When we wrote this post about Seattle gradually raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, we weren't expecting the kind of feedback that we got.
Many people agreed with our take, of course, but we also got a few e-mails from people who weren't having it. At all.
And some weren't simply against the (significant) hike to $15/hour; they expressed a distaste for any action that doesn't benefit corporations first. The idea being, of course, that if you help a business, you help its employees. You know, "top down" economics.
Well, that's nice in theory, and it could work. But it's the model the USA has been using over the last several decades, and it hasn't benefitted low-wage workers. Or – and let's just be honest here – any regular workers.
...And sadly, it grows worse every year. The real value of the minimum wage today is perilously low compared to its high point in 1968 (real value then was $10.69 an hour, over half the average wage, and above the poverty line for a family of three). The federal minimum wage has not gone up since 2007; that’s seven years of increases in every piece of the cost of living, with no increase in pay.
If you have a family of three, make minimum wage, and work full time, you are living below the poverty line.
Let's put an ounce of power back into the hands of the people doing the hard work. Corporations have enough.