According to an inflation calculator, my $16 twenty years ago has the buying power of $25.70 today, a difference that my eight-year-old self would have viewed with the same reverence, and my current self would have probably turned into laundry quarters.
The editorial board of the New York Times weighed in on the fast food strikes noting that at $7.25 an hour, low paid work “is lower paid today than at any time in modern memory” because the minimum wage has failed to keep up with inflation and failure to enact right-to-organize legislation has made it difficult for low-paid workers to organize without retaliation from employers. All of this, plus the loss of so many midwage jobs during the recession, have inevitably led to the current strikes.
The Times has a story this morning about how difficult it is to continue to pay for things when wages are stagnant and inflation continues to do its thing. As you can imagine, people who are earning money, but are underemployed are finding it very difficult to make ends meet.