Wednesday, December 02, 2015
Why $15 an hour ($30,000 a year) was picked by Democrats
The call to raise the pay for burger flippers to $15 an hour -- or 10 times what the minimum wage was back in 1970 when I flipped burgers -- has drawn a curious incuriousity from the press. No one is asking how this so-called living wage was determined. Obviously people who make $7.50 an hour remain alive so how does the $15 work out to being alive or not. The number does not seem to be based on the necessities of life.
Instead, $15 an hour -- $30,000 a year based on working 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year -- appears to be based on the median wage in America, which was $28,851 last year. Let's look at the jobs where the median pay is less than $15 an hour. This includes bartenders, manicurists and pedicurists, textile workers, home health aides, janitors, shoe and leather workers, ambulance drivers, security guards, butchers, barbers, and substitute teachers. The whole list is here.
Only a community organizer would be dumb enough to say a burger flipper deserves more money than a substitute teacher.