Minimum Wage Bottom Line

jonathan-tasiniYou don’t have to remember much about the minimum wage debate. Except for this.

Tattoo this: If even the federal minimum wage had increased with productivity and inflation since 1968 – as it had done in prior decades — it would be $17 per hour today instead of a meager $7.25.

This happens to be a sentence from an article by my pal Mark Weisbrot. But, it’s not new.

Back in 2009, I wrote that the minimum wage was a national scandal, one the current president was perpetuating with a meek proposal to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour.

So, just remember that one sentence when some idiot says the minimum wage is just fine, or that the country is doing some favor to people by hiking it to $9 an hour. That just reflects one thing: a four decade robbery, using the hard work of people to make a profit and refusing to pay they a fair share.

This article was originally printed on Working Life on October 5, 2013.  Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Jonathan Tasini is a strategist, organizer, activist, commentator and writer, primarily focusing his energies on the topics of work, labor and the economy. On June 11, 2009, he announced that he would challenge New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the Democratic primary for the 2010 U.S. Senate special election in New York. However, Tasini later decided to run instead for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2010.

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.