But they have neglected the simplest one in their toolkit for far too long: raising the federal minimum wage.
Monday marks 14 years since the last federal minimum wage increase, the longest period America’s lowest-paid workers have gone without a raise since the minimum wage was first put into effect in 1938.
The minimum wage has been stuck at an unlivable $7.25 an hour under three presidents.
Adjusting for inflation, today’s minimum wage is now worth less than at any point since 1956.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a worker paid the $7.25 federal minimum wage earns 27.4% less in inflation-adjusted terms than what their counterpart was paid in July 2009 when the minimum wage was last increased, and 40.2% less than a minimum wage worker in February 1968, the historical high point of the minimum wage’s value.
Courageous workers in the Fight for $15 and the union movement have pushed 14 states and the District of Columbia to adopt $15 minimum wage laws.
Indeed, our demand for a living wage is the moral issue politicians should be focused on. »