Why even Donald Trump wants to raise the federal minimum wage

The Republican presidential nominee is open to raising the wage to $10 – his possible attempt to gain support from the many Americans on strict budgets

Seven years ago this week, millions of Americans got a raise. On 24 July 2009, the most recent federal minimum wage increase went into effect raising the hourly pay of many low-wage workers to $7.25. It has been stuck there ever since, despite continuous efforts by Democrats to raise it to first to $10.10 and then to $12. This year, the Democrats have agreed to a party platform calling for $15 federal minimum wage.

Even as minimum wage has remained stuck, prices of our everyday needs have not. The increasing price of bread, milk, rent, etc are all reasons why regular Americans believe that now – seven years later – another wage hike is long overdue.

As of Wednesday, even the Republican party might be inclined to consider giving American workers another raise. The reason? The Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is open to raising the federal minimum wage to $10.

“I would like to raise it to at least $10,” he said during a press conference on Wednesday. He also went on to say that “states should really call the shots” and that if he is elected in November, $10 will be “peanuts” compared to what people will be able to earn at the jobs created during his presidency.

Trump’s reversal on the issue – in November, he said wages were “too high” – should not come as a surprise. Especially when one considers that the New York businessman is attempting to gain support of unhappy Bernie Sanders supporters now that former secretary of state Hilary Clinton has become the Democratic nominee.

Yet there are other reasons why increasing the federal minimum wage makes sense. For the most part, it comes down to math – ask the many low-income Americans who have to figure out what they can and cannot afford at the end of every month.

Just consider the following shopping list and the prices in 2009 and 2016, based on prices at Walmarts in Wisconsin and Indiana:

A loaf of bread

  • 2009: $1.77
  • 2016: $1.98

A gallon of milk

  • 2009: $2.69
  • 2016: $3.98

Pound of bacon

  • 2009: $3.19
  • 2016: $4.48

Dozen eggs

  • 2009: $1.34
  • 2016: $1.33

12-pack of water

  • 2009: $1.94
  • 2016: $2.63

Pound of tomatoes

  • 2009: $0.75
  • 2016: $0.98

Pound of ground beef

  • 2009: $3.99
  • 2016: $4.97

A movie ticket

  • 2009 $7.50
  • 2016 $8.66

A new house


Jana Kasperkevic in New York

The GuardianTramp

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