Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Minimum Attention to the minimum Wage

There are certain seasonal things you can count on happening every year in Washington, DC. The blooming of the cherry trees, the Easter Egg hunt, the lighting of the Christmas Tree, and Senator Kennedy trying to get the minimum wage raised.

Here are just a few facts for you to consider:
  • The minimum wage is now $5.15/hour, which, at full-time, is well under the poverty rate by most standards.
  • The minimum wage was last increased in 1997. Congress has given itself nine raises in that period.
  • Congress' raise this year is worth about $31,000 - nearly three times what a minimum wage earner takes home each year at full-time.
  • Between 1968 and 2004, corporate profits rose by 85% - in the same period, the minimum wage fell 41 percent (adjusted for inflation).
And, before you go claiming that raising the minimum wage will lead to job loss, check the data. Most economic studies show that there is little to no job loss associated with raises in the minimum wage. has been covering this battle with two recent articles: Pay Raise Politics and Minimum Wage, Maximum Payoff.

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1 comment:

  1. How would you respond to the position that an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit would be a much more effective and equitable way of helping the working poor than raising the minimum wage?


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