Sunday, October 12, 2014

Minimum Wage Updates (October 2014)

Clearly the majority of Americans IN BOTH PARTIES favor raising the federal minimum wage, as well as most of our Democratic leaders. So why won't the Republicans in Congress do the people's will?

CNN: "[Democratic] Senator Tom Harkin and [Democratic] Representative George Miller have offered legislation to increase the national minimum wage to $10.10 ... The Republican leadership of the House of Representatives won't even bring the minimum wage bill up for a vote. And this past spring, it was filibustered [by the GOP] in the Senate; a minority of [GOP] senators refused to even debate this proposal that a strong majority of the American people clearly support." (I noticed CNN left out a few party affiliations, so I filled them in for you.)

LA Times: The Democratic mayor of L.A. proposed a minimum wage of $13.25 an hour by 2017. But some City Council members are advocating a higher wage floor that would reach $15.25 by 2019.

New York Times: "26 states and the District of Columbia have, or soon will have, raised their minimum wage above the paltry federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Even so, these more robust state minimums tend to cluster around $8 to $10 an hour, which is better than $7.25, but still lower than the $11 to $18 an hour that is needed to bring minimum wages in line with relevant benchmarks, including the cost of living, average wages and labor productivity. That is where cities have come in...In San Francisco, the push is for $15 an hour by 2018. In Oakland the goal is $12.25 an hour by 2015. In Los Angeles the City Council has called for $13.25 an hour by 2017 and for a study to chart a path to $15.25 by 2019. In Chicago, city aldermen have proposed $15 by 2016 for large employers, significantly higher than the $13 by 2018 championed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently issued an executive order to require businesses that receive substantial city subsidies to pay a “living wage” of at least $13.13 an hour if they don’t offer benefits, or $11.50 if they do.

Courier-Journal: To date 14 U.S. cities and counties have raised their minimum wage above their state's minimum, joining 25 states plus the District of Columbia that now have a higher minimum than the federal floor of $7.25 --- Minimum-wage increases are often met with claims about big job loss. But a growing body of research shows that reasonable minimum-wage increases have little to no negative effect on employment, including at the local level.

PolitiFact: Minimum-wage hikes may or may not cause faster job growth, but it appears they do not to hamper job creation either.

Bloomberg News: "Incoming NRF chief wants retailers to curtail opposition to minimum wage increases ... Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has said it has a neutral stance on minimum-wage legislation ... Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment." (I'd say Brooke was conspicuously silent.)

Why Does Minimum Wage Have a New Supporter? (a related article)

A CBO report issued earlier this year says gradually raising the minimum wage to $10.10-per-hour: "Real income would increase, on net, by $5 billion for families whose income will be below the poverty threshold under current law, boosting their average family income by about 3 percent and moving about 900,000 people, on net, above the poverty threshold." (Only 900,000? Then maybe $10.10 isn't enough. Let's raise it to $15 — and index it to inflation — and then let's see what happens.)

* See my post here to see what other countries pay as a minimum wage — you might be surprised (and very pissed off, especially if you're only making $7.25 an hour.)


  1. American Exceptionalism: 2 charts in the 2 links below shows that America isn't even close to being #1

    The Big Mac index

    Minimum Wage Statistics

    From the Guardian:

  2. UPDATE to the UPDATE: The cleansing effect of the minimum wage in China

  3. Scott Walker on Minimum Wage - - - Argument Is Even Dumber Than You Think