Chart: minimum wage in cost-of-living-adjusted dollars

Updated 2021. Originally posted 2013

There has been a lot of talk lately about the minimum wage and how it ought to be raised. It has been claimed that minimum wage workers are making less now than ever and that the nation is in a critical race to the bottom where workers on the low end of the spectrum are getting squeezed harder and harder.

This raises the question of the historical minimum wage in the United States. Is it really lower now than it ever has been? Did America once have a minimum wage that elevated workers from poverty?

Rehabilitating Keynes

The American right is fond of spitting the word keynesian as an epithet, just as those on the left hold Keynes up to be some sort of savior, rescuing the masses from the tyranny of the wealthy. Today’s economic policies that the left promotes and the right attempts to thwart rely heavily on the keynesian idea that when a nation’s economy is stalling, the government should increase spending even if that means going into debt.

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