Maine Voters Concerned About Income Gap
The election in the United States next month is not just about who will be the next president. There are many local issues on the ballots as well.
For example, some states are considering making marijuana use legal. Other cities are thinking about raising taxes to help fund civic projects.
In the northeast state of Maine, voters will decide whether or not to increase the minimum wage. The minimum wage is the lowest salary an employer is permitted to pay an employee.
Today, the federal government requires employees to be paid at least $7.25 an hour. But voters in Maine are considering raising the minimum wage each year so that it reaches $12 an hour by 2020.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination brought attention to income inequality. Income inequality is the term used to describe the difference in wealth between the richest and poorest Americans.
Hillary Clinton defeated Sanders and won the Democratic nomination. She said she supports an increase in the minimum wage. Her opponent, Donald Trump, said he believes individual states should decide for themselves.
A group called Fight for $15 believes workers should be paid no less than $15 per hour. They have protested outside the presidential debates.
In the city of Portland, Maine, Hillary Morrison is a bartender at Vena's Fizz House.
She has debts and expenses: food, rent, transportation and student loans.
But unlike many people who work making drinks or serving coffee, she has only one job.
That is because her boss, Steve Corman, pays his employees a good salary.
Morrison earns about $30 per hour on a busy night. Corman pays the bartender about $9 per hour. She gets the rest from tips, extra money customers pay for good service.
Under the current law in Maine, Corman could pay her less than $4 per hour since she is an employee who receives tips.
Morrison said her salary is "incredible." She said she would have to work two or three jobs in order to pay her bills without it.
While some people may be surprised that a bartender or waiter can earn $30 per hour, Corman thinks the higher salary is a good investment. He said his employees work hard, are loyal to his business and develop strong relationships with customers who come back again and again.
Chris Tyll owns a pizza restaurant in Portland called Pat's Pizza. He sees the minimum wage issue differently. He said he is worried voters might not understand why increasing the minimum wage could hurt a business like his.
After adding up the cost of ingredients and labor, he said selling one pizza does not make that much money for the restaurant.
If restaurants had to pay their employees $12 per hour, a pizza might cost as much as $30.
Tyll said people might not eat at such a costly pizza shop.
"We're asking people to make a decision, 10 seconds in a ballot box, as they look at this question," Tyll said. He said he wants to see more of an effort to help workers learn new skills so they can get better jobs.
Economists are not sure how a higher minimum wage would affect local economies.
Some think workers would spend more if they made more, which would boost business. Others say businesses would be forced to raise prices without a guarantee that people would spend more for goods and services.
The Economic Policy Institute said the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is not high enough to support the cost of living in the U.S. The institute also said the U.S. economy could still do well if minimum wage rose to $12 per hour by 2020.
I'm Dan Friedell.
1.as well 也；同样
I'll come with you if you like, I might as well.
2.as much as 多达
I hate Lewis and his kind just as much as you do.
3.student loan 学生贷款
He criticized the Department of Education for not doing enough to control the student loan industry.
4.the minimum wage 最低工资
These people deserve to make more than the minimum wage.
1.She said she would have to work two or three jobs in order to pay her bills without it.
in order to 为了
In order to transform their environment, he drew up the project with painstaking accuracy.
In order to reach this limit a number of technical problems will have to be solved.
2.After adding up the cost of ingredients and labor, he said selling one pizza does not make that much money for the restaurant.
add up 合计
Add up the bills for each month. Take this away from the income.
Police said they arrested Olivia because her statements did not add up.
下月的美国大选不仅会决定谁将成为下任总统 。还会投票决定很多地方议题 。
例如，有的州正考虑让大麻合法化 。其它城市则想通过提高税收来建立市政工程 。
美国东北部的缅因州，选民们将决定是否提高最低工资 。最低工资是指雇主支付员工的最低工资水平 。
如今，联邦政府要求员工的最低时薪为7.25美元 。而缅因州的选民希望逐年提高最低工资水平，2020年时最低时薪达到12美元 。
佛蒙特州参议员伯尼·桑德斯（Bernie Sanders）竞选民主党总统提名时引发了人们对收入差距的关注 。收入不平等是个专业词汇，指的是美国富人与穷人间的收入差异 。
希拉里·克林顿（Hillary Clinton）战胜桑德斯获得民主党的提名 。希拉里表示将支持提高最低工资 。她的劲敌唐纳德·川普（Donald Trump）则认为，此事各州应自行决定 。
一个名为“争取15美元时薪”的组织认为，员工的时薪应不低于15美元 。为此，他们在总统辩论的会场外举行抗议活动 。
希拉里·莫里森（Hillary Morrison）是缅因州波特兰市Vena's Fizz House的调酒师 。
因为老板史蒂夫·柯曼（Steve Corman）给员工的薪水十分丰厚 。
晚上生意好的话，莫里森每小时能赚30美元左右 。柯曼支付给调酒师的时薪约9美元 。剩下的收入就是小费，小费顾客满意服务而额外支付的费用 。
莫里森表示，她的收入“难以置信” 。没有这份收入，她就得另做两、三份工作来支付账单 。
可能有人非常惊讶，一个调酒师或服务生能赚30美元的时薪，然而柯曼认为，高薪是一项良性投资 。他说员工工作卖力，忠于公司，还跟店里的常客建立了亲密的关系 。
克里斯·吉尔（Chris Tyll）在波特兰开了一家名为Pat's Pizza的餐厅 。对于提高最低工资，他有不同看法 。他说，恐怕选民们无法理解为什么提高最低工资会伤害他的生意 。
吉尔说，“我们希望选民明白这个问题后，在投票箱前思考10秒再做决定 。”他说，他希望政府能够帮助员工学习新技能，这样他们才能找到高薪职位 。
有人认为，如果员工赚得多，那么他们的购买力就会提升，这将刺激经济发展 。还有人认为，这会导致企业被迫提高商品价格，无法保证人们会在商品和服务上消费更多 。
美国经济政策研究所称，如今美国7.25美元的最低时薪已无法维持基本的生活水平 。该研究所还表示，假如2020年最低时薪能够提高至12美元，美国经济仍会运转良好 。