Someone working full-time at minimum wage earns $290 a week, or just $15,080 yearly without any time off. It's impossible to pay for rent, food, transportation, health care and everything else on such a meager salary. It's indefensible that someone who works 40 hours a week would be unable to feed her family.
Increasing the minimum wage will put more money into the pockets of workers who need to spend every cent of their paycheck just to afford the basics -- the people who need it most. While millionaires and billionaires are able to save extra income, low wage workers don't have that option, so the extra money will be spent quickly, giving the economy a boost. The increased demand will create jobs and drive up wages for everyone else. Think of it as “trickle-up” economics.
Raising the minimum wage to $8.50 and indexing it to inflation -- so low-wage workers don't continue to get left behind -- is the least we can do. Anything less is simply not adequate.