Olivia Pac, a 24-year-old wheelchair assistant, came to O’Hare on her day off to protest. She said the airport was understaffed to the point where she often ends up pulling two customers in wheelchairs at a time — a practice she said has hurt her wrist and is unsafe for customers.
“We do provide our sweat, blood and tears for these companies, and we do not get the respect, thanks and proper wages we deserve,” she said. “The way these companies treat us on a daily basis is horrendous.”
Kisha Rivera, a 41-year-old cabin worker who moved to Chicago from Puerto Rico four months ago, said her $10.50 hourly wage was “a slap in the face.”
“With what you’re earning, you’re not able to buy food for your family, or take them to the hospital, she said.
Source: New York Times 11-29-16
Looking at the history of the minimum wage throughout the years and applying the CPI to those numbers, a minimum wage of $11.11 is the highest that can be justified in 2016. That is the measure from 1968 when the minimum was $1.60.
Here is an interactive chart from CNN MONEY that allows you to pick any year and see the impact of inflation.
Isn’t the essence of the matter whether the Olivia’s and Kisha’s of America will be better off earning $15.00 an hour in the same job after the impact of that wage on prices and other wages currently above $15.00 is fully felt in the economy?
Bernie Sanders calls for a living wage. There are two components to that, the wage and the cost of living and if you are going to arbitrarily raise the former without productivity gains, you are going to also raise the latter.
No matter what the minimum wage may be, you will not be better off unless you work in a job that deserves to be paid above the minimum.