Over at the NYT’s Upshot section, with a cool graphic showing the progressivity of the policy. The figure, which I haven’t seen elsewhere in this debate–and it’s a debate that’s been going on forever, so coming up with a new graphic that says something ain’t easy–shows economy-wide wage shares plotted against the shares of who benefits from the proposed increase to $10.10 (in three annual steps, and then indexed to inflation).
EG, summing the first two bars, households with incomes below $40K claim 18% of total earnings, but 55% of the benefits from the proposed increase. As noted in the piece, no question that some of the benefits of the increase reach high-income households–11% goes to those with incomes>$100K.
That’s because, unlike safety net programs, receipt of the the minimum wage is not conditioned on income. And that, in turn, as Heidi Shierholz and I argue in a forthcoming piece, is because it is a labor standard, deemed to be an important and necessary part of the landscape of labor markets in advanced economies across the globe.
Labor markets, like the broader economies in which they exist, are social and political constructs. They operate as much by laws, rules, and standards as by supply and demand. Laws against child labor, discrimination, overtime without extra pay, wage theft, and more are examples of hard fought standards that most Americans today recognize as integral to the functioning of labor markets.
As noted, most of these data were developed by David Cooper at EPI. In that regard, some may find it comforting that he gets very similar results to the widely cited CBO report (see their table 2). For example, CBO finds that 53% of affected workers work at least 35 hours/week; Cooper finds 54%. CBO finds that 88% of affected workers are 20+, the same as the share noted above. Educational shares are also very similar.
Finally, be sure to gander upon this new table from Schmitt and Jones on the changing demographics of the low-wage workforce, underscoring many of the points I make in the Upshot piece:
Source: Schmitt and Jones