US Federal Wage Now At $6.55

 - Jul 25, 2008
References: marketwatch
Federal minimum wage is up 12% to $6.55 in the United States, meaning close to 2 million Americans will be getting a raise from the previous $5.85 hourly minimum.

That's a shockingly high number of people who have to work for an hour to buy a latte and a muffin, shampoo and conditioner or simply to pay for daily transit to and from work. Next July, it's supposed to go up another 70 cents to $7.25 an hour.

“In a new sign of increasing inequality in the United States, the richest 1% of Americans in 2006 garnered the highest share of the nation's adjusted gross income for two decades, and possibly the highest since 1929, according to Internal Revenue Service data,” Marketwatch.com pointed out.

It seems the rich are getting richer, while the low income wage boost barely jives with official inflation numbers. How are people supposed to afford gas to get to work? Worse, how can they feed themselves and their families with the skyrocketing grocery costs? 

A metro columnist pointed out that minimum wage in the late 1970s would be enough to pull a family of three out of poverty. Today, minimum wage leaves families about $4,000 below the poverty line.

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