If you like these cartoons, then you’re a terrible terrible person and you should definitely consider a mountain retreat to work on your spiritual size, say five to eight years of contemplating the pine trees, going barefoot and living only on barries. And since you’ll be saving so much money on food and shoes, why not support my Patreon?
From the Center For Economic Policy Research: “If the minimum wage did rise in step with productivity growth since 1968 it would be almost $21.50 an hour.”
The CEPR article includes this graph, showing that the minimum wage’s real value has been dropping ever since the late 1960s.
Activists have largely switched to demanding a “living wage” rather than a “minimum wage” because today’s minimum wage is so inadequate. But it’s worth remembering that decades ago, the minimum wage was a living wage!
In my original script for this cartoon, the older character was angry and mean. That’s sort of the default state of any of my characters who express right-wing views, which is sort of an inevitable byproduct of the simplifying exaggeration I use in my political cartoons. And I’m okay with that.
Still, I was pleased when I realized that this strip would work just as well, and maybe better, if I had the older character be friendly at first and surprised at the end. It feels nice to break away from the default now and then!
I really like Frank Young’s colors on this strip, and especially how he colored the older character – the backlighting looks really nice. Check out how neat that character looks with my lines taken away!
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels. Each panel shows two women on a sidewalk in a residential area, talking. The younger woman has black, straight hair, and is wearing a short-sleeved blouse with puffy sleeves, black tights with some tears, and sandals. The older woman has big curly hair, and is wearing a light blue blazer over a black shirt and slacks, with black kitten heels.
The two women are talking; the younger woman has an earnest expression, while the older woman is holding out a palm in a somewhat dismissive manner and smiling.
YOUNGER: $17 per hour is a living wage. Everyone should be paid at least that.
OLDER: Your generation just has to work harder. Like mine did!
A close-up of just the older woman, She’s pointing at the younger woman, smiling and lifting an eyebrow.
OLDER: I started working in 1970. I got $2.20 an hour and felt lucky! Then I worked my way up! You should be paid what I was. You’d learn something.
A longer shot of the two of them. The younger woman has turned away and is tapping on her smartphone.
YOUNGER: Hold that thought…
The younger woman has turned back towards the older woman, and is grinning and pointing to something on her smartphone screen, which she’s holding up to display to the older woman. The older woman leans down to look at the smartphone, and she looks taken aback.
YOUNGER: $2.20 per hour in 1970 is $17 per hour in today’s money. I agree, we should be paid like that!