$22 Minimum Wage: Sort of Proposed by Elizabeth Warren

by at . Comments

Elizabeth Warren has proposed what some believe is a radical idea: a minimum wage hike up to $22 per hour.

The Massachusetts Senator is basing that figure on the minimum wage of 1960 and multiplying it by workers' gains in productivity over the last 50 years.

Elizabeth Warren Picture

A a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Warren inquired of the $7.25 current wage: why shouldn’t employees enjoy the benefits of such enhanced labor practices?

"What happened to the other $14.75?" she asked at the hearing. "It sure didn’t go to the worker."

Arindrajit Dube, an economist from the University of Massachusetts, backed Warren up and said those profits go into the pockets of corporate executives and they represent further proof of America's ever-increasing income inequality gap.

“It is quite remarkable that had the minimum wage kept up with overall productivity, it would have been $22 per hour in 2011,” Dr. Dube said. “Had it kept up with the growth in income going to the top 1 percent, it would have been even higher, at $24 per hour; and the wage would have exceeded $33 per hour at its peak in 2007.”

Neither Warren nor Dube are actually suggesting we implement such a huge minimum wage increase.

“Rather, the exercise demonstrates how different the growth rates have been for incomes going to those at the bottom of the labor market as compared to the economy as a whole and to those at the top end of the distribution,” Dube said.

Legislation has been introduced in the Senate that would bump up this wage to $10.10.

What do you think of a $22 minimum wage?


Something a lot of people, including business seem to fail to realize is this: Employment is driven by customers. In order for a business to have customers, people need to have money to buy things. People making 7.25/hr do not have disposable income, and thus can only be customers to places that provide them with living necessities. So this race to the bottom for efficiency and cost reductions has left us with a situation where there is nothing left to squeeze, the money is not trickling down. Trickle down economics didn't work a century ago, it doesn't work now either. Back then they called it the horse-and-sparrow theory: 'If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows."


I have a college degree make a decent living and don't make $22/hr..... that is not also retarded and would hurt the economy, but it is also a blatent disrespect to people who have worked hard to get where they are in life.

@ Vendria

I'm so glad your degree makes you soooo worthy seeing how the girl a wal-mart just doesn't Work. Spoiled brat. Btw my husband doesn't have a degree and he makes double that. I make prob what you make and we worked just as hard ...prob harder


THIS IS MORONIC. A simple raise to even $9 an hr would be catastrophic. What none of the 50+% of morons who thought this was fair don't comprehend is that Corp America will ALWAYS win. If it were even only to $9. costs at the store will be raised as Corp america won't budge on it's profit margin. In addition, small businesses would either not be able to hire new employees or would have to let someone go to cover the new overhead in labor cost. NOW take the poor schlub making $9 an hr now, he won't get a raise and will now end up screwed into the working poor class. WHAT NEEDS to happen is govt to be accountable for their over spending, get the deficit fixed (will allow the US dollar to regain value with alone wil help the everyday person), they need to end NAFTA. The US govt caused this imbalance and they should be the ones to fix it. A min wage increase at this point would kill this nation esp if some idiot would want to raise it to $22 an hr. You people that found it fair are delusional.

@ William Albright

Well said !!! You should/could be in office.


This is absolutely ridiculous. Who the fuck possibly believes this will be beneficial to the working class? Layoffs will be rampant, and cost of labor will skyrocket. This cannot, and will never happen.


Nice thought but it will never happen.
1980 minimum wage in Florida was $3.50
and only $7.25 now. That is pathetic yet
this is the modern world...