When I last worked for minimum wage, I received the princely sum of $1.25 an hour. The current minimum is $7.25 or 5.8 times what I was paid. Based upon my own totally unscientific analysis, I have to conclude that I was much better off in 1971 than I would be now.
My personal livability scale is based on two simple measurements: beer and gasoline. In 1970 I could purchase five draft beers at almost any bar in town, or could purchase five gallons of gasoline at the “cheap” station. In order to live in the same grand style I did then, my minimum wage would need to be about $15 an hour.
I now own a small business that has created six full-time jobs, with plans to hire at least two more this year. We pay a minimum of $10/hour for temporary day labor and $12/hour or better to our full-time people. Even with this terrible burden, my wife and I are in the top 2 percent of taxpayers.
If you cannot afford to pay more than $7.25/hour, you need new management, not cheaper labor.