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Repeat 2007–2009 Minimum Wage Increase: Guarantee $10.21 an Hour Now

The Biden Administration and the Democratic Congress have been scoring victory after victory with big legislation. Perhaps our Democratic leaders could give their surprisingly surging prospects for the mid-term election another boost with one more sensible pro-worker, pro-family piece of legislation: raising the federal minimum wage.

In 2007, Congress approved raising the federal minimum wage 41% in three steps, from $5.15 to $5.85 in 2007, to $6.55 in 2008, to $7.25 in 2009. A proportionate increase today would raise the federal minimum wage to $8.24 now, $9.22 next year, and $10.21 in September 2024. South Dakota’s current minimum wage of $9.95 will likely index up to a buck–buck and a half more than that by January 2025, but at current rates, $10.21 would boost the floor wage for Americans in 28 states.

The purchasing power of the minimum wage has eroded significantly over the last decade and a half. Inflation from 2006 to 2009 reduced the purchasing power of the $7.25 to $6.81 as measured in 2006 dollars. Today’s $7.25 has the purchasing power of $4.96 in 2006 dollars. Implement a 41% raise immediately, and minimum wage workers would have their purchasing power restored to $6.99 an hour in 2006 dollars.

Can we afford to a higher minimum wage? Other countries do. Canada‘s minimum wage is nominally equivalent to 10.22 US dollars and purchasing-powerfully to 10.07 US$. Australia raised its minimum wage in July to $14.35 US$ nominal and $13.37 PP-equivalent. Counting Canada and Australia, 16 other nations manage to pay a higher nominal minimum wage than the U.S., and 22 other countries’ minimum wages give workers more purchasing power than their totem-bottom American counterparts. $10.21 would move us to 13th place globally for nominal minimum wage and 15th place for purchasing power.

Japan decided to raise its minimum wage 3.3% this month. Russia is managing to raise its minimum wage 10% amidst inflation and war.

Since South Dakota voters wisely enacted indexed annual minimum wage increases in 2014, South Dakota’s minimum wage has increased 37% over 8 years. Contrary to Republican/retail doomcrying in 2014, South Dakota has seen no ill economic effects from putting more money where its mouth is on the dignity of work. According to Governor Kristi Noem, minimum-wage-raising South Dakota has “the strongest economy in the nation.” South Dakota thus provides an example to the rest of the nation for raising the minimum wage to give its workers more purchasing power and boost the economy.

President Biden and other Democrats are pushing for raising the minimum wage well beyond $10.21 an hour. But the journey of a thousand dollars (the boost minimum wage workers would get for 129 hours of work at $15 and hour) begins a few coins in the labor pool now. Repeating the 2007 raise now would restore the purchasing power that the minimum wage gave to workers in 2009, just in time to deal with another economic rough patch.

18 Comments

  1. larry kurtz 2022-08-28 10:12

    Sioux Falls is the 12th hardest working city in the United Snakes but is that even healthy? Why even pay sales tax in a state that hates poor people? Who in their right mind would even work for less than $40 an hour?

    Unless your Social Security pays your property taxes you’re just another greasy, grimy grudznick groveling in the gore and grinding out every greenback you can grab. Yet, the Republican Party is gleefully and forcefully driving talent away to replace the workforce with a hateful dumbed down murder of Trumpian crows.

  2. mike from iowa 2022-08-28 11:04

    South Duhkota magats are being drug into the 21st century reluctantly and relentlessly. Bwahahahahahaha!

  3. grudznick 2022-08-28 14:02

    You think many of those slackards would go back to working hard to get less money than they get for watching teevee and toking the demon weed?

    The one thing they have going for them today is they get to hang out will all their “work buddies” all the time, not just at the office.

  4. P. Aitch 2022-08-28 14:10

    Why work in SD? Any answers, grud?
    Minimum wage in Denver is $17.29 per hour.

  5. O 2022-08-28 14:11

    Why should they work, grudznick, just to make you and yours rich? Your GOP killed the middle class. Now your modern feudal lordship is over.

  6. Arlo Blundt 2022-08-28 14:32

    Grudz–I think you have “old man’s complaint”. You are upset when folks on this site criticize the wealthy for sitting on their duff clipping coupons. You also object to those who work with their hands and demand a living wage. Face it, Grudz, you just like to complain and be miserable. Life is short. Enjoy yourself.

  7. grudznick 2022-08-28 15:49

    Mr. Blundt, I admire people who work hard at any endeavors they choose, as long as it’s not freeloading or slinging hasheesh.

  8. Richard Schriever 2022-08-28 18:48

    gtrudz – FYI, the making of hasish is hard work. One must run naked through the fields of cannabis indica at the height of its resin producing capacity – the cool days of late autumn. Then one must subject oneself to having the accumulated goo scraped from one’s naked body with metal blades. And that is just the first step of the “harvest”.

