Top Pro & Con Arguments

Pro

The minimum wage has not kept up with inflation.

Because the federal minimum wage is not indexed for inflation, its purchasing power (the number of goods that can be bought with a unit of currency) has dropped considerably since its peak in 1968. The minimum wage in 1968 was $1.60, which is equivalent to $11.16 in Jan. 2016 dollars and which is 53.9% higher than today’s $7.25 federal minimum wage. [7] [11] Between July 2015 and the last increase in the minimum wage in 2009, the federal minimum wage lost 8.1% of its purchasing power to inflation. [7] [12] According to Liana Fox, PhD, Senior Analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, “inflation indexing guarantees low-wage workers a wage that keeps pace with the rising costs of goods and services.” [13] Raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation would ensure that low-wage workers could adopt a standard of living commensurate with the current economy. [14] [15] [16]

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