Income Inequality: Was Henry Ford right with his $5 work day?

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Inequality in America

HFM&GVWith income inequality at record levels, proposals to raise the minimum wage have come to the fore once again. The federal minimum wage is now $7.25 per hour for most sectors of the economy. Some areas are considering raising the minimum wage to as much as $15 an hour.

Would you support legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour?

In 2014, 21 states and the District of Columbia will have minimum wages higher than the federal rate, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Voters in the City of Sea Tac (located between Seattle and Tacoma, Washington) just passed—by a razor-thin margin—a proposition to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for workers in and around the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Meanwhile, private employers are taking the initiative to raise the minimum wages they pay their employers. One such employer is Moo Cluck Moo in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. The fast-food restaurant raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour. A full-time worker at Moo Cluck Moo now makes about $31,000 a year—that’s more than what a new police officer in Detroit makes, according to Crain’s Detroit Business. In an industry known for high levels of turnover, the result for Moo Cluck Moo has been fiercely loyal and grateful employees with a strong work ethic.

Back in 1914, Henry Ford shocked the world by raising wages to $5 a day—and shortening the workday. He reasoned that well-paid workers would stay in their factory jobs and have the wherewithal to buy his mass-produced automobiles. His theory worked out.

Would you support a proposal to double the minimum wage?

What do you make of employers like Moo Cluck Moo?

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  1. D says

    I’d be interested to see how the area around Seattle-Tacoma will be affected in the coming future. Hopefully this trend will radiate out and really catch on.

    A lot people talk about higher minimum wages as being a band-aid for a symptom, but I’ve always been of the mind that changes of any potentially positive kind are at least worth a try.