More than five years ago, the price of a gallon of gasoline hit $3.50. Some complained, but one letter to the editor’s author noted that 40 years earlier he spent $3,000 for a new car. Today, it’s $30,000. Gasoline cost 35 cents a gallon then; now it’s $3.50. The writer asked what the fuss was about.
The minimum wage in 1968 was $1.50 an hour; it is not $15 today. The standard federal income tax deduction then was $3,000; it is not $30,000 today. The federal exemption then was $600; it is not $6,000 today. Then, Garden State Parkway tolls were 25 cents. Paperback murder mysteries cost about 50 cents then; what are they today? Should the minimum wage be increased? Of course.
California passed a $10 minimum wage this year. If New Jersey had a more democratic state constitution, the citizens could use initiative and referendum to bypass a dictatorial governor or an unrepresentative Legislature.