Broward County Commissioners to Live on Minimum Wage for a Week
State Senator Dwight Bullard and Broward County Commissioner Martin David Klar have promised to accept the minimum wage -- $7.79 in the state of Florida -- as their salaries for this entire week.
"This week, I have committed to gaining more perspective on the day-to-day struggles of low-wage workers in my district by living on minimum wage," said Bullard. "My activities are an attempt to better connect with my constituents and to advocate for an increase in the minimum wage."
With the federal minimum wage set at $7.25 an hour, a 40-hour-per-week minimum wage worker fails to afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country.
"Increasing the minimum wage will not only help struggling families make ends meet, it will also spur economic growth. Low- to middle-income individuals are more likely to immediately spend any additional pay than other income groups. At the end of the day, raising the minimum wage is a win-win situation," said Klar.
With what little minimum wage actually supplies, it may be hard to believe that its value has actually declined as it has risen. Congress has failed to keep the wage in line with inflation, which has weakened its spending power. Minimum wage, at its height in 1968, was the equivalent of almost $10.50 per hour in today's economy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.3 percent of Florida workers earned the minimum wage or less in 2011.
Klar and Bullard will be documenting their experiences throughout the week, which will include budgeting for grocery and transportation costs. The officials will also meet with their constituents and update their trials and tribulations throughout the week via social media outlets. So far, we haven't seen updates on either of their Facebook pages.
Follow Dennis Bovell on Twitter @dbovell.