These 2 Stats Prove California's $10 Minimum Wage Is A Big Deal

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"California is very, very close to making a $10 minimum wage a reality. Doi ng so nationwide would change the lives of America?s working poor.

A June study by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a national organiz ation focusing on racial equity in the restaurant industry, found that (sta tistic #1) a $10.10 minimum wage would have pulled roughly 58 percent of th e nation?s 10.4 million working poor out of poverty in 2011.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines the working poor as such:

"The working poor are persons who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (that is, working or looking for work) but whose incomes still fell b elow the official poverty level."

It should be noted that California?s $10 minimum wage, if enacted, would not become law until Jan. 1, 2016. By that time, rising prices may have lim ited the ability of a $10 minimum wage to pull the working poor out of pove rty (remember, the ROC United study is based on 2011 data).

Many in California will certainly welcome the change, inflation or not. Acc ording to a May report, cited by the Los Angeles Times, some one-third of t he state's working families qualify as low-income, and (statistic #2) Calif ornia has the highest total number of working poor families in the country.

Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement Wednesday that a bill to raise the sta te?s minimum wage to $10 per hour was ?overdue.? The bill was passed by the state?s legislature Thursday and now awaits the governor?s offic ial approval.

Certain states index their minimum wages and could also theoretically reach the $10 plateau by 2016. But the California bill would make the state the first to guarantee it, according to the Wall Street Journal.

President Barack Obama pushed for a $9 minimum wage in his 2012 State of th e Union address. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 and hasn?t been increa sed since 2009."

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Before the arguments start, where is your data and what are your rationales? "I'm not making that much" is not a valid argument, and simply shows how you and the other US workers have been taking it on the shins for 44 years.

With only a little more digging


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which charts the CPI-U inflation adjusted hourly wage. The highest minimum wage was in 1968 at 10.56 in 2012$, and has continually declined from that time.

Thus the proposed 10$/hr minimum wage does not even keep up with inflation, leading to the conclusion that the minimum wage should automatically be indexed to inflation. FWIW -- this chart used the "official" CPI-U inflation rate, which IMNSHO is understated in many cases, for example because of hedonic adjustment* or a change from name brand to generic in the standard shopping basket.

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Of equal concern is the failure to include productivity in the minimum wage calculations, to insure the employees share in the gains. While not uniform across all sectors, the aggregate productivity per year gains in the non farm business sector were: year start year end # of years % gain Total % gain

1968 1973 5 2.8 14.0 1974 1979 5 1.2 6.0 1980 1990 10 1.5 15.0 1991 2000 9 2.2 19.8 2001 2006 5 2.7 13.5 2007 2012 5 1.9 9.5 Grand total 77.8
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thus for equity the inflation adjusted 1968 minimum wage of 10.56$US should be increased by another 77.8% to 18.80$/hr.

Therefore it appears the minimum wage should be adjusted for both inflation and productivity gains, reflecting the increasing demands for worker education/training for the more productive machines/processes thus making sure GDP gains are fairly and equitably shared.

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F. George McDuffee

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