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As President Barack Obama signs an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour, he's also making a push to get Congress to raise the minimum wage for all American workers. His Council of Economic Advisers released a report showing how the American minimum wage lags behind those of many other advanced countries—and still would, even if the minimum wage is raised to $10.10:

Bar graph showing the minimum wage for 26 advanced nations. The US is 12th; even raising the minimum wage to $10.10 only raises it to 10th.
Productivity has shot up over the past several decades, but wage stagnation means that to reduce poverty, the United States has relied on programs like food stamps and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Graph showing that the poverty rate has fallen because of policies like the Earned Income Tax Credit and nutrition assistance, not wage gains. Comparing 1967 and 2012, two-point rise in poverty without tax credits and benefits, but significant drop including tax credits and benefits.
Raising the minimum wage would push back on this trend. What's preventing that? Senate Republicans who'd filibuster a minimum wage bill, and House Republicans who won't even allow a vote.

Now is the time to give America a raise. Sign our petition urging Congress to pass the Harkin-Miller bill and finally raise the minimum wage.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 10:12 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Appeasing our enemies creates the Sudetenland (5+ / 0-)

    the next GOP meme

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 10:17:21 AM PST

  •  We should draw a line in the sand, and say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, BlueJessamine

    "this low now, but now lower"  and try to move up to the next level.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 10:23:16 AM PST

  •  So what's the downside? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    “He talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans.” James Carville

    by Mokislab on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 10:59:21 AM PST

  •  As an American of Slovak descent (0+ / 0-)

    I resemble that remark.

    "For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it." - President Barack Obama, Second Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013.

    by surfermom on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 03:32:55 PM PST

  •  I'm all for raising the minimum wage... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but Republicans and their paymasters will eagerly note that about half the countries above us on the chart have higher unemployment than we do.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 03:34:24 PM PST


    I love this framing, and this is a winning political issue on so many issues, it's a no brainer to make it a Dem centerpiece going in to '14.

    Imagine the most profound idea ever conceptualized occupying this space. Now expect exactly the opposite. You'll never be disappointed.

    by Gurnt on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 03:40:43 PM PST

  •  Get that chart out wherever you can! (0+ / 0-)

    And thanks!

  •  Repubicans want wage subsidies instead (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Marco Rubio was on PBS News Hour tonight.  He bleated the Banana Republican party line.  Rather than raise the minimum wage, the government should provide wage subsidies, so the deserving worker's paycheck includes the employer's contribution at the low, low current minimum wage, plus a subsidy paid by those who actually pay taxes.  This way, low-paying employers like Wal-Mart and McDonalds are subsidized by better-paid workers, while the truly wealthy shelter their income.

    I don't think Wal-Mart deserves a subsidy. They get enough already.  And of course Republican subsidies will only go to the truly deserving, like "heads of household", not kids trying to earn money to go to college or dumb stuff like that... in fact they really want to lower the minimum wage, using excuses like "training".

  •  OMG. Among the Five Eyes Anglo Nations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    …we are the worse of all the English Colonies.

    So much for the Boston Tea Party.

  •  That's some hilarious cherry picking. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A huge number of wealthy nations with minimum wages of $0 have been left off the chart, I see.

    •  But some have higher average wages (0+ / 0-)

      and lower unemployment rates.

      See my post here.

      And some of those countries with no minimum wage have higher unemployment than the U.S.

      It's not actually cherry-picked at all.

      •  That doesn't really address the issue. (0+ / 0-)

        None of that fixes the graph in question.  Perhaps adding the countries on and including the average wage as a column might help things.

        •  Okay, so screw the foreign countries (0+ / 0-)

          Let's just look at who has really benefited since America has let its minimum wage start declining after inflation. The capitalist apologists keep screaming about how we will all have paradise after the rich are allowed to pay workers what they're "worth".  Yet this particular crime of shrinking wages has been underway since that bastard Reagan got in the White House - where has that gotten this country?

  •  I'm curious what "2016" dollars are. (0+ / 0-)

    How can you compare the future relative value of currencies years in advance?

    I expect there was a footnote on the original chart - it should have been included.

  •  Where is Germany? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't see Germany on that first chart. Why?

  •  taxes (0+ / 0-)

    Do people on the minimum wage in the USA (say, working a 40-hour week) earn enough to get to pay income tax?

    In the UK a single person working 40 minimum-wage hours would be taxed on the last few pounds of what they earn. One of the advantages of the current UK government policy of raising the tax thresholds (what you can earn per week before tax kicks in on anything you earn over this sum) is that minimum wage earners get to keep more of what they earn, effectively increasing the take-home minimum wage.

    Anyone know whether people in high mimimum-wage countries in the table here get to pay tax on some of that money?

    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

    by saugatojas on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 03:41:19 AM PST

  •  Fluctuation in the actual value of the dollar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    explains that folks on minimum wage have actually LOST.
    I love the Wiki for that. Follow this link and you will get a much better idea of why the minimum wage should be raised. At $10.10, the worker is only catching up with inflation. Here is the l;ink for you who like to analyse real data:
    The first thing to understand is that there is a State minimum wage, and a Federal minimum wage. You  will notice that in all the southern states minus Florida the workers are making less: their state minimum wage is lower than the Federal. It dovetails rather well with the "free to work for less"pushed by Republicans. (The skewed results in Florida are due to the large number of retirees who are on Social Security & Medicare)
    The chart beneath that map is even more interesting: the chart compares NOMINAL dollars versus their ACTUAL VALUE in buying power over the years.
    Compared to today, in the late 60s, the buying power of the dollar was 11 times higher than today. (one dollar would buy you 11 dollars worth of goods). You can see a real nose dive of the value under Reagan in the mid-late 80s.. with trickle down economics.
    So, at $10.10, the worker would only barely make up what he/ she has lost in buying power. Better than nothing, but it would be no improvement at all, a completely stagnant buying power since the 80s, all the time while the richest have made an incredible gain.

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