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Democrats are still pushing to raise the minimum wage, even after a report from the Congressional Budget Office helped Republicans make the hollow argument against raising the lowest legal amount that workers can earn.

On ABC’s This Week, former George W. Bush advisor Matthew Dowd explained how wages do not reflect advances in our economy, and that if the minimum wage were adjusted for gains in productivity, it would be much higher:

Well, we’ve now gone whatever the amount of time is, 25 years, where the level of poverty in this country is at a level of which nobody is satisfied with.

And I always — when we talk about the minimum wage, one of the things that I focus on is, we’ve had a change of productivity in this country where [it] has been dramatically increased, so workers are producing more.

But they’re not getting paid more. Minimum-wage people that produce more aren’t getting paid more. So all of the benefits that have flowed from productivity have gone either to CEO pay or to Wall Street.

If you gave workers the same equivalent of productivity levels, they would make $18 an hour. That’s what the minimum wage would be. And I think in the end, we — I think that there is plenty of — if you look at the want ads, you look at the computers, look at all the things, there is plenty of ask for minimum-wage jobs, even if at $10 an hour, in the end we have to do something where people are making a living wage where they can afford daycare, afford school, afford all those things.

And we’re not at that level.

Elizabeth Warren has noted that the minimum wage would actually be even higher — $22 an hour — if it had kept up with productivity gains since 1960. And if it had kept up with escalating CEO salaries, it would be closer to $33 an hour.

So $10.10 seems pretty reasonable, doesn’t it?

Matthew Dowd This Week

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