LABOR: Maximizing The Minimum

Maximizing The Minimum

The minimum wage of $3.35 an hour, earned by nearly 3.5 million American workers, has stayed the same for the past six years. A messenger, clerk or fast-food worker who works full time at that rate makes $6,968 a year, which is 23% below the poverty level for a family of three.

Last week congressional Democrats, led by Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Representative Augustus Hawkins of California, unveiled a formula for keeping minimum-wage earners from falling farther and farther behind the rest of the work force. They introduced legislation that would hike the minimum by nearly 40%, to $4.65...

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