Could a $22 minimum wage happen in America, and would such a thing destroy the economy? A series of comments made by middle-class advocate Sen. Elizabeth Warren have sparked intense debate in the public sphere and in the media as Americans discuss the issues surrounding income inequality in America.
Before the $22 minimum wage comments made by Warren, a viral video circulated putting income inequality in stark, visual form. And Sen. Warren’s comments really drove home how truly strapped what used to be the middle class in America has become, putting the failure of wages to rise alongside inflation in simple mathematical terms.
As The Inquisitr reported earlier, Elizabeth Warren floated the idea of a $22 minimum wage during a Senate Committee Hearing on Health, Education, and Labor.
As she spoke, Warren lamented that had if America “started in 1960 and we said that as productivity goes up, that is as workers are producing more, then the minimum wage is going to go up the same.” The senator went on to say that, “if that were the case then the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour.”
Warren continued, saying her “question is… with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, what happened to the other $14.75? It sure didn’t go to the worker.”
What was lost in the shuffle is that Sen. Warren (D-MA) wasn’t arguing for a $22 minimum wage — she was advocating a small raise to $10 an hour, more in line with a living wage for most American workers. (But not quite even up to those sparse standards.)
Over on Michelle Malkin’s blog, writer Doug Powers seems to oppose the minimum wage hike on principle, saying:
“Why stop at $22? Why not $100, $200 or $1,000 an hour? Why does Elizabeth Warren hate the working class?… If productivity/performance is the measure for wages, Congress wouldn’t even get a paycheck. At the very least their salaries need to be garnished until the nearly $17 trillion is paid off.”
And over on Twitter, it seems many conservatives voiced the same objection to the $22 minimum wage comments, with tweets such as:
— The Young Cons (@YoungCons) March 19, 2013
— Stephen Green (@VodkaPundit) March 18, 2013
— TheTeaParty.net (@TheTeaParty_net) March 18, 2013
Do you think the $22 minimum wage debate math indicates we need a higher standard for low-level workers?