True, that sounds like a lot. When President Barack Obama called in February for an increase to $9 an hour from $7.25, he was accused of being a dangerous redistributionist. Yet consider this: If the minimum wage had simply tracked U.S. productivity gains since 1968, it would be $21.72 an hour — three times what it is now.
So says Nick Hanauer, entrepreneur and speaker at that controversial TED talk that was pulled. This is, of course, outlandish at first glance, but it makes even more sense when you compare it to inflation – things are more expensive, and it’s impossible for someone working 40 hours at minimum wage to even provide for themselves, never mind trying to raise a family (how minimum wage was initially envisioned).
INB4 “raising yourself by the bootstraps” – when people are working longer, harder, and creating more value for their employers, why shouldn’t they be paid accordingly?