June 16, 2005

Congress Gets Richer, Working Poor Get Poorer

It is a national disgrace, but Congress basically doesn't give a damn. It gives itself a raise 7 times since 1997, but doesn't increase the minimum wage once.

Again, thanks to ThinkProgress.org, here are the facts behind minimum wage in America:

4.3 million: Number of Americans who have fallen into poverty since President Bush took office
$5.15: Federal minimum wage
26%: How much the inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage has eroded since 1979
0: Number of times minimum wage has increased since 1997
7: Number of times Congress has increased its own pay since 1997
$0: How much more a year people earning minimum wage earn today compared to 1997
$28,500: How much more a year members of Congress make today compared to 1997
$10,700: Amount a person making minimum wage will earn in a year
$5,000: Amount below the poverty level working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year at minimum wage will leave a family of three
7,300,000: Number of workers who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage
72%: Percentage of adult workers who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage
1,800,000: Number of parents with kids under the age of 18 who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage
11 million: Number of jobs added to the economy in the four years after the last minimum wage hike
$8.70: Amount minimum wage would have to be today to have the same purchasing power it had in 1968
2.5 years: Amount of health care for two children which could be bought by raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25
86%: Percentage of Americans who support raising the federal minimum wage


Michael Miller said...

This is clearly a case of conserved compassion. Or, as you said, they just don't give a damn.

Sarah said...

You obviously spent some time and thought on this post. Well done.

I'd like to see how quickly the minimum wage would be increased if those in a position to do so had to live on $10,000 a year.