General Question

Steve_A's avatar

How is minimum wage determined?

Asked by Steve_A (5120points) August 22nd, 2010

Every state has a different minimum wage or least it goes by the state I believe.

But how is it actually determined?

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7 Answers

Austinlad's avatar

Here’s some info on minimum wage. Hope this helps.

Make Google your friend. ;-)

Steve_A's avatar

“No fixed calculation determines the minimum wage in the United States”

@Austinlad That is it federal or state level decides off whatever they think works?

No real way numbers or stats that they decide upon it?

Lightlyseared's avatar

By who ever is elected. So… vote carefully.

poisonedantidote's avatar

you take the absolute minimum a person needs to survive and then half it.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@poisonedantidote and then knock another 10% off if you’re doing well in the polls that year.

jerv's avatar

@poisonedantidote Don’t forget to use data on living expenses from back when gas was under $2/gallon either.

Seriously though, different places use different methods, and the numbers that the Federal government uses work well for places like the South where life is cheap but fall far short in at least half of the country.

I have lived most of my life in New England, and 40 hours a week of minimum wage isn’t even enough to pay rent unless you are tax-exempt; forget about utilities, food, or transportation. Seattle and San Diego are comparably priced; expect to have at least two minimum wage jobs if you want to live indoors and eat regularly, and even that might require food stamps. My wife and I have always earned a bit more than minimum wage and live modestly (old beater cars, beans and rice…) and even we have a tough time of things.

Of course, WA state acknowledges this and has a minimum wage that is notably higher than the Federal one; NH is not so enlightened since most of the people who live there are high-income anyways (7th highest median income in the US) so they see no reason to change.

teenarobert's avatar

How can you determine the minimum wage. There is no any particular calculation. First you have to calculate per capita income then you can calculate it.

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