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AdLib On December - 17 - 2013

we are worth more

While the Republicans in Congress do their best to do their worst to the American people, the core problems hurting most of the American people burrow deeper. There are short term and long term troubles and getting a vote to address even one of these issues in Congress seems hard enough to accomplish with Republican obstructionism continuing.

But what if there was one vote that could be held, one campaign that could be focused on to pass one law that if passed, could help with many of our most serious problems?

And what if that one law was already very popular with the public and even had some Republican support?

There are an array of financially-based problems that plague our nation. Unemployment, stagnant wages, poverty, jobs that don’t pay a living wage, growing inequity between workers and their bosses, cuts to SNAP (food stamps) and other poverty programs, the deficit, Medicare and Social Security gradually approaching inadequate financing and a sluggish economy to name many critical areas.

What can be accomplished isn’t extreme or far-fetched, it wouldn’t be an instant cure for all the economic ills mentioned above that afflict us…but it could help substantially in all of those areas.

And it’s as simple as Congress voting to increase the national minimum wage to $15 an hour.

We’ve heard the same dishonest wailing from the pro-business Republicans, “It will kill jobs!” “The price of a burger could go up 10%!” “Keep government out and let the free market decide!”

However, history has only proven that raising wages increases jobs because it puts more money in the hands of people who spend that money, buying more goods and services which requires businesses to hire more people to manufacture more goods and provide services. This is another issue where there is no justifiable equivalency for those opposed to it (despite the media’s need for there to always be two sides to an argument, sometimes there isn’t a strong enough “pro-AIDS” or “anti-fire-prevention” point of view to be placed side-by-side with the only factually backed opinion).

As we consider the impact of raising the minimum wage, we can consider just how far reaching that would be with regards to a whole host of economic issues facing the nation.

Let’s begin with some math. Now, I am not an economist but that’s not a requirement for being able to add and multiply numbers, the only requirement is an elementary school education (too bad that’s not a requirement for Republicans to be elected to Congress).

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2012, “…1.6 million earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. About 2.0 million had wages below the federal minimum.”

That’s 3.6 million Americans earning minimum wage and lower.  Though there are many more Americans earning less than the minimum, let’s help out the adversaries of this proposition and only assume the average hourly wage for this entire segment of the workforce is around $7.00/hour.

Also according to the BLS, the average American between the ages of 25 and 54 works and has related work activities for about  8.8 hours a day (part timers and over-timers apparently balance each other out). Here too, let’s try to underestimate the amount of hours worked each day by minimum wage earners and use an average of 6 hours per day work day which would be 30 hours per work week (some employees work 20 hours per week because their employers are trying to skirt the Affordable Care Act provisions mandating health insurance for those working more than 20 hours a week but studies show this is not pervasive).

Now let’s start mathercizing. If a minimum wage increase added an average of $8/hour for 3.6 million Americans who worked an average of 30 hours/week, that means that each week there would be $864 million more being paid each week to that working poor segment of the U.S. workforce, around $3.75 billion per month and around $45 billion per year…flowing to those most in need who would be spending most of that back into the economy.

What would be the domino effect from that?

With a 12.5% tax on wages, the Social Security trust fund would receive an additional $5.6 billion per year. Not enough to wipe out its annual deficit but enough to cut it by up to 10% per year and extend the programs life much farther into the future (I wouldn’t want to give Republicans a big reason to vote against a minimum wage increase but if we had a Democratic Congress, I would also like to see a repeal of the Social Security Tax cutoff added to the bill and then in combination, we probably would eliminate that deficit).

Medicare collects a 2.9% tax so that means an additional $1.3 billion into their coffers annually.

The U.S is projected to spend $76 billion on SNAP (food stamps) spending in 2013. A big chunk of that spending would be eliminated as workers could afford to buy enough food for their families. And instead of our tax money going to subsidize Walmart, McDonalds and the rest of the corporate employers who pay so poorly that workers can’t afford their expenses, these corporations would be paying sufficient wages and freeing American taxpayers from that burden.

Consider all of the government programs related to helping those in poverty that would have less demand and require less spending of tax dollars when the working poor are no longer earning at poverty levels. The Republicans claim that the most important thing is the deficit, imagine how quickly it would fall with this kind of spending slashed and tax revenue increased by the jump in income.

