Web Chatter: The Minimum Wage Hike


On Friday, the minimum wage will be raised to $7.25 per hour. The hike is the last of a three stage wage uptick. In 2007 it was raised to $5.85 from $5.15. In 2008 it went up to $6.55. And now, low end worked will get another $.70. We scoured the web for some interesting perspectives on the subject and this is what we came up with.

"I would expect every movie theater in America to raise their ticket and concession prices when minimum wage goes up… In general, almost all movie theaters across North America employ part-time high school- and college-age people that are students, and senior citizens."
- Matt Smith, owner of four movie theaters in Arkansas, quoted in the Arkansas Democrat & Gazette, July 12

“The minimum wage is an American scandal. It is a wage that makes us think that we have set a reasonable floor for wages so employers do not exploit people…But, the minimum wage IS a poverty-level wage. At the grand sum of the new $7.25 per hour, if you worked every single week, every day, you would earn $14,645 a year--with likely no health care, no retirement, no vacation days, no sick days. By comparison, the federal POVERTY LEVEL for a family of three is $17,600.”
- Jonathan Tasini, Daily Kos, July 7

“The cost of eating a meal is going up by a factor that is greater than that hourly wage. Based on the Quarter Pound Burger Chart, a dinner of meat, fries and a drink two weeks ago was $4.29 (in the midwest, higher on the coasts of course). For an hourly minimum wage worker, that meal represented 65.4% of their hourly gross wage. As of yesterday, the QPBC was $5.29 for the same meal. For a minimum wage worker, even with the pending increase, the cost of a single meal is now 72.9% of their hourly gross wage…The real losers are those who are making more than the new minimum wage level ($7.25) who will see no increase on Friday because their business is busy covering what they are mandated to cover. They get no additional take home pay and their food costs are rising just the same.”
- Seeking Alpha, July 21

“Because so few workers make less than the new federal minimum wage already, I don't believe it will cause much of a bump in unemployment -- even if you do believe that an increase in minimum wage generally results in lay-offs. With that said, I also doubt the increase will encourage businesses to hire new workers at the minimum wage.”
- Daniel Indiviglio, The Atlantic, July 20

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