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Why Congress should increase the minimum wage to its 1968 level

A new report by the Economic Policy Institute illustrates why Congress should increase the minimum wage.  Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa and Representative George Miller of California have introduced a bill to raise the minimum raise to $10.10 an hour, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2014.
  • Fact: The federal minimum wage has not increased since more than five years ago, when it was raised to $7.25 an hour.  Each year since then, as a result of inflation, its value has eroded.
  • Fact: Fulltime minimum wage workers today earn 25 percent less than they did 45 years ago.  In 1968, the federal minimum wage was equivalent to $9.58 in today’s dollars.
  • Fact: Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would mean 1.7 million Americans would no longer rely on public assistance programs.
  • Fact: Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would save the government $7.6 billion in spending on public assistance programs.
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