Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What Will a Higher Minimum Wage Buy?

I thought these were some interesting numbers given by the office of Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) when discussing the real difference that the expected increase in the minimum wage under a Democratic Congress will mean for low-income Americans. Raising the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour will mean an additional $4,400 a year to minimum wage earners and their families.

According to Senator Kennedy's office, this would be enough money for a low-income family of three to buy:
  • 15 months of groceries
  • 19 months of utilities
  • 8 months of rent
  • Over two years of health care
  • 20 months of child care
  • 30 months of college tuition at a public, 2 year college
It's amazing that the Republican party, which has fought tooth and nail for more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, would consistently stand in the way of such a meager wage increase for working families.