Here is a fantastic point made by NewMexiKen: Federal minimum wage: $5.15. It’s been $5.15 since 1997. Loss of purchasing power: About 19.4%. In 1997, Congressional salaries were $133,600. If the minimum wage was raised only as much as Congressional salaries have been raised — by the Congressmen themselves; I mean there hasn’t been a big groundswell that I’ve heard to increase Congressional salaries — then the minimum wage would become $6.37 in January. And even the $5.15 minimum wage is something that had to be dragged out of the Republican Congress kicking and screaming by Clinton -- the relative loss of purchasing power began before that. But anyway. Why doesn't someone propose that every time Congress gets a "cost of living" pay increase, the minimum wage has to go up by a corresponding percentage? I suppose the perverse consequence would be that the Republicans would suddenly become believers in holding the line on Congressional pay, which in turn would make serving in Congress even more for the wealthy who don't need the salary than it is today. Still, this is something worth thinking about.