Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Opportunity' | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Opportunity'

Photo by File Photo/Jackson Free Press

"I remember my first job, when I was working in a retail store, down there, growing up in Laurel, Mississippi. I was making like $2.15 an hour. And I was taught how to responsibly handle those customer interactions. And I appreciated that opportunity."

—Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn in an MSNBC interview saying why she was against President Barack Obama's call to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour.

Why it stinks: Blackburn's $2.15 in the late 1960s or early '70s, when she probably had that retail job (she was born in 1952), is worth quite a bit more today. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator puts the $2.15 an hour Blackburn made as worth between $12.72 and $14.18 an hour in 2012 dollars.

Blackburn was also making considerably more than the minimum wage, which was $1.60 an hour until 1974, when it was raised to $2. In today's dollars, $1.60 is the equivalent of $10.56. In effect, that puts Blackburn's purchasing power at twice that of today's minimum-wage worker.

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