The Future of the Minimum Wage

by Michael on Dec 20, 2013 · 3 comments

Photo of Handfuls for Peanuts

While perusing the news with the excellent Zite app the other night, I ran across an interesting article about public sentiment regarding possible changes to the federal minimum wage.

It described a “nationally representative” poll that asked if people thought the minimum wage should be raised, lowered, or left alone.

Interestingly, two-thirds of those surveyed supported an increase. Moreover, the majority of those backing an increase wanted to see it go to $10/hour or more.

For context, the current federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour (though some states have higher minimums), having last been increased in 2007. Congress has, however, recently considered raising the minimum wage to $10.10/hour.

Note: If you’re curious about what this all means in real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) terms, check out my earlier article detailing the history of the minimum wage.

In terms of who thinks what, women favor an increase more than men (70% vs 62%). And, politically speaking, Democrats are far more supportive than Republicans (88% vs. 47%); Independents (64%) in the middle. But in terms of age, there appears to be little difference between those above and below 50 years of age.

So now I have two questions for you…

What do you think should happen to the minimum wage? And what do you think will happen to it? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Source: National Journal

1 clubgitmo December 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Don’t these people realize that whatever they purchase will be much higher if the the minimum wage goes up?

2 Kurt @ Money Counselor December 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm

I’d like to see a poll asking people to name the minimum wage. My guess is that ~90% have no idea. But that doesn’t stop many from being certain that they want it raised anyway. 🙂

3 Majikow December 20, 2013 at 6:01 pm

How do we justify telling people that work 40+ hours a week in a job that they are moochers when we don’t pay them a living wage? Is there not an inherent problem in a system where those at the top reap the overwhelming majority of all profits and wealth? Surely a system such as that can not perpetuate unchanged forever.

Telling everyone that what they buy will cost more if workers get paid more is a cop out. It’s not true in every single circumstance, and maybe re-balancing of payscales towards the lower end would end up being a net zero change to the cost of a good.

And lets be realistic, when companies (McDonald’s, Walmart, etc) pay less than a living wage, their employees use benefits that we pay for as taxpayers to survive. So there’s no free lunch here. Unless we’re going to let people starve in the street, someone is paying for it, it’s just a matter of who. Welfare is corporate welfare.

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