President Obama, fresh off a three-day weekend of golf and “climate change” scare-mongering in California, has once again turned his attention to the issue Americans care most about: Raising the minimum wage to $10.10.
Just kidding. Actually, Gallup did a poll just last week on what Americans feel is the country’s biggest problem. The Top 10 list went like this:
• Unemployment and jobs
• The economy
• Dissatisfaction with government
• High cost of health care
• Federal debt
• Illegal aliens
• Family decline
• Poor education
• Lack of money
Shockingly, raising the minimum wage for the lowest-level jobs didn’t make the Top 10. One reason, perhaps: You have to have a job before you start worrying about what you’re getting paid.
Congress created the minimum wage in 1938 during FDR’s “New Deal.” The rate started at 25 cents (that equals $4.13 in 2014 dollars). Over the last 76 years, the rate has averaged about $6.75 an hour. It hit a high of $9.37 in today’s dollars during LBJ’s “Great Society” and a low in the post-World War II boom of 1948 ($3.87 today). Then again, the unemployment rate that year was half what it is today, 3.4 percent.