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The last time the minimum wage went up was July 24, 2009. That's three years. During that time, the price of milk has increased more than 10 percent, public university tuition and fees have increased more than 15 percent, the price of gas has gone up by nearly 50 percent and the price of fuel oil by more than 50 percent.

The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, making for a full-time annual income of $15,080; if the minimum wage had kept up with inflation since 1968, it would now be $10.55 an hour, for an annual income of $21,944. Workers in 19 states benefit from higher state minimum wages, with 10 states increasing the minimum wage along with inflation. Many polls find that raising the minimum wage is widely popular, and economists say that doing so would give 28 million workers a raise, not just those making $7.25 an hour but millions earning slightly more whose pay would be increased as companies adjusted their pay scales.

Congressional Democrats have proposals to raise the minimum wage, but Republicans, of course, won't hear of it. As individuals, their answers to questions on the subject range from befuddled to hostile, but national Republicans are no more willing to pass an increase than the New York Republicans who (with an assist from Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo) blocked such a bill in the state.

Speaker Pelosi project bug
When Democrats retook Congress in 2006, raising the minimum wage was one of their very first priorities, bringing it to the level it's stuck at today. If Republicans keep Congress, the minimum wage stays stuck—which means its value is eroding every year.

Please give $3 to help get the speaker's gavel back in Nancy Pelosi's hand so minimum wage workers will have a chance at a raise.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 11:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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