Bernie Sanders and Patty Murray: It’s time for a national $15 minimum wage

It has been 10 long years since Congress passed legislation to raise the minimum wage. It’s time to raise it for all Americans.

IN the wealthiest country in the history of the world, a basic principle of American economic life should be that if you work 40 hours or more a week, you do not live in poverty. Sadly, that is not the case today.

While large corporations make record-breaking profits and top CEOs earn about 335 times more an hour than the average worker, millions of Americans are trying to survive on totally inadequate wages. The situation has become so absurd that there is not a single state in our country where a full-time minimum wage worker can easily afford a one-bedroom apartment.

The current $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage is a starvation wage. It must be raised to a living wage. That is why we will be introducing legislation to raise it to $15 an hour by 2024 and automatically adjust it thereafter to keep up with the rising cost of living.

It has been 10 long years since Congress passed legislation to raise the minimum wage. Since 1968, the minimum wage has lost more than 25 percent of its purchasing power as millions of Americans work longer hours for lower wages. After adjusting for inflation, the minimum wage is worth less today than it was 50 years ago.

The erosion of the federal minimum wage is a major reason why more than 43 million Americans are living in poverty today. People are working, and they’re working hard. But they’re going nowhere in a hurry. Health-care costs are going up, child-care costs are going up, college costs are going up, and housing costs are going up. Wages are not. That has got to change.

Thanks to the “Fight for $15” grass-roots movement, the cities of Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and…

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