Living Wage/Minimum Wage Revisited
Thanks to Today's Blogs
, I found out that the Silky Pony, John Edwards, is blogging himself. You remember, the guy who ran as the veep on the Kerry/Edwards ticket, sorta disappeared after saying something about "Just spend three minutes with the men who served with him [Kerry]." Nice hair?
Well, he's a guest blogger
over at the TPM cafe, which I guess is some sort of Josh Marshall/Matt Yglesias combo blog. Here Edwards blogs
on the Federal Minimum Wage, which he terms a disgrace.A full-time minimum wage worker earns under $11,000 a year - about $5000 less than the poverty line for a family of three. The current minimum wage is just 33% of the average wage of American workers today - the worst ratio since 1949.
First question: How many of those minimum wage workers are raising a family of three on that income? And flip his comment on the ratio around; the average wage of American workers today is three times the minimum wage, the best ratio since 1949. It's not hard to see that's not a bad thing. ;)Of course, every time we start talking about raising the minimum wage, critics chime in and say it's bad for business and will cost jobs. So now is a good time to repeat what we know: several studies have shown that the kinds of increases in the minimum wage we are supporting do not lead to higher unemployment.
Except of course, that Edwards does not tell us exactly what kinds of increases he has in mind. However, on the higher unemployment issue, there is some evidence in that I talked about
yesterday. The LA Living Wage Study website, which certainly appears to be enthusiastic about minimum wage increases, notes a loss of 112 jobs out of 10,000, or a little over 1%. This is in line with what Mark over at Tempus Fugit