In the most recent debate, Sen. Marco Rubio once again shared the compelling story of how his parents were minimum-wage workers and able to care for their family. It is an admirable story experienced by many families seeking the American Dream. But he overlooked one important fact. Had the United States income distribution and the U.S. standards of decency remained exactly what they were in 1968, the minimum wage would now be $21.16 per hour.
Any economist will back this number. So, when he states that he opposes a minimum hourly wage increase to $15, not only is he destroying the opportunity for families to eke a living without depending on welfare, but he is denying them the same living wage that was afforded to his parents.
Rubio should be ashamed of not backing a measure that would put workers at only 70 percent of what his parents earned in the 60s. If he isn’t willing to do that, then he should stop talking about how his parents made it.