There is a ballot initiative underway in Missouri that—if voters approve—would raise our state’s minimum wage to $8.25 an hour in 2013, as well as provide an annual cost of living adjustment in the following years.
On Thursday a judge rejected claims that the summary written by the secretary of state to explain the initiative to voters was faulty:
“We think it’s good news. We’re one step closer to making sure that the will of Missouri voters is being respected and we all get a chance to vote on this,” said Lara Granich, director of Missouri Jobs with Justice, which is backing the initiative.
Just why is this push to raise the minimum wage important? Take a look at the following, courtesy of Remapping Debate:
As you can see, and as Remapping Debate points out, the federal minimum wage “is significantly less in real terms” than in 1968. There are no provisions in the law that would allow the minimum wage to keep up with inflation and thus the purchasing power of those wage earners erodes over time.
Speaking of purchasing power, Remapping Debate also provided a comparison of the “family poverty threshold” between 1968 and 2011. It ain’t pretty:
The above green gap—which represents the shortfall between the earnings of someone working minimum wage and trying to support a family of four at the poverty threshold—is not something to be proud of, but at least it is better than it was in 2007:
Although there is no chance that a Tea Party Congress will raise the minimum wage at the federal level, Missourians can take matters into their own hands, should the ballot initiative succeed.