On July 24, 2009, the national minimum wage was $7.25/hour.
A year has a capacity for 2,080 hours (40 hours x 52 weeks). 2,080 hours provides an annual gross income of $15,080 (if the employer pays for holidays, sick days, insurance, parking, etc.). Income tax lowers the figure down to $12,516.
The 2009 official poverty line for the US (family of four) was $22,050.
4½ years later, minimum wage is still $12,516/year.
If the minimum wage were doubled for businesses with 50+ employees, the gross annual minimum wage would be $30,160. After federal tax, those employees would take home $25,033. 2013’s official four-person-family poverty line is estimated to be $25,000.
Sounds about right. Unless the economy is built on maintaining a working poor. If that’s the case, we should reduce the minimum wage and build workhouses.