Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is always in that fever-giving state of mind, speaking up for workers and consumers whenever she gets the chance. Love her!
Now she’s tackling the minimum wage, one of the issues that President Obama brought up in his State of the Union. He called for an increase, and now Sen. Warren is saying that increase should be huge — up to $22 per hour –if we want to keep up with “worker productivity.”
Speaking during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing, she said: “If we started in 1960 and we said that as productivity goes up, that is as workers are producing more, then the minimum wage is going to go up the same. And if that were the case then the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour.” Right now, it’s $7.25 per hour.
The person she was addressing, Dr. Arindrajit Dube, a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor, said it would actually be closer to $33 per hour if it kept up with the wage increases seen by the top one percent, reports The Huffington Post.
The minimum wage debate is taking place all over the country. The push to raise the federal minimum wage is gaining momentum, as New York becomes the latest state to propose an increase, up to $9 per hour.
“New York’s proposed minimum wage — which would amount to $360 a week or $18,720 annually — is significant because Congress typically raises the federal minimum after a significant number of states raise their rates,” USA Today reports.
That article goes on to say that the federal minimum wage barely puts a person’s earnings above the poverty level ($15,510 per year) for a family of two. It’s below the poverty level for a family of four. The fact that this is even being discussed is a travesty.