By the way. Juan, Player - you guys should probably look into this union thing. You could double your salaries!
Unions require large groups of people able to organize against a single large entity to be truly effective. Most low-wage workers are spread out in various jobs with various employers. A very large percetage are in food service , childcare and retail sales, but you can find them all over.
Also, you seem to underestimate what it took to even get unions and to effectively fight those in power.
Low wages are Machiavelli-like, just enough to keep people from going to those lengths, but not enough to keep the system from harming society. Add in the fact that a good many are here illegally or on shakey grounds for other reasons that prevent them from fighting and you have a bunch of people trapped.
But, the real issue here is that most people in this low-wage arena actually ARE making more, just not by themselves. In may case, my husband makes better wages, but many people survive by getting tax payer paid government handouts. You want to stop handouts, make companies pay a legitimate wage. THAT is the real issue. I don't believe it truly will result in more people moving into welfare and unemployment other htan in the short term (less than 2 years), BUT even if it did, then having an honest wage base will allow us to focus on real issue, rather than back-handed supports supports for what should be private companies. I may not like someone being on welfare, but at least we know they are on welfare. Today, it all gets muffled. Figures showing people getting support don't identify whether they are also working or not. Statistics on wages and employment don't readily identify if the workers are making ends meet by working multiple jobs, spousal support, family support or government support or a combination.
Also, because so many people being helped are actually working, its harder or impossible mandate that they get education, work on public service needs or any other real demand. If I am going to pay for someone's food and rent (and I AM), then I want them to at least contribute something to the community unless they are really and truly not able. (and even then, I would rather fix the "not able" part than simply keep them on the dole).
OH, one thing.. illegal workers are not eligible for government aid, BUT they do often depend on local societal help that otherwise would go to other causes. Plus, in many cases they have kids who are citizens and therefore who ARE eligible for assistance.... but who would not require assistance if their parents were able to do better. In that regard, it really doesn' t matter if the assistance is private or public. I just refer more to the public help because so many opposed to the raise in minimum wage are also low tax proponents.