Linking congressional salaries to the minimum wage

ohplease

Professional
A bill has been introduced in the US Senate to link congressional pay raises directly to increases in the federal minimum wage.

Anyone want to dig up the historical increases in both for comparison's sake? Just for grins?
 

35ft6

Legend
It'll never pass. It's amazing how Congress gets to vote themselves pay and benefit increases.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
As an American living in another country, I can tell you it's a shameful embarassment to compare our minimum wage to that of other industrialized countries. Americans love to make fun of the French for never working, are they really wrong. We slave away usually well over 40 hours per week for companies who are increasingly finding more ways to hire on a contract basis to avoid having to provide full-time benefits and then we make fun of a country where the workers are willing to fight back whenever companies or the government try to make things worse for workers. (I'm in the UK, so I'm still an outside observer to the rest of Europe.)

Anyways, as you guys pass the 9 hour mark at your jobs (because American companies don't count your lunch as time worked, so everyone works at least 9 hours per day), think of me as I'm strolling home early. I'm still working for the same company, but they have to treat me better here. Oh, and be sure to vote for more government representatives who don't believe in all that "big government," social program, workers' rights stuff. Because those guys really understand the common man.
 

ohplease

Professional
35ft6 said:
It'll never pass. It's amazing how Congress gets to vote themselves pay and benefit increases.
No, it probably won't pass.

And to answer my own question: the minimum wage has not changed since 1997 (the longest period of non-change in its history) - at $5.15/hour.

Congress has seen cost-of-living salary increases every year since at least 1998. Current compensation as of 2005: $162,100
 

max

Legend
I always am amazed at how much rhetoric the issue gets, even as the raises are getting proportionately smaller! Figure it out, adding 10 cents to a dollar is a 10% raise, but adding 10 cents to $5 is a 2% raise. And the ******* and whining that goes on! Even as serious economists note that minimum wage increases don't have much effect on the economy. I agree with the spaceman: America really is starting to lag behind other advanced countries in many areas, including this one.
 

35ft6

Legend
max said:
Even as serious economists note that minimum wage increases don't have much effect on the economy.
But I bet it has an effect on the life of the person making minimum wage.
 

max

Legend
Ah, this is true. All told, I'm a believer in a Living Wage. Check out the concept sometime.
 

tonysk83

Semi-Pro
People raise the minimum wage without thinking of effects it will have on the economy. Sure, it won't all price jump, but it definitely will make a difference. When employers are paying all their min wagers a dollar more an hour, and that adds up to a lot of money a year, they are forced to increase prices.
 

max

Legend
Respectfully disagree, Tony. If you look in past history, you'll see that it's been like pulling teeth to get Congress to raise the minimum wage. So much so that the real buying power is less than in the past! (So this slo-mo process ends up benefitting employers, by the way). And labor is a somewhat fixed cost, and over time, other elements of expenses adjust as well. Interesting how no one's brought up Henry Ford so far, who believed that if he paid his employees a bit more, they would be able to buy his cars. The rhetoric of the past 10 years or so has made this issue one of those screeching Right vs. Left subjects, and throws distortion into how it really works. But check with what economists have said.
 
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