Poll: Most Americans want a $9 minimum wage

A new Gallup survey shows widespread support -- even among Republicans -- for raising the baseline payout.

By The Week Nov 13, 2013 12:53PM

Marino Ahuatl works the drive through station at a McDonalds in Wheaton, Ill. (© Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)Raising the minimum wage is almost always popular with the general public. Back in March, after President Barack Obama originally pushed the idea of raising the federal minimum wage to $9, 71 percent of Americans supported him.


That number has grown. This week, Gallup released a new poll showing that 76 percent of Americans would welcome a $9 minimum wage. That support crosses party lines:

Yes, Republican voters are the most resistant to the idea, but a clear majority -- 58 percent -- are on board.


At 76 percent, a minimum wage hike is more popular than: Apple (AAPL) (72 percent), Mexican food (69 percent), and romantic comedies (67 percent). For anyone who has watched "Love Actually" on an iPad while eating a burrito, this, truly, is an impressive statistic.


Considering the inverse relationship between support for a $9 minimum wage and the number of Americans who have an unfavorable view of Congress (85 percent), it seems like it would be an easy sell in Washington. But the minimum wage hasn't been raised since former President George W. Bush was in office. That was in 2007, when Congress approved a raise from $5.15 to $7.25.


Who, exactly, is holding it back? Republicans in Congress, especially House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.


"When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it," said Boehner back when Obama mentioned a minimum wage hike during his State of the Union address in February. "At a time when the American people are still asking the question, 'Where are the jobs?' why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?"


It's doubtful his opinion has changed since then, meaning he would probably ignore a bill currently being drawn up in the Senate to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, with automatic increases tied to inflation.


Not that it would necessarily get through the Democratic-controlled Senate, either; it would still need to pass the 60-vote threshold to avoid a filibuster, and many Republican senators, like Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., -- who wants to eliminate it all together -- have said that they are firmly opposed to the idea.


A similar bill has been drawn up in the House, but considering the fact that a proposal earlier this year by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 garnered support from exactly zero House Republicans, that is pretty much a dead end.


One possible factor: Businesses that depend on low-wage workers, like Burger King (BKW), McDonald's (MCD), and Taco Bell (YUM), have firmly opposed raising the minimum wage, even as they endured worker strikes all summer.


With libertarian-leaning Republicans like Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan ("I have never been a fan of that idea") and establishment, pro-business Republicans like Boehner against it, there is little chance of bipartisan support for a minimum wage bill. Democrats, with their eyes on the positive poll numbers, undoubtedly see this as an opportunity to score some political points before the next election.


"Yes we are," Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va., said when asked by Politico if Democrats were serious about passing a minimum wage increase. "But we have to recognize that the other party is not serious."


More from TheWeek.com

658Comments
Nov 13, 2013 1:54PM
avatar
Most Americans would like a competent  Government
Nov 13, 2013 1:48PM
avatar
Did anyone in this country take economics 101?  Seriously?  Raising the minimum wage does absolutely nothing but inflate the price on everything.  
Nov 13, 2013 1:41PM
Nov 13, 2013 1:53PM
avatar
Who are the polling?  Only the people who make minimum wage???
Nov 13, 2013 1:05PM
avatar
you can raise the wage but you cannot raise the employment level. all this higher mininimum wage would do is price people out of the market who are aiming to get their first job. if Barry had a brain he would implement policies that are pro-growth and pro-business, that would help folks get hired but i guess that is asking too much of a socialist. 
Nov 13, 2013 1:53PM
avatar
Not only would this turn employment into a stalemate, it would further increase inflation, which is already set to go through the roof. If you don't want to work for minimum wage, obtain an education or a skill.


