When I bought my first car, with money earned from my first “real” job, I could purchase more than five gallons of gasoline with the proceeds of one hour’s minimum wage (not counting, of course the loss to taxes).
In January of 2009, one hour of minimum wage could purchase a little over four gallons-a reduction in purchasing power of about 20%.
Now, one hour of minimum wage earnings can purchase-if one is fortunate to be in an “average gasoline cost” area-a little less than 2 gallons, or more than a 50% loss in the minimum wage earner’s dollar value, more than doubling the cost for many low-income workers to simply get to and from their work, such as it is. If they can find a job.
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