We all have our understanding of what a good New Year’s party is, but Twitter entered 2020 by sharing sad stats. However, while it’s not as exciting as lighting up some fireworks, reflecting on some important social issues really helps to put things into perspective.

Everything started when reporter Ken Klippenstein tweeted that the minimum wage in the US has remained the same for a decade – $7.25. Pretty soon, people began replying to him with other gloomy numbers. The thread has already received over 172K likes and 53K retweets, and it looks like it continues to grow. Unlike the wallets of the minimum wage workers.

More info: Twitter

Beginning of the decade

Image credits: kenklippenstein

End of the decade

Image credits: kenklippenstein

Image credits: kenklippenstein

The first country in the world to pass national minimum wage laws was New Zealand. The Kiwis did this back in 1894. It took nearly half a century for the US to do the same. President Franklin Roosevelt introduced the first federal minimum wage in 1938, setting it at 25 cents an hour, which equates to about $4.45 in today’s money.

Image credits: kenklippenstein

Throughout the years, Congress has raised the minimum wage 22 times. The current level, at $7.25 an hour, was set in 2009. However, it’s worth mentioning that cities and states have the option of setting their own minimum wages. As of January 2019, 29 states had a minimum wage higher than the federal level.

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In recent years, these numbers have caused growing protests. A movement called “Fight for $15” has been demanding an increase in the minimum wage to a living wage (the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs). According to a calculator created by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier, the living wage in the United States was $16.07 per hour in 2017, before taxes for a family of four (two working adults, two children).

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