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Sample Letter to the Editor
To the Editor:
The July 24 raise in the federal minimum wage to $7.25 per hour, the last of three such
increases enacted by Congress in 2007, will help millions of workers cope with the rising
price of food, housing, and other basic items. The extra earnings of up to $28 per week
could help pay for health care or school supplies, but it won’t get many people out of
Do the math: according to the latest Census Bureau statistics, the official poverty
threshold for a family of three is an annual income of $17,346, yet someone who works a
full-time minimum wage job at $7.25 per hour earns only $15,080 per year. Moreover,
research shows that families need to earn more than double the official poverty line to
meet their actual basic needs.
<Insert a sentence or two with a local angle that illustrates how an increase in the
minimum wage will affect your state. For example, While Massachusetts is among 18
states that have already set their minimum wages at $7.25 or higher, even $8 per hour is
a poverty wage.>
Raising the minimum wage benefits local businesses and communities, since low-wage
workers spend their much-needed pay raises in neighborhoods where they live and work.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the first two increases in 2007 and 2008 will
have generated an estimated $4.9 billion of spending, and this month’s increase is
expected to generate another $5.5 billion over the coming year.
More importantly, raising the minimum wage is a not just good for the economy — it’s a
women’s issue, a children’s rights issue, or, in short, a moral issue that should weigh on
our national conscience. The least we can do is make up lost ground and bring the
minimum wage closer to an adequate living standard.
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