The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour and that number hasn't budged since 2009. Full-time employment at $7.25 per hour produces just $15,080 in income per year. Even for a small family, that is well below the federal poverty line
Sadly, the lack of "political will" to make the lives of tens of millions of people barely tolerable exists *because* the stock market exists as a casino that has diverged so much from its original intent it has become a mechanism wealthy families to remain wealthy forever while everyone else squabbles over the diminishing pile of scraps.
People repeat stupid things like, "if $15 is the minimum wage then $15 will be worthless." Well, $8 is the minimum now, and $8 is not worthless, sooo...
The fact is, taxpayers are currently making-up the amount employers are not paying in wages via social safety net programs. And, these are not small employers: These are huge companies with lobbyists & cash in the bank to burn.
They always manage to bail out those people who live on capital gains; usually by pointing to 401Ks which is just a smokescreen for bailing out multi-multi-billionaires.
Opulence cannot exist without poverty. When I see private islands for sale, I know I will find children starving to death right around the corner. For shame.
That minimum wage hasn't changed in years. We are so far behind the rest of the world in making sure that those at the bottom end of the financial spectrum can make a decent living (or a living of any type). So much for the "land of opportunity"..............
Judd, you are a force for good in the world. I am proud to support your efforts through my humble subscription
Excellent piece about minimum wage but here's my take: Denmark, for instance, easily handles paying minimum wages of US$16 an hour and can still sell Big Macs for US$1 apiece less than they sell for in the United States where no one can live decently on America’s paltry minimum wages. The United States has the greatest income inequality among well-off nations and the most child poverty. https://dianefrancis.substack.com/p/american-un-exceptionalism
Nothing screams for the need to revive the Union Movement like the battle of the minimum wage. When Senators like Joe Manchin, who represents one of the poorest states of the Union, oppose raising the minimum wage, you know we have a huge problem. Many of West Virginia's hourly workers work two jobs and still live below the poverty line, yet their Democratic Senator opposes a graduate raise to $15/hr, which barely gets a family of four above that line. instead, he and the rest solid bloc of Republican opposition are content using taxpayer money to supplement these workers' incomes, which is nothing more than corporate welfare for the likes of Walmart, Amazon, and other low-wage employers. Amazon workers in Alabama are trying to unionize, which would improve wages and working conditions. Keep your eye on that space.
Excellent article. Our Indiana Senator is spending his time talking to small business owners who will say that they'll go out of business if the minimum wage is increased. Let's hope a clumsy server can pour some cold water on that conversation.
I can't believe it, Judd. You've got no enemy today. Your enemy is *the system*.
Looking forward to reading about your next enemy.
I am all for a living wage, but when I hear these arguments I just don't hear enough from small businesses that might be struggling anyway. Also, if a business is providing health care insurance is that calculated into the wage factor? I ran a tiny small business once and this rate increase would definitely have put us under (but we went under anyway so that argument might be moot.) People who love money for money's sake will always want and scheme to get more of it - and exploiting people just comes with their nature, but for a lot of "microbusinesses" owners are barely getting by as it is. I guess I would like to hear more from them. Good article though - very good.