Skip to content Skip to footer

Minimum Wage Controversy Sparks Countrywide Analysis

If there’s one piece of data that people across the country have been talking (and arguing) about lately, it’s the minimum wage.

If there’s one thing we love, it’s visualizing data. And if there’s one piece of data that people across the country have been talking (and arguing) about lately, it’s the minimum wage .For months, President Obama has been pushing for an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, without much success. The issue, however, is picking up steam at the state, city and county level. Four states have increased their minimum wage to at least $10.10 – Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland and Vermont. This week, Seattle approved an increase in minimum wage to $15 an hour. Closer to home, a group of Chicago’s aldermen have been pushing an increase to a $15 wage. By the time these laws have come into effect, these changes will create some very real differences across the country, which we’ve illustrated with the infographic below.

Why Big Macs?

McDonald’s (headquartered a stones throw away from our Chicago office, in Oak Brook, IL), have been a major target for those protesting the current minimum wage. McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson this week suggested his company would support an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, however protesting McDonald’s workers continue to demand $15 an hour. However, there’s more to the use of Big Macs as a visual aid for understanding what’s really being debated here. Big Macs have been used as an index for purchasing power since the conception of the ‘Big Mac Index‘ in the 1980s. What’s more people are surprisingly bad at grappling with money in the abstract.

How Many Big Macs Can A Minimum Wage Employee Afford In One Hour Of Work

It takes longer to read this sentence than it does to support our work.

We don’t have much time left to raise the $15,000 needed to meet Truthout‘s basic publishing costs this month. Will you take a few seconds to donate and give us a much-needed boost?

We know you are deeply committed to the issues that matter, and you count on us to bring you trustworthy reporting and comprehensive analysis on the real issues facing our country and the world. And as a nonprofit newsroom supported by reader donations, we’re counting on you too. If you believe in the importance of an independent, free media, please make a tax-deductible donation today!