Old Bernie and others are on the minimum wage bandwagon. That’s fine, I too happen to think the minimum wage should at least be adjusted to reflect inflation since the last change. However, the message like the one below is designed to mislead voters (unless he is so naive as to believe what he says).
First, we should understand who earns the minimum wage. It is a very small percentage of the workforce, mostly young and single – nearly half are under age 25. Only 2% of full-time workers earn the minimum wage. You can see all the facts from the federal government HERE.
A person working full-time at the minimum wage is not technically living in poverty (based on government data). The 2015 poverty guideline is $11,770 for an individual and $15,930 for two persons. (Not including non-cash benefits available to poverty level Americans).
A person working 40 hours a week at minimum wage earns $15,080 a year and thus a couple would earn $30,160; considerably above the poverty level. Nevertheless, such an income is doing little more than surviving; not where anyone wants to be.
Raising the minimum wage may help, but it is not the real answer which is that adults and heads of families should not be working in minimum wage jobs.
Old Bernie likes to throw around “living wage” as a desired goal. Exactly what is that? A retired reader of this blog says he and his wife live comfortably on about $19,000 a year. On the other hand, my property taxes exceed what a minimum wage earner makes in a year.
Raising the minimum wage, especially to $15.00 an hour, helps a very small segment of society while causing wage compression throughout the workforce and inevitably raises prices, most likely in goods and services used mostly by lower income Americans.
Old Bernie and his supporters and the left in general ignore the big picture and the consequences of their compassionate sounding ideas.
Old Bernie also says he is for equal pay for women; who isn’t? Go find an employer who hires a man and a woman for the same job and with identical qualifications and offers the woman less pay for the job. And if you find them, call the EEOC because they are violating existing law.