Governor Blagojevich and Mayor Daley came out last week in support of a $7.50 state minimum wage and will push for its implementation during the veto session in November. Even better, they both called for an indexed minimum wage, so that every year wages will adjust upwards based on inflation. (A flat minimum wage means every year it is worth less -- an indexed wage stays constant in terms of actual purchasing power).
As I've blogged previously, Cook County voters (thanks to Lt. Governor Pat Quinn's political team) will have the chance to vote for the minimum wage increase on an advisory referendum on Tuesday's ballot.
The reason I bring all this up is I've been meaning to cite an Economist article I've been carrying around for a month. In the October 7th edition, the magazine reports that the United KIngdom's minimum wage rose on October 15th to 5.35 pounds per hour. That's $10.08 an hour!
Think about that: ten bucks an hour minimum wage in England.
That's what it *should* be in the United States. You can't live on less than ten bucks an hour. So it should be illegal to pay anyone less than ten bucks an hour. And because the Brits manage to do quite will with a ten dollar an hour minimum wge, we should do well too.
It really is shocking to think that the Congress hasn't raised the minimum wage past $5.15 an hour for a decade and that's one of the most compelling reasons to help elect a Democratic majority -- the economic values of the governing coalition in D.C. are lined up against people with jobs.