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Indian Peaks, Continental Divide, Colorado

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I do not support higher minimum wages at the state and national level (case in point, I do not support Amendment 70, which would raise the state's minimum wage to $12 an hour). Seeing as how I earned $3.90 in 1989 as a teenager thanks to the Federal Minimum Wage, I will avoid hypocrisy by supporting a Federal Minimum Wage of $7.50 an hour in 2016, but no more. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't fit when it comes to economics, and the mimimum wage should be a matter of local choice; a fast food worker making $12 an hour in my hometown of Boulder isn't making it; the same worker requiring $12 an hour on the Eastern Plains of our state is unemployed.

All of the above said, I do support a Global Minimum Wage in three different senses: literally as well as in terms of industry and circumstance.

Minimum wage requirements should be worked into any international trade deals; demanding that a developing country set a national minimum wage as one price for access to the American consumer market will not only offset the impact of any such trade deals on American workers, but also encourage a middle class in that developing country which will in turn encourage democracy and stability, not to mention create a larger market for American exports.

I also believe tipped workers should be paid the same as everyone else; I've experienced first-hand how tipped workers making just a few dollars an hour in non-tip wages can be taken advantage of by being assigned work which doesn't directly generate tips.

Finally, I believe a Global Minimum Wage should be applied across all circumstances, including to our prison population. Aside from the fact that allowing prison wages of only a few cents an hour creates a perverse incentive to lock people up if only because it's all that much cheaper, paying prisoners at least $7.50 an hour provides more funds for restitution to victims, more funds for the support of families left on the outside (thus decreasing the need for social services), more funds for trust funds which can give newly-released prisoners a source of support and stability upon release, and decreases the economic competition slave labor poses to Colorado businesses whose employees aren't wearing orange (think of the "pie" scene in The Shawshank Redemption).

If the Thirteenth Amendment needs to be amended to apply the above common sense, then so be it.

For the complete Hammons Campaign Platform click here

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