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S.Floridians React To President’s Call For A Minimum Wage Hike

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) –“Give America a raise!”  That’s what President Barak Obama is asking Congress to do.  At Tuesday’s State of the Union Address, he urged lawmakers to approve a hike in the minimum wage, upping it to ten dollars and ten cents an hour. “Oh! That was awesome!” said South Florida job seeker Carla Roundtree.

She watched as the president made his pitch.  In Florida, the minimum wage is 7.93 an hour – that’s about $16,500 a year for a full-time worker.  The 10 dollar and  10 cent proposal comes to around $21,000 a year.  That’s a $4500 annual raise. “It’s a start,” said Roundtree.  “$2 more an hour, it’s a big difference.  As a single mom with kids, you can take $2 and stretch that into a meal for three days.”

”I think it’s way overdue,” said Queen Meretaton, who’s also looking for a  job.  “$10.10 is a good start!”

She’s getting back in the work force now that her granddaughter lives with her.  She can’t make it with the current minimum wage. “With minimum wage being what it has been, you can work full-time and still not be able to take care of your family.”

Suzy Ludlow owns “Expresso Drive Thru Coffee.”  She’s happy to see a call for a higher minimum wage. “The hourly wage has been so low while everything else has climbed,” said Ludlow.

She already starts her employees off above minimum wage because life costs more today.  “Times are changing!” she said.  “It’s so expensive to do anything.  The new 20 (dollar bill) is a hundred,” said Ludlow.  “The money just goes.”

Now the question, who would  pay for that raise?  Economist Florence Neymotin from Nova Southeastern University says it’s all of us. “So workers at McDonald’s, let’s say, instead of firing those workers when minimum wages go up, we would tend to see prices for a Big Mac to go up.”

Many figure the chances of congress passing this “Raise for America” are pretty slim.  That’s why the president is hoping that companies, as well as states will do it on their own and not wait for congress.

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