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.