Real-World Economics Review Blog

from Mark Weisbrot

The federal minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour and hasn’t been raised in three years. But a raise is much more overdue than that. If we look at the minimum wage 44 years ago, and simply adjust it for inflation, it would be more than $10 today.

This is another ugly symptom of what has gone wrong in America over the past 35-40 years. From 1979-2007 about 60 percent of the income gains have gone to the now infamous 1 percent at the top, with the majority of those gains going to the top 0.1 percent – people who made, on average, $5.6 million per year.

But some of the worst effects of giving more to those who have most have affected people toward the bottom of the income ladder, and there is no excuse for it. Productivity – the amount that a worker produces in…

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