Next month, the minimum wage in America is going to raise from $6.55 an hour to $7.25 an hour. The $6.55 to $7.25 jump is the last of the increases to the minimum wage under the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. The minimum wage is a sexy law; politicians can stand hand in hand with the lowest income workers and say, “I’m fighting for you!”. Unfortunately, the low income workers are holding the hands that hold them down.
“A penny saved, is a penny earned,” wrote Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanack. The quote is repeated as fact by many people, often while picking pennies off the ground. Our friend Ben lived in a simpler time, and it’s time to revisit this famous quote with a little (disgusting? intriguing?) math to see if it holds up to closer scrutiny.