Thank you, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn

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Thank you, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn

InsideCapitolDome
Making $2.15 an hour certainly does sound worse than today’s minimum wage, which federal law mandates must be at least $7.25 an hour.

Thank you, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn

In criticizing President Obama’s call for a $9 minimum wage, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) said that as a teenager in Mississippi, she was glad to have a job at $2.15 an hour.

As noted by thinkprogress.org:

Making $2.15 an hour certainly does sound worse than today’s minimum wage, which federal law mandates must be at least $7.25 an hour. But what Blackburn didn’t realize is that she accidentally undermined her own argument, since the value of the dollar has changed immensely since her teenage years. Blackburn was born in 1952, so she likely took that retail job at some point between 1968 and 1970. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, the $2.15 an hour Blackburn made then is worth somewhere between $12.72 and $14.18 in today’s dollars, depending on which year she started.

At that time, the minimum wage was $1.60, equivalent to $10.56 in today’s terms. Today’s minimum wage is equivalent to just $1.10 an hour in 1968 dollars, meaning the teenage Blackburn managed to enter the workforce making almost double the wage she now says is keeping teenagers out of the workforce.

President Obama’s proposal is less than he campaigned on in 2008. More importantly, as explained by Shawn Fremstad of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, President Obama’s proposal doesn’t go far enough.

Rep. Blackburn, thank you for driving home that point.

 


This post was originally published on www.blueoregon.com on February 21, 2013. The original post can be found at www.blueoregon.com/2013/02/thank-you-rep-marsha-blackburn-minimum-wage/.

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OCPP

Written by staff at the Oregon Center for Public Policy.
Chuck Sheketoff

Chuck Sheketoff

Chuck Sheketoff is a founder of the Oregon Center for Public Policy and former Executive Director. Incorporated in 1995, the Center was launched with Chuck as its first executive director after Chuck received the "public interest pioneer award" from the Stern Family Fund in September, 1997. Prior to starting the Center, Chuck lobbied the Oregon legislature on tax policies and on human services programs' policies and budgets on behalf of legal aid clients (1992 to 1996) and the low-income clients of the Oregon Law Center (1997).

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