Minimum wage debate divides employees, business owners

As the U.S. economy continues its slow recovery, congressional democrats are pushing an increase in the federal minimum wage.

Right now it's $7.25 an hour and they wants it increased to $10.10 an hour.

However, republicans and many business owners are opposed to any hike warning that it could stifle economic growth.

In Ohio the minimum wage was just increased to $7.95 an hour while it remains $7.25 in both Kentucky and Indiana.

FOX19's Gordon Graham talked with people on both sides of the minimum wage question.

The issue appears to be clearly divided along party lines. Those who have to pay minimum wage don't want to see it go up while those who earn it naturally want more money and would be happy to see an increase.

Haley Caldwell from Hamilton says it's hard to live on minimum wage. "There are young people trying to make a living, obviously, like me and I work two minimum wage jobs so honestly I think it's a good idea."

Carolyn Lewis of Madisonville applauds efforts to raise the minimum. "I think that's great. I think that it should be more than that, but if that's what they want to make it I think that's great because minimum wage should go up the way the prices are going up minimum wage should go up."

Noel Adorno is visiting Cincinnati from Puerto Rico and says "I think the minimum wage right now is not getting people out of poverty. It's not really giving them a chance to move out and make better of themselves."

Andy Gilgoff from Montgomery says it's absurd to try to live on the current minimum wage. "The idea of raising it to some type of livable wage....

God only knows 400-dollars a week is still not a livable wage, but it's actually getting there."

Jack Bursk of Anderson Township says "Coming from a minimum wage earner myself I say yeah I'd appreciate an increase."

Raising the minimum wage is not such a great idea in the eyes of  many business owners and conservatives.

Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman, Alex Triantafilou says "Most republicans Gordon are against the minimum wage increase. We think that it could increase unemployment we also think that it's a gimmick that designed to....just to rally some support that really doesn't help the economy generally."

Liquor store owner, Bud Gallenstein, says it would be bad for business. "Everyone is struggling to make even a profit. So raising minimum wage would already cripple what is a hard thing. We would have to cut work hours. We might even have to cut store hours and that's already bad because you can't chase away the clientele."

House Democrats in the Kentucky legislature are supporting a bill to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour over the next three years.

In Indiana a bill to raise the minimum wage by a dollar was blocked by Republicans.

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