The Truth About the Federal Minimum Wage and Senators’ Salaries

Here is a chart from the New York Times that shows the real value of the minimum wage over time.

And here’s another one that proves that Congress cares more about poor workers than themselves. It shows the difference between inflation adjusted senators pay and inflation adjusted minimum wage.

And from the article here is your lesson in statistics for the evening.

Of course, this comparison doesn’t tell the whole story, given that American lawmakers get very generous benefits, including health care and pensions. Plus, if you start from a different base year, you’ll get a totally different story. If you use 1968 as your base year, for example, you’ll find that the inflation-adjusted minimum wage has declined 17 percent, whereas senators’ salaries have increased 7 percent. (I arbitrarily used 1947 as a base year simply because the Economic Policy Institute had the inflation-adjusted numbers readily available as far back as that year.)

Lies, damned lies, and statistics, right?

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About Tom Lindmark 401 Articles

I’m not sure that credentials mean much when it comes to writing about things but people seem to want to see them, so briefly here are mine. I have an undergraduate degree in economics from an undistinguished Midwestern university and masters in international business from an equally undistinguished Southwestern University. I spent a number of years working for large banks lending to lots of different industries. For the past few years, I’ve been engaged in real estate finance – primarily for commercial projects. Like a lot of other finance guys, I’m looking for a job at this point in time.

Given all of that, I suggest that you take what I write with the appropriate grain of salt. I try and figure out what’s behind the news but suspect that I’m often delusional. Nevertheless, I keep throwing things out there and occasionally it sticks. I do read the comments that readers leave and to the extent I can reply to them. I also reply to all emails so feel free to contact me if you want to discuss something at more length. Oh, I also have a very thick skin, so if you disagree feel free to say so.

Enjoy what I write and let me know when I’m off base – I probably won’t agree with you but don’t be shy.

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