Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, suggested raising the minimum wage to $22 per hour is only logical if you look at the numbers.
“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 on “Keeping up with a Changing Economy: Indexing the Minimum Wage.”
The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Ms. Warren wondered, in a YouTube video of the hearing posted by her staff: “What happened to the other $14.75?”
She answered her own question: “It sure didn’t go to the worker.”
One of the panelists, Arindrajit Dube, an assistant professor at the Department of Economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, said by that logic — by going back even further in time — the minimum wage could rightly be $33 per hour.
Ms. Warren then suggested that those who say increasing the minimum wage to reflect current indexes are using flawed math. Raising the minimum wage by several dollars an hour is doable, she said.
“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 $10 amount has been touted by several Democrats over the past weeks, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Southport Brewing Co. owner David Rutigliano answered: Not all restaurants are created equal, he said.
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