I’ve said it elsewhere and I’ll say it again:
No longer is living on the minimum wage a viable option. According to government figures, the annual cost of food, shelter, clothing, and utilities for a family of four is $23,050. You would have to make at least $11.50/hr. (http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/12computations.shtml)
Raising minimum wage is not a band-aid. It’s an economic necessity. If we want to lessen income disparity, the solution is easy: restore the minimum wage to levels considered reasonable in 1969.
If you go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator and plug in $1.60 (the minimum wage in 1969) and select the year 1969, you find that in 2012 dollars the minimum wage should be $10 per hour if it were to match the rate considered “reasonable” in 1969, when the nation was significantly less wealthy and much less productive (http://www.oftwominds.com/blogmay12/restore-min-wage5-12.html)