And with $45 billion back in the consumer economy annually (instead of in corporate profits that are simply invested in markets and funds internationally), the demand for goods and services would increase so jobs to provide those would increase…and at the $15/hour minimum wage, new jobs would generate even greater income, spending and job growth.

So in this one vote which is already a winner with most Americans, raising the minimum wage to $15/hour would cut the Social Security and Medicare annual deficits, cut the federal deficit, reduce unemployment and unemployment insurance benefit payments, bring millions up out of poverty, reduce spending on welfare and poverty programs, fight economic inequality, protect American taxpayers from subsidizing major corporations who underpay their employees and greatly stimulate our national economy. Also consider what all that new income would mean to cities and states, greater spending on education, police and fire, infrastructure repair, etc.

Corporations like McDonalds moan about how the price of a Big Mac could go up .50 cents if the minimum wage was increased. Or jobs would be lost (again, studies show this is just plain false). Even though these arguments are wholly dishonest because the expense for hourly employee payroll for major corporations is a nominal percentage compared to all their other expenses (and therefore the percentage of added expense an increased minimum wage would be to these mega-corps is nowhere near the massive percentage increases they claim they would need to apply to their products or services).

In fact, there would be an economic boom especially in the businesses like McDonalds and Walmart that have a big customer base in the very demographic that would have a lot more money to spend.

And even if we bought into the lies about how prices would go up on big corporations’ products…what American would refuse to pay an extra few cents for a burger at McDonalds or a pair of sneakers at Walmart if it led to a better economic times that benefited them in a much bigger way than saving .50 cents?

This is a potent issue for the Democrats in 2014. There is a rising discontent among Americans at the growing, massive gap between the wealthy and everyone else. Protests have cropped up all around the nation at fast food restaurants and corporate stores that don’t pay a living wage. The amount of people in poverty is growing and as is the number of people slipping out of the middle class. People are worried that Social Security and Medicare will be either privatized and killed by Republicans or go bankrupt from neglect. Many things need to be done and we have a Republican Party in Washington that wants to pass as few bills as possible.

Well…if one bill could get all the weight thrown behind it to be passed, I can’t think of one that would have a more profound impact on our economy, our society and everyone in the nation than raising the minimum wage to $15.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

38 Responses so far.

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  1. PocketWatch says:

    Henry Ford, Libertarian and general hard-butt that he was, had it right. At a time when men were earning $1 an hour, he paid $5. It ensured that the very people that he had working for him could afford the product they were making.

    What these fools and jokers constantly miss is that by paying people a living wage, they become…. wait for it…. BETTER CUSTOMERS!

    • Nirek says:

      PW, wow, Ford paid $5 an hour back then?
      My first job paid me $35 a week for forty hours work. Then I was drafted and took a pay cut. $99 a month! This was the mid 1960’s.

      • PocketWatch says:

        I think I mistyped. It was a dollar a day, Ford paid 5 a day. Still a 500% increase over the going rate.

        As I recall, a Model T was something like $250 new, not an inconsiderable sum back in the 1920’s.

    • whatthel says:

      Increasing the min. wage almost always wins when it’s on a ballot, and helps candidates who are for it.

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks for that poll, Escribacat!

      It may be most popular to raise it to $10.hour or so but to really change the dynamic, $15/hour would reverse years of erosion of the standard of living in America and the shift of much wealth from the 99% to the 1%.

      It would also be a kind of domino effect, as minimum wage goes up, the wages of other Americans would go up since the baseline would be raised. What would Americans do to discover their wages rising again, they’re bringing in enough money to save and handing a better future to their kids?

      That’s what’s at stake.

  2. whatthel says:

    Republicans always manage to do their worst.

  3. VegasBabe says:

    SPOT ON! Not a year goes by that utilities don’t rise, rents, cell phone bills, groceries, transportation, mail but gopers seem unable to support a minimal wage of $15.00. The last I heard, they were objecting to $10.00. With the support of Elizabeth Warren as well as a number of dem Congessional members, this is a fight that I think Obama could win if he gave it the attention and time it deserves. I realize he has quite a lot on his plate already but then….he asked for this job.

    • Quick Brown Dog says:

      Something tells me Republicans bristle at the fact that the maximum wage isn’t $0/hour.

