Raising the Minimum Wage for Working Men and Women in California and the Rest of America

The US Can Learn Something About Minimum Wage from the Rest of the World

The United States' federal minimum wage is $7.25. Mexico's is $5. Per day. Germany doesn't even have one — yet.

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BOSTON — Many Americans want to raise the minimum wage — quickly, before there’s another fast-food strike.

US President Barack Obama has backed a Senate effort to do just that. Meanwhile,minimum wage in 13 states will go up starting on Jan. 1. But, for now, federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 an hour.

It may not sound so low, but it is. If an employee works full time at the current minimum wage, that worker’s annual salary would be about $15,000. That falls below the poverty line for any family of more than one.

Adding insult to injury: The purchasing value of $7.25 today, adjusting for inflation, is actually 30 percent lower than it was four decades years ago.

For many, it’s an outrage. Some economists blame such policies for allowing the country’s income gap to widen. Many are tired of waiting for a federal raise and, taking cues from Seattle, are pushing for action on a state level.

• Category: National • Tags: Alex Leff