If You Work Full Time at Minimum Wage, You’re Not in Poverty
President Obama recently declared: “It’s time to raise the minimum wage because nobody who works full-time should live in poverty.”
Actually, the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour means people who work full time have already risen above the poverty level. Sean Davis, of
magazine, points out that $7.25 an hour, 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, puts an individual $3,000 above the federal poverty line, while a couple with two kids, where both parents work full-time at minimum wage, will earn $5,000 more than the official poverty threshold.
The best way to help families escape hardship is to help them get full-time jobs, not to force up their hourly wages. A legal mandate increasing the minimum wage means higher business expenses, leading to more part-time employment—and less of the full-time work that families need in order to climb the economic ladder.