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks VB! You point out an enormous disconnect, Congress rarely increases the minimum wage, which was supposed to represent a wage on which people can subsist, but as inflation grows, it’s only common sense that what might have been an adequate amount in the ’70’s or 90’s is insufficient to live on in 2013.

      So it’s a transfer of wealth to corporations in particular, instead of them having to pay a minimum wage that’s liveable, they pay only a fraction of that amount and U.S. taxpayers pick up the rest of the bill through SNAP and other social programs.

      It’s a fraud, that money has to be paid anyway, why aren’t the companies that benefit from people’s work paying for that instead of taxpayers?

      Coincidentally, I heard yesterday that Obama may be devoting the last two years of his Presidency to addressing economic injustice. Sure hope he does, as I proposed in my post, I think this is the key moral issue of our time and it is the one issue that if addressed, would help people of both parties, improve our society in many ways and lead to a rising economic tide that raises all ships.

      • Quick Brown Dog says:

        that money has to be paid anyway

        Republicans don’t agree. They would rather we do away with ALL safety-net programs and cleanse the earth of the undesirable caste so that Jibus can return and rule in the land of kings.

        Sooner or later they’ll push for a breath test as a requirement to receive benefits. Not a Breathalyzer, but a “breath test”:

        Q: Do you breathe?

        If yes, you are ineligible for government subsidies. I GOT MINE, GO DIE SUCKER!

  4. PocketWatch says:

    One argument to use in refutation of the old saw that “XYZ will result in job loss,” here’s the reality…

    1. Most jobs are created by small businesses
    2. Small businesses don’t hire any more bodies than necessary
    3. Small businesses don’t hire fewer bodies than needed to get whatever they do done
    4. The idea that taxes, or increases in minimum wages, or anything else does NOT figure in the hiring practices of small businesses (in 15 years of consulting, it’s never come up even once)
    5. The ONLY thing that affects a hiring/firing decision is NEED. A business needs someone to do something they don’t have the staff for, or, they need to get rid of someone that is either no longer needed or is not doing the work they’ve been hired for.
    6. An increase in minimum wages or taxes or anything else affects ALL small businesses equally (theoretically), and therefore the playing field remains level, so even a competition argument is bogus.

    In the end, just like the trickle down nonsense, the meme that increasing minimum wages or taxes as job killers SOUNDS right, but it really has no basis in reality. People buy what sounds right, though.

    • AdLib says:

      Hey Pocketwatch, excellent and reasoned argument undermining the various RW propaganda attacks on why everything they don’t like hurts jobs and the economy.

      The whole “Job Creator” bullshit label they’re applied to the wealthy is just as dishonest when one considers what you listed.

      And most small businesspeople are not millionaires so the real “Job Creators” are not the wealthiest 1%…at least when it comes to creating American jobs.

      • PocketWatch says:

        I need to append my statements above, just a little.

        On point #5, addressing NEED:

        This is one of the big places most small businesses get into trouble. Owners tend to NOT hire the right people for the jobs they need done. Brothers-in-law, other family members, friends… which causes all kinds of trouble and monetary problems.

        In addition, small business owners tend to keep people much longer than they should, whether they are family, friends, or just plain employees. In my experience, owners typically treat people like family, have a real concern over what hiring/firing practices will do to the people involved, and fail to make hard-boiled decisions about their business when it comes to the people they employ. There are exceptions, but this is true 90% of the time in troubled businesses.

        While this is an admirable trait, it can help drive a business into the dirt. It is one of the hardest lessons I had to teach owners and managers…. to look at hard numbers and make hard decisions concerning their people. But, when they do, they end up with a healthier business that can support the people they do have in a much better way, with performance bonuses and secure jobs.

        It’s a VERY different world in corporate America, of course.

        • AdLib says:

          PocketWatch, you point out the two ends of the spectrum which is rather revealing. Corporations have been declared to be “people” and yet as you point out, they operate with no conscience or compassion for human beings. Meanwhile, many small business owners act like human beings, including displaying the misguided decisions feelings can sometimes lead to.

          Heartless, soulless corporations make better business decisions than compassionate small business owners? It may be true (plenty of corporations have also made bad decisions because of their mercenary nature and harmed their business because of them, Lehman Brothers and most banks for example) but a balance would seem to make more sense, in between the two extremes.

