Minimum Wage Stuck at $7.25; Should B...

Minimum Wage Stuck at $7.25; Should Be $21.16

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

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Minneapolis, MN

#1 Sep 1, 2013
America’s minimum wage was raised to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009. It’s still there. Unlike almost all other federal benchmarks, the minimum wage is not updated for inflation.

The minimum wage reached its (inflation-adjusted) historic high in 1968, when it was raised from $1.40 to $1.60 per hour. Adjusted for inflation using the BLS online inflation calculator that would come to $10.55 per hour in 2012 dollars.

That $10.55 figure is the focus of a nationwide campaign organized by the National Employment Law Project (NELP). In today’s political climate it would certainly be a major accomplishment to achieve a $10.55 minimum wage. But $10.55 is still far too low.

Using 1968 as our benchmark for the minimum wage implies that low-wage Americans today should be making just as much as low-wage Americans were making 44 years ago. That benchmark is — frankly — ridiculous.

Can you imagine Americans of 1968 settling for a minimum wage standard of living that had been set based on 1924 standards? What about 1880 standards? At some point we should expect low-wage workers to start living better than they used to. Don’t low-wage Americans deserve to live in the 21st century, not the mid-20th?

- See more at: http://inequality.org/minimum-wage/#sthash.Xz...
John Lee Anonymous

Minneapolis, MN

#3 Sep 1, 2013
Using 1968 as our benchmark for the minimum wage implies that low-wage Americans today should be making just as much as low-wage Americans were making 44 years ago. That benchmark is — frankly — ridiculous.
Harry Callahan

Saint Paul, MN

#4 Sep 1, 2013
In 1976, the minimum wage was $1.80. Adjusted for inflation, that is $7.39 in 2013 dollars.

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