‘Raise the Wage’ and create a long-term solution to economic inequality and wage stagnation

In 2014, the minimum wage was 24 percent below its 1968 level even though U.S. productivity more than doubled in that period. That’s a big problem for America’s low-wage workers—nearly 90 percent of whom are 20 years old or older, have some college experience (47 percent), and are supporting children (28 percent).

The historically low minimum wage also hurts the businesses that serve these workers. And it contributes to the widespread wage stagnation that people across the political spectrum identify as the country’s key economic challenge.

The “Raise the Wage Act” would:

  1. Raise the federal minimum wage to $12.00 by 2020 (by $0.75 to $8 an hour the first year, then by $1.00 a year for the next four years).
  2. Set automatic increases starting in 2021 to keep pace with rising wages overall (i.e., adjust the minimum wage to maintain a constant minimum wage–to–median wage ratio).
  3. Gradually phase out the subminimum wage for tipped workers, which has been frozen at $2.13 since 1991.

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