage earners are still in the same position they were in: Last place.

Raising the minimum wage also reinforces the notion that you can ‘earn’ more money by demanding it. That isn’t the way society should be run. You earn more money when you have a skill that is worth more money. Minimum wage jobs are for minimum skill workers.

-Taylor Tougaw

Vote for it:

On November 8th we will be voting on some very important amendments, one of which is Amendment 70 which would raise the minimum wage in Colorado.

The Amendment 70 would increase the minimum wage to $9.30 per hour with annual increases of $0.90 each January 1 until it reaches $12 per hour effective January 2020, and annually adjusts it thereafter for cost-of-living increases”. Passing this amendment is so important for the survival of our society. In 2015, the official poverty rate was 13.5%. These are the people working the minimum wage jobs, and it is making it impossible for them to survive, let alone escape poverty.

Colorado’s minimum wage is currently $8.31 per hour. When taken into account the cost of living, which continues to rise, it is ridiculous to expect people to survive on this amount. People with children also have to take into account the cost of childcare while they are at work. This wage is unreasonable and simply forces the poor to stay poor with little hope of ever escaping poverty. It also causes people who have gone through unfortunate circumstances to have tremendous difficulty getting back on their feet.

Minimum wage has only been raised 21% in the same amount of time that the cost of living has increased by 37%. This gap in how much people make and how much they are required to spend is the reason for the huge inequality in the distribution of the wealth. The poor have to work obscene hours just to make ends meet with the current minimum wage, leaving them no time to get an education (assuming they could even pay for it) which is their only bridge to a higher paying job, and a higher quality life. The poor stay poor, while the rich are given the opportunity to get richer.

The American Dream of being able to provide for your family and advance in society, both socially and financially, is not attainable with the current minimum wage. Raising it by passing Amendment 70 is the only way for us to allow our fellow Americans to achieve a quality of life that should be accessible to everyone.

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-Rachel Melton