A $22 minimum wage as suggested by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren would change the life of many people. Elizabeth Warren herself said that she paid $7.19 for a No. 11 at McDonald’s several times. With the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, that means a minimum wage earner has to work an hour to be able to eat a No. 11 at McDonald’s. According to a Money News report on March 19, 2013, Elizabeth Warren spoke about her McDonald’s experience during last week’s Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on “Keeping up with a Changing Economy: Indexing the Minimum Wage.”
“During my Senate campaign, I ate a No. 11 at McDonald’s many, many times a week and I know the price on that one, $7.19. … According to the data on the analysis of what would happen if we raised the minimum wage to $10.10 over three years, the price increase on that item would be about four cents, so instead of being $7.19 it would be $7.23. Are you telling me that’s unsustainable?”
Elizabeth’s Warren explanation that an increase from a $7.25 minimum wage to a $22 minimum wage would not skyrocket prices or unemployment is putting a realistic picture on an unrealistic hope for many; at least for now.
So far, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren has kept quite a low profile. However, Elizabeth Warren’s suggestion that the minimum wage needs to catch up to workers’ productivity, is a long overdue topic that is welcomed by anyone who has to work for a minimum wage.
“If we started in 1960, and we said [that] as productivity goes up, that is as workers are producing more — then the minimum wage was going to go up the same. And if that were the case, then the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour.”
Opponents to an increase of the minimum wage are arguing that a raise in hourly pay to a $22 minimum wage would have a negative effect on employment because employers would hire less minimum wage workers. Fears of an increased unemployment rate are a powerful force in the argument against a minimum wage increase.
Proponents for an increase of the minimum wage are pointing out that at the moment, the difference between what a minimum wage should be ($22 an hour) versus where it is ($7.25 an hour) means that all that extra workers’ productivity income is going to “the nation’s top 1 percent of earners.”
It certainly explains why a small percent of Americans live a life in luxury while a large percent of Americans live a life in worries.
So is Elizabeth Warren’s suggestion of a $22 minimum wage fiction or reality? Can people dare to hope for the kind of “change” that was expected during the past four years?
Change does not come by itself but only after a hard and persevering journey. And change does not come from one man alone.
A $22 minimum wage can happen if enough people demand that kind of change. Elizabeth Warren is not the only senator that is ready to listen and speak up for minimum wage workers as she has proven in her speech.
Anyone can be heard by writing to Elizabeth Warren or their states’ senators and representatives. Maybe if enough people speak up, a $22 minimum wage will turn from fiction into reality. Elizabeth Warren has opened the door, now everyone else has to go through it.