Three reasons to raise the federal minimum wage

Jan 17, 2014 by Bill Schaller

Leading economists, including Lisa M. Lynch, dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, sent a joint letter this week to President Obama and congressional leaders in support of the Fair Minimum Wage Act. The proposed legislation would incrementally raise the federal minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2016.

Lynch, the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Economic and Social Policy at the Heller School, is an internationally recognized scholar on labor and employment issues. She was the chief economist in the U.S. Department of Labor in the Clinton administration, former chair of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and is a frequent media commentator on labor issues. Lynch spoke to BrandeisNOW about the impact of raising the .

Why raise the minimum wage and why now?

The last increase in the national minimum wage took place in 2009 when it was raised from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour. Over time, inflation reduces the real spending value of the minimum wage so increasing it now will help address this problem. In 1968, the minimum wage was $1.60 per hour. If it had been indexed to inflation, as we do for social security payments, it would be $10.72 today. Current proposals include one that would raise the national minimum wage to $8.20 this year, $9.15 in 2015 and to $10.10 in 2016. There are also proposals to automatically index the minimum wage to inflation and to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers (e.g. staff in restaurants, nail salons, car washes, airport baggage services) from its current hourly rate of $2.13. The national minimum wage for tipped workers has not increased since 1991.

Who will benefit from these increases?

Many people think teenagers in part-time employment are the only minimum wage earners. The reality is that the average age of minimum-wage workers is 35, the majority of impacted employees work full time, and almost 90 percent are over the age of 20. More than a quarter of minimum wage workers have children and 55 percent are women, even though women make up less than 50 percent of the workforce. The Economic Policy Institute in Washington D.C. estimates that a phased-in increase in the national minimum wage to $10.10 in 2016 would directly or indirectly raise the wages of almost 28 million workers. This would also be sufficient to raise a family of three, with a full-time minimum wage worker, out of poverty.

Will raising the minimum wage eliminate jobs or cut hours?

While economists rarely agree on anything, there has been considerable research over the past two decades indicating that modest increases in the minimum wage will have little or no negative impact on jobs. At a time when many of the jobs being added to the economy are found in restaurants, hotels and the retail sector—where minimum wage workers are disproportionately employed—this legislation will provide a positive stimulus for the economy.

Explore further: Multilevel study finds no link between minimum wage and crime rates

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Porgie
1 / 5 (3) Jan 18, 2014
Teenage unemployment in DC is about 40%. Those jobs are taken by the 35 year olds with out skills or training. Raising the minimum wage for the perennial unskilled is not the answer. IT just keeps them unskilled. There are job training programs available to those who want it. Raising the minimum wage is instant inflation.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Jan 18, 2014
Where are the socialists complaining about this being a 'science' site?

If a minimum wage is so great make it $50 or $100 or...

All it really does is add to inflation. No real value is added to any economy.

Too bad socialists don't want to cut tax rates so employers, instead of the state, can decide how to spend and invest their wealth.
Tax rate cuts have real economic growth impact.
Won't see those stories on this socialist 'science' site.
goracle
5 / 5 (1) Jan 24, 2014
For those who aren't in the US, they mean the US federal wage. In Canada, for instance, the provinces set minimum wages, except for federal government and military.
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (1) Jan 24, 2014
Too bad socialists don't want to cut tax rates so employers, instead of the state, can decide how to spend and invest their wealth.

The Bush-era trillion dollar tax cuts made it much harder to pay the trillion dollar deficits from the trillion dollar wars, etc.

Look at Figure 1 on this page: http://www.cbpp.o...;id=3220 to see how things have been working out since 1979 (long before Bush).

Also see section "Bush-Era Tax Cuts Have Exacerbated Income Gaps" –
-Bottom fifth average tax cuts were $29, increase in after-tax income 0.4%
-Middle fifth average tax cuts were $760, increase of 2.4%
-Top one percent average tax cuts were $41,077, increase of 5.0%
-In top one percent with income >$1M average tax cuts were $114K, increase of 5.7%

What was that you were saying about investment? And please don't peg me for a socialist—I'm just asking.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Jan 24, 2014
The Bush-era trillion dollar tax cuts made it much harder to pay the trillion dollar deficits from the trillion dollar wars, etc.


"Obama Added More to National Debt in First 19 Months Than All Presidents from Washington Through Reagan Combined, Says Gov't Data - See more at: http://www.cnsnew...Ll.dpuf"

"Obama Agrees To Extend All Bush Tax Cuts In Exchange For Unemployment Benefits"
http://www.realcl...its.html
kochevnik
5 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2014
@Ryggie "Obama Added More to National Debt in First 19 Months Than All Presidents from Washington Through Reagan Combined, Says Gov't Data
He gave it to your corporate welfare friends the Koch brothers and the banksters. Isn't the interest rate apartheid in the spirit of your libertarian manifesto?
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2014
Obama Added More to National Debt in First 19 Months Than All Presidents from Washington Through Reagan Combined, Says Gov't Data –

