Col Owens: It’s time to raise the minimum wage, the single most effective way to undergird our economy

From / Feb 26th, 2020

recognized that a robust market for goods and services requires consumers with the means to purchase them.

The minimum wage is the single most effective public policy for ensuring that low-wage employers compensate employees more adequately. It also helps to undergird our economy, which is 70% dependent on consumer spending.

The minimum wage was enacted in 1938 as part of the New Deal. The initial level was $.25 per hour – over $4 in today’s dollars. It increased in value until 1968, when it reached $10 in real dollars, 99% of the poverty level. It then began to erode. Since 1989 it has averaged 60% of poverty. Today’s level of $7.25 yields an income of $15,000 – 62% of poverty.

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