Back in 19 and 70….

Think Progress sure nailed Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), supposedly one of the sharper tools in the Tea Party shed. Blackburn lectured today’s workers that they needed to learn responsibility like she did when she worked retail as a teenager, before expecting any socialistic increase in the minimum wage.

Trouble is, she forgot about that old debbil inflation, and didn’t seem to realize the $2.15 an hour she was getting paid in that worker’s paradise of Mississippi would in today’s dollars be worth significantly more than the wage Obama is calling for now. Even the minimum wage of $1.60 in 1968-70 was the equivalent of $10.56 today. So Blackburn was inadvertantly making Obama’s point for him.

As it happens, I’m the same age as Blackburn, and at roughly the same time as her I started working as a part-time school janitor at the princely sum of $1.30, because there was a separate, lower minimum wage then for local government employees. Even that crappy wage is worth $8.13 now, or well above the $7.25 minimum wage.

Sometimes the “good old days” really weren’t that bad by comparison to conditions today. You’d think a “conservative” would understand that.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.