It’s Science: Raising the Minimum Wage Would Make America a Happier Place

Source: Benjamin Ryan, The Nation, October 15, 2015

The American Psychological Association is marshaling research that shows alleviating poverty improves mental health. …. Smith is the author of an academic cri de cœur, published in the September 2015 issue of American Psychologist, in which she calls on the psychological profession to take a strong stance in support of raising the minimum wage. While acknowledging that upping the lowest pay rate promises no panacea in the fight against poverty, Smith asks her colleagues to consider the “mountain of evidence that supports the damaging impact of poverty upon the psychological, social and physical well-being of adults, children and communities.” …..

Reforming the minimum wage: Toward a psychological perspective.
Source: Laura Smith, American Psychologist, Vol 70 no. 6, September 2015
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From the abstract:
The field of psychology has periodically used its professional and scholarly platform to encourage national policy reform that promotes the public interest. In this article, the movement to raise the federal minimum wage is presented as an issue meriting attention from the psychological profession. Psychological support for minimum wage reform derives from health disparities research that supports the causal linkages between poverty and diminished physical and emotional well-being. Furthermore, psychological scholarship relevant to the social exclusion of low-income people not only suggests additional benefits of financially inclusive policymaking, it also indicates some of the attitudinal barriers that could potentially hinder it. Although the national living wage debate obviously extends beyond psychological parameters, psychologists are well-positioned to evaluate and contribute to it. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)