          • PocketWatch says:

            Large companies and corporations have other issues, and they actually make MUCH worse business decisions than small guys. Large corporations are VERY inefficient compared to most small businesses that run pretty well.

            I know from direct experience that, while it is true that megacorps tend to treat the rank and file like disposable cogs, the bad decisions they DO make are much more damaging to their bottom line, and no one cares.

            A couple examples (from direct experience):

            Two companies merge, and a corporate buyer, responsible for purchasing and leasing office equipment and deciding leases and contracts, is a personal favorite of one of the company’s Presidents. This guy has no idea what he’s doing, does no due diligence, and ends up costing the merged company literally 100’s of thousands of dollars a year in badly negotiated leases and purchases based on nothing more than personal bias. It is proven, but because he has a “rabbi,” he can’t be fired.

            In another example, a company hires a new President, who, in an effort to “shake up the company and re-energize it,” offers a complete restructuring (cribbed out of a bad MBA textbook, BTW). The confusion and loss of productivity over the next year causes millions in profits and potential earnings to be lost. He gets fired, but has a golden parachute that pays him off (bad BAD contract negotiation by the Board of Directors) in the millions. He moves on to ruin the next company.

            Another… VPs that “have something” on the company president, and will never be fired, have no idea what they are doing, and run really crappy divisions. Or, VPs that are out for their own personal gain, and have no interest in the long-term health of the company. Therefore they make decisions that are bad for the company, but good for them.

            I could go on, but this is true corporate America.

            How is the free market and business more efficient than government again?????

            I could make the case that there is a “sweet spot” for the size and structure of a company that keeps the humanity of the company and is most efficient, and is -- or can be -- highly profitable because it is large enough to do what it needs to do and small enough to actually be controlled properly.

  5. funksands says:

    Since 1961, there’s been 20 minimum wage increases. Only once the following year (2008) did gdp drop. Only 4x did corporate profits drop. (1966, 1969, 1982, 2008)

    Thereby proving to Republicans that minimum wage increases are a disaster for the economy.

    • AdLib says:

      Funk -- And let’s not forget why GDP dropped in 2008, was it minimum wage workers getting a .70 cent raise or perhaps…banks and Wall street blowing up the U.S. and world economies?

      Hmm, that’s a toughie.

      Thanks for documenting this, a solid economics argument disproving what Repubs are claiming.

      • Nirek says:

        Ad, it isn’t hard to disprove what the GOPers say. All you need is facts. That is the one thing they don’t have, facts!

        • AdLib says:

          Nirek, in the delusional world of Repubs, truth has nothing to do with their believing something is true. So disproving their BS with facts is a pointless exercise on that count but at least enlightening any who might believe them makes it worth doing.

  6. Nirek says:

    Ad, well done again. The minimum wage has not gone up like inflation has. It is about time it went up to give folks a livable income. As for Social Security, it is in good shape for several years but if the income limit for paying into the Trust Fund were raised to $250,000 Social Security would not have any problem for many many years.

    • PocketWatch says:

      I’m old enough to remember the food fight that Congress had in the Reagan days over SS taxes. The SS administrators came to Congress and wanted a tiny increase to take care of the Baby Boomers 30 years down the road that demographics and simple math told them that was coming.

      You’d have thought the world was coming to an end!

      I remember clearly, because I commented to my mother about the fact that I doubted SS would even exist by the time I was retirement age, and we got into a big fight over it.

      Now, we have a funding problem? BS! We have a political weak-kneed, can’t-do-math problem. This subject always gets a rise out of me!

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks Nirek (and haven’t mentioned it but like your Gravatar!).

      I believe I heard that adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage is at one of its lowest points in modern times. For that to be the case in the midst of high unemployment and economic sluggishness is awful. It needs a big raise and corporations need to shell out a fraction of the huge profits they’ve been reaping since the recovery (for them) began.

      Heck, I’d remove the cap completely for Social Security and let the wealthy pay back some of the wealth the many have given them by helping the finance Social Security for the many.

      • Ha, when I first saw Nirek’s new avatar i asked him..”Why the long face?” 😉

      • Nirek says:

        Ad, the Gravatar is my Morgan filly. We had four and intended to bread them. By the time they got old enough to bread we got too old to do the work. My wife hurt her back and my knees went bad (had both replaced two years ago). So after four years with the horses we retired from farming.