That mistruth has been circulating among the low-info-can't-be-bothered-with-facts voters for a few years now. See http://www.factch...imports/

Obama Agrees To Extend All Bush Tax Cuts In Exchange For Unemployment Benefits

Wow, the Republicans realized that obstruction is foolish and they caved on the ue-benefits? Looks like some progress. I doubt it will help, and I still think many are looking forward to the upcoming midterms!
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2014


" less attention has been paid to the incredible transition that has taken place on the left, where we've seen an equally dramatic change. Over the past two decades, the forces who favor technocratic corporatism have subjugated the ideological core of progressivism under a new strain of elitist authority-based transactional politics, built on false promises of systemic change and sustained by shallow appeals to hot button social issues."
http://thefederal...in-town/
Looks like the fascist branch of socialism is beating out the 'progressive' branch.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2014
"South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy rejected the White House's contention that President Obama's willing to cooperate with congressional Republicans, claiming that "he doesn't have an interest in working with us.""
""Jay Carney can't cite a single solitary example where this administration has wanted to work in good faith with House Republicans," he said. "Now, from 2008 to 2010 they didn't have to deal with us. They had all the gears of government and they gave us Obamacare. When the president has the cards, he calls the bet. When he doesn't have the cards, he blames Bush, tsunamis, hurricanes, Fox News, racial animus, everyone but himself."

Read more: http://dailycalle...rPgyWYfZ
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2014
"The anti-Republican media is working overtime to convince voters that the Republicans are wounded and in disarray. "
"Meanwhile, the media flatter the pointless gubernatorial campaign of Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat. But if you look at the facts — and ignore the media hype — you will see the real drivers of votes in November will be the economy and Obamacare. "
"While everyone talks about how unpopular Congress is, we don't hear a lot about how some of the most recent generic ballot polls favor Republicans.

There is no political front that looks particularly promising for the Democrats, and on what really matters — the economy and Obamacare — things appear to be getting worse."
http://www.washin...mocrats/
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2014
Why are the socialists worried?

"The Temperance Movement and How We Beat the Tea Party "
http://www.huffin...649.html
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2014
"It is anything but easy to predict the future development of the Western European welfare states. But one thing is clear: the countries in the region that are doing well today are those that have reformed towards free-market policies and lower tax burdens since the mid-1990s. Given the apparent problems in France and Italy, and the continued interest for market reforms in the more vibrant North, it would seem that increased economic freedom is still the recipe for success."
http://www.newgeo...es-north
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2014
Rygg, here's the best summary I've seen yet, from a commenter named "Texasnotea":

"1. Reagan-Bush-Bush set the national house on fire. They
overspent by $12 trillion and counting. We're still paying for Afghanistan,
Iraq, the tax cut, Medicare Part D, the Great Republican Recession.

2. We called Fireman Obama to put out the fire and save the house.

3. As soon as he arrived, Conservatives in Washington began
stabbing the fire hoses, letting the air out of the fire truck's tires, and
turning in false alarms (death panels, birth certificate, Kenya, socialist
indoctrination of children, closet Muslim, Rev. Wright, Benghazi, IRS, Obamacare, etc.).

4. Now Conservatives are saying that we should blame the
fireman, not the guys who set the fire in the first place.

5. In a word, it is called subversion. Some would argue with me
and call it sabotage

cont'd -->
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2014
--> cont'd

6. You know, one of the main reasons the GOP has lost credibility is because every
time they throw mud at the President, we find out they have overly exaggerated
the issue or just plain made it up. It has happened time after time since Obama
has been elected and they keep doing it over and over again. And then they cry
media bias and foul when THEY get caught speeding and pretend they have not
done anything wrong. So we can assume they don't have the intelligence to lead
this country because of their inability to tell the truth."

Rygg, Gowdy's cool, but he can do better—he seriously needs to do better—than more of the same.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2014
As soon as he arrived, Conservatives in Washington began
stabbing the fire hoses

BS!
From 2009-2011, the speaker of the house and senate majority leader were NOT conservatives and BHO could pass ANYTHING he wanted.
The socialists chose to pass national health care and we now see the results.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2014
GOP has lost credibility is because every
time they throw mud at the President,

BHO and his fellow travellers lied "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan", "if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor", a US ambassador was murdered because of a u-tube video, IRS is not intimidating BHOs opponents, NSA does not spy on US citizens, .....
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2014
"A Quinnipiac poll released last week is a stark reminder of just how out of touch President Obama and the mainstream media are when it comes to the concerns and priorities of everyday Americans. Anyone at all familiar with the issues Obama and his media intend to push in 2014, knows that it is going to be a year all about income inequality, the minimum wage, immigration, and guns. This, even though 99% of the public do not consider those issues a priority. "
"Issues the American people unsurprisingly do list as top priorities are the economy (15%), jobs/unemployment (16%), and healthcare (18%). And it is in all three of those areas where Obama's standing with the American people is in the dumpster. On the economy and healthcare, the president is upside down on approval 39-56% and 36-59% , respectively. "
http://www.breitb...t-issues