  9. grudznick 2022-08-28 20:10

    You’re making that stuff up, Mr. Schiever. That’s just silly. But you know the Demon Weed and all of the Ilk that follows it are bad. They are very bad.

  10. Richard Schriever 2022-08-29 05:24

    Nothing is made up about that grudz. It is the way of making hashish in Afghanistan and has been so for many centuries. Industrialized farming has not made its way to those hills.

  11. M 2022-08-29 06:35

    Quit blaming pot heads for being lazy and unemployed. How many of you men would like to clean tables or toilets for under $10 and hour? Start reasoning with the fact that most people don’t want to work the drive through or wait on tables if they have to deal with an unappreciative public like some of you. Oh you deserve more money for whatever job you have because it’s more important. Well, if all minimum wage earners refused to work for 2 days in S.D. , this state would shut down.

    We have become a caste system, the untouchables being the immigrants you think we need for work you or your children won’t do. Minorities, women, and teens will pick up the slack with the jobs you won’t do so you can go fishing, hunting, and enjoy all the fun things this state is known for.

    In this town, on weekends and evenings, the women and teens run the shops for their minimum wage so you can wine and dine and going to church to pray for what…?
    Grudz, the pot heads I know are highly educated, well respected members of the community, middle class like you, and nobody gives a crap. They are functional people who lead normal lives. Perhaps they don’t drink Bud like you and your buddies, but they don’t have rubber tires around their tummies either.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-08-29 09:29

    Work is work. Wage labor is a sacrifice of personal liberty to do the bidding of a master, in exchange for pay. The sacrifice of an hour of liberty to produce or sell someone else’s product, provide someone else’s service, and boost someone else’s brand and profit must have some minimum value. That minimum should be enough to compensate workers for their sacrifice of liberty and ensure that they have enough money to enjoy their remaining liberty with their basic material needs met.

    To invoke slackards, druggies, or any other undesirables in the discussion of the minimum wage misses the point. People who are unable or unwilling to sacrifice their liberty and provide the value required by employers do not reduce the minimum value of an hour of liberty genuinely sacrificed and an hour of sweat honestly applied to a master’s task. The proper response to people who fail to meet the minimum requirements of work—show up, do the job—is not to persist in paying a minimum wage that does not properly reward the conscientious worker; the proper response is to fire the bums, hire honest workers, and pay them at least the moral minimum wage.

    If, as Grudz alleges, there were some way to make more than minimum wage by watching TV and doing drugs—and that evidenceless claim shows Grudz’s own slackardliness when it comes to discussing public policy—that still doesn’t serve as an argument for abolishing, lowering, or keeping impractically low the minimum wage.

  13. leslie 2022-08-29 10:43

    grdz gets to demolish 3 carefully crafted thoughtful liberal paragraphs every day w/ one crass irresponsible blowtorch sentence, just like this comment, just like his former beauty queen does…

    “admire people who work hard at any endeavors they choose, as long as it’s not freeloading or slinging hasheesh.”

    it may hit the tip jar for its maga-messeging but Kristi certainly doesn’t!

  14. O 2022-08-29 11:14

    Worker wages stagnate so owner/CEO’s can use those funds to inside trade stock buybacks to fatten their – and ONLY their – wallets. And the exploiter enablers cannot understand why workers are not lining up to be ground into that sausage?

  15. All Mammal 2022-08-29 11:33

    I prefer a French butcher for your image, O.
    Hu hu hu don’t you like my ground sauseej!

  16. P. Aitch 2022-08-29 13:28

    Worker wages stagnate so underpaid white males can feel superior to somebody, anybody.

  17. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-08-29 15:07

    Grudz should be encouraged to infest luminary sites such as moonbattery or Onenewsnuts. His only purpose at DFP is “agita” which he was born doing and delights in, just as any narcissist and sociopath does.
    If I understand your comment correctly, Leslie, “it” hits DFP’s tip jar? I cannot say “it” doesn’t, and it’s nomb, but my experience is, this is wildly out of character for “True Conservatives” whom exult in NEVER helping anyone other than themselves or acceptable family. Could be wrong.

  18. Jake 2022-08-29 16:20

    Grudz; you need to re-read Cory’s first two paragraphs just above and then again as you drift off to your conservative slumber so your sub-conscious brain (which never sleeps) can cogitate on it all night thru. Then you’ll have a better chance at joining that part of society that revels in and enjoys paying labor its worth, not always finding ways to keep more of its share for you. Greed knpw np limits an I will call out any “lib” or “Dem” that deserves it for the same.

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