Monday, July 20, 2009

Minimum Wage Still 40 Years Behind

The Minimum Wage will increase Friday, July 24.

The federal minimum wage began in 1938 at 25 cents per hour. By 1956 it was increased to $1.00.

In 1968 the wage went to $1.60, the highest buying power in history. From 1974 forward the wage had annual increases for seven straight years.

There was no increase from 1982 - 1989.

But in 1990 and 1991 Congress brought the wage up to $4.25.

Five years later, two increases brought the wage up to $5.15.

For 10 years from 1997, there was no increase in the minimum wage until the waning 18 months of the Bush administration. The Republican Party held the majority in Congress during that time.

Pressured by the Democratic Party, Congress enacted a three-step increase. The third step will be completed on July 24, 2009, when the minimum wage becomes $7.25 per hour.

To match the buying power of the $1.60 wage in 1968, the current wage would need to be $9.83, still $2.50 an hour less than the new July 24th minimum wage.

It's puzzling that anyone would be opposed to livable wages for the working people of our country.

That's my opinion. Pass it on.

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