Nov 13, 2013 1:56PM
avatar
"Poll: Most Americans want a $9 minimum wage" .... and that is because most Americans are economic morons.
Nov 13, 2013 1:52PM
avatar
So you raise the minimum wage and the cost of everything else goes up.  Pay someone more to perform a service and viola that service becomes more expensive.  So much for the dollar menus.  It'll be a bargain at $3 menu from now on.
Nov 13, 2013 2:05PM
avatar
This is part of the Obama administrations communist agenda, there plan to "Redistribute the wealth" is just that, Communism. For all you Liberals out there, Hear me out, If you disagree then you are truly communist at heart. The reason this is bad for America is that as you raise the minimum wage to $10.10 with a guarantee increase every year, it wont be 10 years till that wage tops $20/hr. The people who are making a middle class wage at 20 to 25 dollars an hour will tell you they are NOT receiving raises or Increases on a regular yearly increase, So what we would eventually have is NO middle class, Just communism where every one makes the same amount regardless of skill level. We will be left with a "Working class" and the Rich, Nothing in between.   Nobody has ever taught a young child that you can make a living working at McDonalds, These jobs are supposed to be stepping stones or part time jobs for those is school, or who wish to work part time to make a little extra, I was always taught that if you want to BE SOMETHING you must continue schooling or get into a trade apprenticeship. Am I wrong? 
Nov 13, 2013 1:51PM
avatar
I don't favor a $9.00+ minimum wage.  I have not got a wage increase in years and I'm not getting compensated for the higher cost I'm paying for items becasue of the minimum wage increases.  
Nov 13, 2013 1:57PM
avatar
Raising the minimum wage does NOT help the unemployed, it just makes it more difficult to get a job.
Nov 13, 2013 2:08PM
avatar
I think it's clear now that Pres. Obama doesn't know what he's doing!
Nov 13, 2013 2:01PM
avatar
It just goes to show just how stupid so many Americans really are.  What is it about the word "minimum" that they don't seem to understand?  Minimum means "least".   All other wages are greater.  Raising minimum wage does not make it a livable wage.  It just moves everything else up and creates inflation.  You can raise the minimum wage to $100/hour and it will not change the plight of those workers at the bottom of the scale.   Having a law mandating the pay will not give people more purchasing power.  If they want more money they need to improve themselves via education or training to achieve skills that are more marketable and in demand. 
Nov 13, 2013 1:42PM
avatar
Dummyrats, with their eyes on the positive poll numbers, undoubtedly see this as an opportunity to score some political points before the next election.  Really?  Dahhh
Nov 13, 2013 1:57PM
avatar
If they raise the Minimum wage by a dollar does that mean my pay that is currently over minimum wage will go up to so I can finally get a raise.
Nov 13, 2013 2:05PM
avatar
Just one question, if min. wages go up to $9 dollars what do you think will happen to all goods and services, don't you think you will be paying more and also don't forget the tax man will be wanting more from your paycheck.
Nov 13, 2013 1:58PM
avatar

Most who make minimum wage poll. They would rather whine about how little they make than out and improve themselves to get a better and higher paying job.


You can be replaced by anyone at anytime so you are no value to any business. Just as you would pay $9 for a movie ticket if you could get it for $7.


Minimum wage jobs are for high school kids and teens. Any adult working minimum wage has thrown their life away.  

Nov 13, 2013 1:40PM
avatar
I agree with Boehner...it'll stunt growth of employment. According to my calculations, minimum wage should be around $6.70 to $7.70, no more, no less.
Nov 13, 2013 2:08PM
avatar
Raising the minimum wage causes all wages to be increased proportionately.  As a result, we are right back where we started.  It would also raise the cost of our exports and make it harder to compete on the world market.
Nov 13, 2013 1:55PM
avatar

Do most Americans also favor high unemployment?

 

If DNC News were to ask me if I like cheese cake, I'd say yes.  If they said that it would give me a heart attack if I kept eating it, I'd say no.

 

Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

RECENT QUOTES

WATCHLIST

Symbol
Last
Change
Shares
Quotes delayed at least 15 min
Sponsored by:

MARKET UPDATE

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
Market index data delayed by 15 minutes

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages finished the session on a modestly higher note, but not before heavy selling pressure sent the Nasdaq Composite (+0.3%) for a test of its 200-day moving average. The S&P 500, meanwhile, added 0.7% with all ten sectors posting gains.

Equities climbed at the open with the advance built on the relative strength of biotechnology and other momentum names. Despite the solid early gains in those areas, the market began fading from its high as multiple ... More


Currencies

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.