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

History Leads: $15 Minimum Wage? Why Stop There?

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There has been a lot of talk in recent years about the over compensation and gross salaries of corporate CEO types. According to GMI Ratings, who conducted a survey of over 2,000 American CEO’s, 2013 saw the top ten highest paid CEO’s making more than $100 million, and the top two making over $1 billion because of stock options –- the first being Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

This phenomenon is not something new. The Ballard News reported on the same things happening in April 1913 (exact date unknown). Oilmen and grain brokers from Chicago were making over $50 thousand dollars a year. In modern currency, that is about $1.4 million. Corporate fat cats were not alone. President Taft was in office from 1908 to 1912 and made $75 thousand a year, which is the modern equivalent to $1.7 million for serving as master and chief of the free world. Currently, President Obama makes an annual salary of $400 thousand, plus perks like a travel expense account.

Meanwhile, in the world that most of us live in there is heavy dispute and deliberation over a $15 minimum wage at Seatac and potentially in Seattle.

100 years ago State Senator George U. Piper introduced Washington’s first minimum wage bill. The wage varied in industries but hung around $9 a week for women and children. Since then Washington State has wavered a bit, but has had largely progressive minimum wage laws.

• Category: National • Tags: Shane Harms