Instead, when the editors at Bloomberg News planted their stake in the minimum wage debate, they joined a crowd of supporters, including economists, faith leaders, advocates, Senators, President Obama and even
Mitt Romney (well, not anymore).
All of these individuals and organizations favor increasing the federal minimum wage to keep pace with inflation – which can be a pretty big deal for people living and working from paycheck to paycheck.
Here’s an unhappy observation about the minimum wage: Congress last increased the rate in stages in 2006, topping it out at $7.25 an hour in 2009, or $15,080 a year.
That amount, when adjusted for inflation, is actually lower than what a minimum-wage worker earned in 1968 and is too meager to offer anyone the chance to climb out of poverty, let alone afford basic goods and services.
About 10 states are now considering raising the rate, and Senator Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, is proposing to increase the federal rate in three increments to $9.80 an hour in 2014. Many of the initiatives under consideration would smartly tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, meaning that those workers’ wages would finally keep up with inflation.
The past recession was brutal on jobs, household wealth and economic growth. But wages were hit hard, too. Real average hourly earnings have fallen below the level of 2009. Although wages often lag job growth after a recession, the pace of income gains this time around is far slower than in previous recoveries.
Read the rest at Bloomberg: Raise the Minimum Wage