        As for lifting the cap on S.S. I would love to do that. Trouble is the rich who can afford it would balk and the Congressmen/women they have bribed will not allow it.

        • AdLib says:

          Nirek, what a great looking horse!

          You’re right about the Congresspeople protecting the wealthy on the SS tax but if the public gets riled up enough, they will fold. Obama has said he wants to pursue economic inequality as a major focus, if he and the Dems can make 2014 about that and he pushes for it the rest of his term, I think changes like that could happen.

          Though I think raising the minimum sage would be the first best step.

  7. escribacat says:

    Well said, Adlib. The fact is, we are all paying to subsidize these underpaid workers anyway, through our tax dollars. So theoretically I’d have to pay more for a big mac or a crappy shirt from China at Wal-Mart. I’m paying to subsidize their work force anyway. There’s nothing more galling than the idea that Wal-Mart underpays their people and then tutors them how to get food stamps paid for by you and me. And this is all accompanied by the chorus of GOPers who wail incessantly about how they are the only people who work. And besides, take Costco as an example. They pay their workers much better than comparable corporations and they still offer bargains galore.

    I can’t imagine how anyone survives on $7 an hour, much less supports a family. I’ve seen rightwingers argue that no self respecting adult would still be working in such a crummy job, that they should have advanced into something better. Well, all the “something betters” got shipped overseas. When I was a 15 year old, I got a job at McDonalds and most of my co-workers were around my age. Nowadays, it’s moms and dads working there because there’s nothing else.

    • mad_as_heck13 says:

      I get so mad when I see the Walmart ads where they compare a receipt from a (probably union) grocery store with their prices, and then brag on how they’re helping families save money. Yeah, off the backs of the Walmart associates. You know any savings are coming off the cost of labor. Not just their workers, but the workers overseas making a pittance to produce cheap goods at the rock-bottom prices Walmart demands. I hear the other side saying, “That’s easy for you to say. Some people can only afford Walmart prices.” It’s a vicious circle. People can only afford Walmart prices because THEY DON’T MAKE A LIVING WAGE. And in the meantime, they may be paying taxes to subsidize workers who have to reply on government programs because THEY don’t make a living wage. The minimum wage increase is in all our interests. I’ll gladly pay $2 for that McDouble. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” right?

    • AdLib says:

      Hey Escrib, I’d have to imagine that the amount it’s costing each of us as taxpayers to subsidize the poverty wages Walmart, McDonalads, etc. pay is far more than the .50 cents a Big Mac (that I’d never buy anyway) would cost us. That means, we’re saving money by mandating that employers pay workers more. Simple math…IOW, Republicans will never understand it.

      Costco is the perfect example, they pay a living wage, have great employee and customer loyalty, turn bigger profits than Sam’s Club and offer products at great discounts. Higher pay has only made Costco better off, they save a lot of money on the cost of employee turnovers and training.

      It’s true, the average age of a fast food worker now is 29! So yes, we’re talking parents with kids to feed! As you point out, so many of the good paying blue collar jobs they would climb up to from their fast food job are gone so many have nowhere to go. Are they supposed to quit after working there for a while and have no job because they’re too” self-respecting” to stay in such a job…as Repubs would have it?

      This is the reality we live in, not the delusionary land of Republican thinking. In reality, millions of adults are stuck in minimum wage jobs with no higher paying job to move to. The only way to help them without taxpayers subsidizing their corporate employer is to raise the minimum wage and juice up the economy so more better paying jobs are created. Raising the minimum wage would accomplish both of those goals, IMO.

      • Exactly Ad. When big corporations don’t pay their employees enough to live on, the corporation simply let those concerns go to state and federal safety nets, that everybody pays some sort of tax into. We all pay some sort of state and federal taxes, employed or not. Talk about socialism. That evil, evil creature that the right is so fond of denigrating.

        The level of hypocrisy on the right is astronomical and seemingly has no bottom.

  8. agrippa says:

    Increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour is an excellent idea; it would very useful.
    But, that will have to wait until the Democratic Party gains the HoR.

    • AdLib says:

      Maybe so, agrippa but a huge part of the Repub base is in this demographic, working for minimum wage or near it and would be hugely helped by its being raised. They might actually cause problems for Repubs who vote no on it.

