Letters to the Editor

Minimum wage facts

It seems that both sides of the argument regarding the federal minimum wage have been rather loose with the facts in their letters to the editor on the subject.

Maria Elena Lopez states that the 1968 minimum wage would equate to $21.16 in today’s dollars. Peter J. Clancy states that the minimum wage requirement was $1.15 in 1968, equating to $7.71 in today’s dollars.

Actually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the minimum wage in 1968 was $1.60, and brought the minimum wage closer to lifting workers above the poverty level than at any time since. The bureau’s inflation calculator, $1.60 per hour in 1968 would have the same purchasing power as $10.94 in 2015 dollars. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would produce an annual income of $15,080 for a full-time worker. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the 2015 poverty threshold for a family of four is $24,250, or $11.66 per hour for a full-time worker.

Miami-Dade has required contractors providing major services to the county to pay their employees a “living wage” since 1999. The 2015 rate is $12.63 per hour, or $14.46 per hour if the employer doesn’t provide health insurance. Commissioned studies (2006) have shown that the county, the employers and the community have benefited from the living wage requirement.

Gary Waters, former chair, Miami-Dade County Living Wage Commission,

Cooper City

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