Chart: Minimum wage through the years

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  • Chad B Salem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    I wonder if you looked at other wage classifications (like the wage paid to construction workers, engineers, teachers, medical doctors, pharmacists, dentists, lawyers, or any other group), if you would find that their buying power, or value of their wage, has decreased or remained constant over the years. It may be that minimum wage is tracking in line with other wage classifications, and that all are suffering the effects of inflation. In other words, the value of the minimum wage isn't unique, and that raising it won't solve the problem. And if it doesn't solve the problem (but may even contribute to it) why bother with it.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:43 p.m.


    You've proved my point exactly. Raising the minimum wage doesn't bring people out of poverty because it doesn't increase their buying power. Raising the minimum wage forces companies to raise their prices which makes things more expensive for the consumer. That's what inflation is.

    So as you can see, minimum wage hikes do nothing but drive up inflation while leaving the poor with low purchasing power, hence they stay poor. Meanwhile the inflation hurts everybody who is not making minimum wage since they don't get a mandatory raise. So remind me again why Obama wants to raise the minimum wage? Oh, that's right, it's called vote buying.

  • Palmetto Bug Columbia, SC
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    Seems like the minimum wage has essentially remained the same since 1990. Any "hikes" in the minimum are really just keeping up with inflation which seems fair to me.
    Many of the people I know who earn minimum wage do not have the tools and resources to negotiate a contract without being taken advantage of. These are the people that I think the minimum wage laws are trying to protect.

    If an employer is unhappy with the work of his or her employees the employer can always fire the employee and hire someone else.

  • srw Riverton, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    Robin said, "And through all the minimum wage hikes, poverty has continued to increase. So clearly raising the minimum wage does not decrease poverty like a certain administration would have you believe."

    I don't want to defend any administration or argue in favor of raising the minimum wage, but your statement makes no sense. The graph shows that the inflation-adjusted minimum wage has been going down or staying roughly constant for 45 years. How can you conclude that raising the minimum wage doesn't decrease poverty if the minimum wage hasn't really been raised (in terms of buying power)?

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:39 a.m.

    Laws setting minimum wages are nothing but a political trick which forces employers to spend their money, which only comes from raising the prices of their goods and services. But it temporarily gives the illusion of helping workers, and wins votes. Inevitably, the price increases necessitated by the increased minimum wage wipe out the increased buying power.

    Of course, the gullible low information voters are fooled by these schemes and reliably vote for the folks giving them any sort of "free stuff."

    If setting a minimum wage of $10.00 is good, why not set it at $50.00 and let everyone live a luxurious life instead of just getting by? Of course, that is silly and impossible. But no more silly or impossible than raising the minimum wage just a little bit at a time.

    Eliminate all minimum wages and let workers and employers negotiate the fair market value of their labor. Some will deserve raises, and some will earn less. That is the difference between work and merit and welfare and socialism.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    And through all the minimum wage hikes, poverty has continued to increase. So clearly raising the minimum wage does not decrease poverty like a certain administration would have you believe.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Don't like what your job pays you?

    Go find another job.

    If you're really as valuable as you think you are, there will be companies willing to pay for your "expertise" and hard work.