Friday, February 15, 2013

Marsha Blackburn Waxes Nostalgic about When She Made Twice the Minimum Wage

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Marsha Blackburn is opposed to raising the minimum wage because she made $2.15 at her first job and she liked it. One problem with Blackburn's position is that, as Travis Waldron at Think Progress points out, $2.15 when Blackburn was a teenager is the equivalent of around $13 an hour now — far above minimum wage:

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 an hour in today’s dollars, depending on which year she started.

Well, heck, I'm sure that the changing value of the dollar didn't occur to Blackburn because even back then, $2.15 an hour didn't seem like very much. Still, I think she'd find a lot of support for making the minimum wage the amount that, in today's dollars, was enough for her back in the late 1960s. Except, of course, that's not the position Blackburn is supposed to support.

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