Professor Donald J. Boudreaux raises some interesting numbers about the minimum wage in his column “Minimum questions about minimum wage” (Feb. 28 and TribLIVE.com). I have no doubt his numbers are correct; however, I have a personal take on this, as I started working for the minimum wage in 1963, cleaning offices.
After holding a number of jobs and finishing trade school in 1969, I began work as an entry-level electronics tech, a skill position. The master repairman at that time made $3.08 an hour, plus benefits. The minimum wage was $1.30 an hour. Run the numbers. Minimum age was 42 percent of a “living/skill” wage.
I retired as a carpenter (union member) and my wage at that time was approximately $24 an hour. At the same 42-percent proportion as in 1969, this works out to $10.08 for minimum wage. Draw your own conclusions. In 1969, we were a world leader and were not competing in a global market.
Kenneth J. Murdy
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