Hours per Week to Earn Living (minimum) Wage: 138
At least in my native New Jersey, though according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, “in no state can a minimum wage worker afford a two-bedroom unit at Fair Market rent, working a standard 40-hour work week.” Where does your state fall? Click for larger version:
Cut this in half for all you naysayers who don’t believe minimum wage workers should support families on a full-time income and this is still untenable in the majority of populous states.
But hey, poor people are just lazy.
On a side note, I just finished watching In Time (go Timberlake!) which, albeit not the most stunning cinematic adventure, is spot-on in its portrayal of capitalism's in-built need for stratification. Raising the minimum wage is well and good, but an incomplete solution when the capitalist aristocracy can simply outsource jobs, raise prices, lobby for looser OSHA regulations, etc.
Instead of raising bottom-end wages, we might explore doing away with them entirely in favor of maximum-ratio enforcement. Pay employees whatever you want, so long as they earn no less than, say 25 times what the highest-paid employee earns (indexed to corporate tax rates). Want to pay a $7 hourly ($14,000 annual) minumum? Fine, so long as you cap your own salary at $350,000. Not bad, eh? Need a boost for that second yacht? No worries ... pay your line workers $10/hour and you're good to go.
Indexing wages to prosperity maintains a system of reward vs. risk while playing fair with the production class. And hey, it comes with the added bonus of delaying class consciousness for another few decades. That's right -- Maximum Ratio: Keeping you safe from worker revolts since 2012!