Yesterday, July 24th 2008 was the day that about 2 million Americans got a raise. That’s because federal minimum wage went up 70 cents an hour. The raise – from $5.85 to $6.55 an hour – is the second of three annual increases required by a 2007 law. The bad news is that higher gas and food prices will likely swallow up that extra cash, as energy costs have already soared nearly 25% and the price of food is up more than 5%. Then again, there`s always next year, when another hike will bring the federal minimum to $7.25 an hour.