The current debate about the need, or lack thereof, to raise the federal minimum wage is slowly heating up. Advocates stress human dignity and the economic stimulus this policy would advance. Opponents point to the cost to businesses' bottom line - often invoking the mom and pop store that is barely making ends meet.
Although I think proponents very much have the upper hand in this argument - this is surely a place where reasonable minds can disagree.
Or can they?
As in most things, it's sometimes important to take a step back and re-frame modern debates in historical contexts.
Most people remember Martin Luther King, Jr. as one of the great leaders of the civil rights movement. However, near the end of his life, he was increasingly focusing his message on the problems of poverty and economic justice. Moreover, this shift in focus happened well before America had even begun to fully deal with racial equality - so why the shift?
If you are an advocate for a living wage take a moment to see what MLK had to say about it.
If you consider yourself a supporter of MLK, but are opposed to a living wage, you may have to do some soul searching on this issue if you take the time to listen.
Perhaps this should change how we talk about a living wage as a national issue.