$22 minimum wage proposed by Senator, but NYers would see $9 from Albany deal

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(NEW YORK CITY) – Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is making a push for the minimum wage to be changed to $22 an hour.  Meanwhile, Albany is busy hammering out a 24% pay increase  — raising the New York minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 over three years — a far cry from the proposal that Warren backed in a recent interview.

“If we started in 1960, and we said [that] as productivity goes up, that is as workers are producing more — then the minimum wage was going to go up the same. And if that were the case, then the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour,” said Warren, speaking to a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor, Dr. Arindrajit Dube.  “So my question is Mr. Dube, with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, what happened to the other $14.75? It sure didn’t go to the worker.”

So the question remains for the 1.5 million New Yorkers who are on the brink of getting a pay hike next January — $1.75 rise in minimum wage, capped at $9 by 2016 — do they consider that a lifestyle improvement?


“If it does go up, it should go up to $10, $12 dollars, because today it’s not working the right way,” said one resident of East Harlem who did not want to provide his name but says that he works as a DJ.

After a hard fight, lawmakers in Albany came to a tentative agreement on the new legislation that will take the Empire State from 20th in the nation, to 3rd for its minimum-wage rate. “The job of government is to provide whatever help we can.  This is a balance point.  I think that amount of increase will make a difference in people’s lives,” said New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

Nearly 400 small business have signed on in support according to Michael Kink, the Executive Director of the Strong Economy for All Coalition.  Marcus Lopez a small business owner in East Harlem said, “Beautiful, Beautiful,” moments after a PIX 11 News camera entered his Raices Dominicana Cigar Shop in East Harlem inquiring for his reaction.

Stephen Sunderland, Managing Director of Optimal Spaces, one of the city’s top commercial real estate firms, says the raise will only force businesses to pass the cost onto consumers, “Businesses have to operate in a profit margin, so when the cost of labor goes up they’ll either have to increase their prices or close.”

Minimum Wage Graph

What you would make in a year if the minimum wage was raised to $9 an hour.

All this as the city is already mired in a poverty rate that is approximately 20% according to de Blasio.  The question that many are asking, what does $9 an hour get you?  When the calculations are done roughly $17,280 before taxes.

For workers trying to get by check to check like Olga in East Harlem, it is simply not enough, “I think it’s a crack of bull.  Why does it have to be $9 minimum wage?”

Cesar Torres who was a few feet away added, “It’s not a help but a beginning of something, you know what I’m saying? I believe minimum wage should be $12 dollars, $15 an hour.”


  • Valerio Fletcher

    You people do not realize that the so called minimum wage was not raised or increased for about seven years until Bill Clinton raised the Federal wage to $5.25. Everything went up in cost. But. Not the pay for minimum wage workers. For those making a lot of Money it doesn’t matter to them but for the working poor it does. What it really messed up they want to spread out over Three years. It is a joke in three years it should be $12.00 per hour . Our only hope is that the Federal Government set it at $11.00 per hour , right away. Try living off less than 300.00 per week in NY. Wake up…..

  • kcc

    people are naturally self centered… how about raising it to $15, or even 20?
    while rising the minimum wage sounds good, you got to think about it from the boss/business' side: is your work worth x dollars an hour? for $9 an hour, 8 hours a day, that is $72 a day. can your works return at least $72 a day just to cover your wage?
    there is (unintended) consequence of raising the minimum wage, the bosses will just cutting hours and/or workers if they think it is not worth it, or the business simply cannot afford it. there is no free lunch.

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  • morbius4510

    The problem is that these government officials keep giving themselves raises but what about us poor people out there and I am tired of the rich saying that poor people are lazy. In reality most poor people work harder than the rich because we have to earn our paychecks, now I know that all rich people are not bad and I don't claim that they are but when they knock a person for working full time at a fast food place or a retail store and say it is our fault for not getting a education, well if there were no working class people such as us, the rich would not be getting their things now would they. I am just saying that there needs to be either a increase in pay without the cost of living going up along with that pay or there needs to be a decrease in the cost of living so that it equals out as things are right now. It is sad that the price of gas is just as close to minimum wage as it is right now and for what reason, so that these fat cats at the petroleum plants can make record profits and rape the nation and what is the governments response to this, make people buy new economical vehicles when we already can not afford what we have. It makes me mad that they complain that poor people should not have flat screens or anything else that is a luxury if we truly are poor, well why can we not have that if we work hard. The poor just keep getting poorer and honestly it looks bleak for the lower class when you look at things. I do not mean to sound depressing but the working class people in this country truly need change, I no longer work due to a multi organ transplant back in 2008 and get disability and here they are trying to cut that. I get 924 a month and my wife is busting her butt making a little over 9 dollars a hour and even though we do not live in the city of New York but the state things are still unreachable for us. The President promised change, yet he has not delivered anything if you ask me but since they get full retirement benefits it does not matter to them about social security or the amount of money the lower class receive.

  • Diane Gerber

    It's important to remember that the workers who are paid minimum wage are rarely offered any guarantees regarding how many hours they will be scheduled from one week to another. This insult to injury approach makes it impossible to even create a sensible budget with their lousy pay. They are rarely full time workers, so they have no benefits. The only way to bring prosperity back to this country is to bring industry back to this country. It is vital to be sure that we choose the "Made in the USA" label! I am starting a directory for USA made products and services, and I am in the process of gathering listings. Meanwhile-check out my blog through the "connect" tab at http://www.consumeractivistnetwork.com/ or use the "contact us" button to list your USA business.

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