      So, it is possible but as you say, with a Dem House, it would be probable.

      • Ad, but then there is that 25% or so of RWers (TPers) that have been so successfully brainwashed into supporting laws that go against their own self interests.

        These, as you well know are the least informed, most misinformed people in the republican base. I hate to say it, but it seems they will always be around.

  9. funksands says:

    Ad, this is a really good piece. It also will tie in nicely to the new piece on MMT that I am working on.

    If Democrats DON’T pursue this policy as a primary plank in their platform, then they are either cowards or utterly tone deaf to the mood and preferences of the electorate outside of the DC chattering class.

    The main benefit of this political winner is that it will actually help people! Wow! After trillions and trillions of dollars have flowed from the pockets of the lower-middle class into the pockets of the wealthiest of us, yanking a few bucks back will be attacked as “class warfare”. Wags will shake their heads and endlessly debate the effect on “work ethic”, “productivity” and even the “moral hazard” of a higher minimum wage, while 90% of the rest of America will actually support it because its a good idea.

    I’m no so concerned about how it strengthens Social Security, because funding SS is simply a political challenge rather than a mathematical one. If making the bottom line of SS makes it politically stronger, then good.

    I’m not totally convinced that it will increase hiring (see below)

    It will undoubtably create more economic activity and lessen dependence on State agencies

    A average of 1,492 minimum wage studies showed the average effect on employment rates to be “0”.
    I think that’s interesting.

    There were many factors that were likely to occur in some form in the majority of the studies:

    1. Reduction in hours worked -- Inconclusive
    2. Reduction in non-wage benefits -- Little or no change
    3. Reduction in training -- Inconclusive
    4. Changes in employment composition (upgrading skill level of employees) -- No evidence of change
    5. Higher prices -- “A 10% minimum wage increase led to no more than a 4% increase in food prices and no more than a .4% increase in overall prices”
    6. Improvements in efficiency -- Inconclusive
    7. More efficient workers -- Inconclusive
    8. Wage compression for more skilled employees -- Broad consensus that raising the minimum wage does indeed to lead to broader wage compression for higher earners in the community.
    9. Reduced profits -- Inconclusive. U.S. studies show minimal decrease in profits. British studies showed a noticeable decrease.
    10. Increase in demand -- Conclusive evidence that economic activity increased significantly in communities with minimum wage increases.
    11. Reduced turnover -- Conclusive evidence that employers experienced much lower turnover after minimum wage increases.


    I’d be interested to get your take on this. If the NET result of a higher minimum wage is simply that those workers lives are better, then that in itself is a good enough reason for me.

    • AdLib says:

      Funk, as I mentioned, I’m not an economist and I could be wrong on this but I don’t know that the report’s conclusion is as applicable to the current time.

      I couldn’t find that there’s been an incident of a doubling of the minimum wage when it was at a level like this in such a period when income had been and continues to be falling. We also have a unique economy as part of the mix, far more older people and adults currently employed at minimum wage and many willing to work for it. As well as a restrained job market thanks to Republicans and corporations.

      I would say that in a more typical time, the report’s conclusion might apply but I really don’t think that it would as much today. There’s a job boom being unnaturally held back, I think this would pry it loose.

      In any case, as you say, if the worst thing to happen is bringing a million or more people out of poverty, a reduction in government spending on the working poor and millions living better lives, those are all great reasons by themselves.

      • funksands says:

        Ad, these are the averages of 1400+ minimum wage studies done from 2000-2013.

        • AdLib says:

          Right, though between Sep 1997 and July 2007 there weren’t any increases nor were there any increases between July 2010 and July 2013 so in a study of 14 years, there were no raises in 11 of those years and tiny raises in 3 of them. So, my take on the study and its conclusions, at least about raises in the minimum wage not impacting job growth, is that it’s a bit skewed.

          And the increases were so minimal, just .70 cents per year for 3 years so it’s not that surprising they had little impact on job growth and economic stimulus…compared to the more than doubling of the Minimum Wage that I’m proposing. Here are the raises:

          Sep 1, 1997: $5.15
          Jul 24, 2007: $5.85
          Jul 24, 2008: $6.55
          Jul 24, 2009: $7.25


          I would bet a lot of money on doubling the minimum wage driving our economy and job growth into overdrive.

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