House Democrats Propose Minimum Wage Increase to $10
A group of House Democrats have proposed increasing the minimum wage to $10, which, as Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) pointed out would allow the wage to “catch up”with where it would be had it been allowed to grow with inflation:
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) and 17 House Democrats, including several Congressional Black Caucus members, proposed legislation Wednesday that would increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour.
Jackson said his bill, the Catching Up to 1968 Act, is needed to give low-income workers a way to “catch up” to inflation, which continues to eat away at the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. He also said it would give these workers more income and boost overall demand for the struggling economy.
The minimum wage hit its peak buying power in 1968; to have the same buying power today, the minimum wage would have to be $9.92. If the minimum wage had been indexed to the Consumer Price Index since 1968, it would be approximately $10.40 today.
The current minimum wage is also covering a much smaller percentage of health care and tuition costs than it did just a few decades ago. Already this year, San Francisco has increased its minimum wage to $10, while 1.4 million workers are benefiting from scheduled increases in the minimum wage in eight states. According to the Economic Policy Institute, boosting the minimum wage particularly helps women and minorities, who make up a disproportionate share of minimum wage-earners.