Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Senator Warren: The Minimum Wage Should be $22/hour

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When I first started seeing this headline the other day, I thought whoa, that's not possible. Doesn't Elizabeth Warren know that many people work for 20 years and never make $22 per hour? There are people who have never made more than $10 per hour in their entire lives!

Yes - yes, she knows. And she is making the case that asking Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10 and hour is perfectly reasonable, given inflation and the fact that it should actually be double that much if we lived in a fair society.

Will it happen? Maybe or maybe not, but at least Warren is there raising the right questions and using the right data.

Huffington Post:
"If we started in 1960 and we said that as productivity goes up, that is as workers are producing more, then the minimum wage is going to go up the same. And if that were the case then the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour," she said, speaking to Dr. Arindrajit Dube, a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who has studied the economic impacts of minimum wage. "So my question is Mr. Dube, with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, what happened to the other $14.75? It sure didn't go to the worker."

And here she grills a restaurant owner who objects to any raise in the minimum wage, saying it would hurt sales. She points out that he would only have to raise prices on his menu 4-8 cents to make up the difference.

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