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Wharton – The Complex Economics of America’s Minimum Wage

Wharton Public Policy commentary – “One of the most powerful arguments for raising the minimum wage is the notion of creating a “livable wage” that enables people to have the dignity of working a job that pays enough to live on and support their family. Today a person working full-time for the entire year on minimum wage earns roughly $15,000, which puts them below the poverty line for a two-person household. Raising the minimum wage purely as a poverty reduction strategy is not as straightforward as it seems, however, observers note. For one, most working-age people who live in poverty don’t have a job, and so consequently they would not benefit from such an increase. Second, many people who earn the minimum wage live in households above the poverty threshold, including high school students earning extra pocket money, retirees supplementing their Social Security and others working part-time to add to their family’s income.”

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