Fresh-faced Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren has been on the war path lately, and with bank regulators sufficiently hand-slapped, she has shifted her attention to another liberal concern: Minimum wage.
Warren recently suggested that the national minimum wage should be $22 an hour by now, and said that the numbers back her up.
“If we started in 1960, and we said [that] as productivity goes up … then the minimum wage was going to go up the same … if that were the case, the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour,” the senator said, at a recent Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing.
Minimum wage on the federal level currently sits at $7.25 an hour (though in some states, it’s higher). Warren asks in a YouTube video of the hearing that was posted by her own staff, “What happened to the other $14.75?”
“It sure didn’t go to the worker,” she surmised.
Another panel member, Arindrajit Dube, an assistant professor at the Department of Economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, pushed it a bit further, By Warren’s logic, going back even further in time, the national minimum wage should be $33 an hour.
Warren also said that her opponents who say a minimum wage increase reflecting current indexes are using bad math. Bringing up the minimum wage a few dollars an hour is possible now.
“During my Senate campaign, I [frequently] ate a Number 11 at McDonald’s. It cost $7.19,” she said. “If we raised the minimum wage to $10.10 over three years, the price increase on that item would be to about $7.23. Are you telling me that’s unsustainable?”
The minimum wage battle has gained traction among Democratic politicians in recent weeks, with a $10 amount being proposed by party leaders like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The $10 amount has been touted by several Democrats over the past weeks, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Responding to the push was Southport Brewing Co. owner David Rutigliano. “Not all restaurants are created equal,” he said, implying that while a fast food giant like McDonalds could absorb the cost, smaller mom-and-pop restaurants could not.
What do you think? Is $22 an hour realistic?