December 4, 2013

5 facts about the minimum wage

A one-day strike by fast-food workers in 100 cities set for Thursday, along with protests planned in 100 more, is refocusing attention on efforts to raise wages for the lowest-paid U.S. workers.

Congressional Democrats are pushing a bill that would gradually raise the federal minimum to $10.10/hour from $7.25 and index it to the Consumer Price Index. But the measure faces little chance of passing the Republican-led House, where many members argue that a higher minimum wage would lead businesses to cut jobs.

Meanwhile, states and cities are taking up the issue. On Tuesday, the Washington, D.C. City Council voted to raise the capital city’s minimum wage to $11.50/hour from $8.25 by 2016. Last month, New Jerseyans voted to raise their state’s minimum wage to $8.25/hour and index future increases to inflation. Massachusetts’ state Senate voted last month to raise its hourly minimum wage to $11.00 from $8.00.

Though raising the minimum wage is broadly popular, there are clear partisan differences. Back in February, a Pew Research Center survey found that 71% of people favored an increase in the federal minimum to $9.00/hour from $7.25. But while large majorities of Democrats (87%) and independents (68%) said they favored such an increase, Republicans were split.

Here are five more facts about the minimum wage and the people who earn it:

1 Adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage peaked in 1968 at $8.56 (in 2012 dollars). Since it was last raised in 2009, to the current $7.25/hour, the federal minimum has lost about 5.8% of its purchasing power to inflation. 

2 Just over half (50.6%) of the 3.55 million U.S. workers who were at or below the federal minimum last year are ages 16 to 24; an additional 20.3% are ages 25 to 34 (both shares have stayed more or less constant over the past decade). That 3.55 million represents about 2.8% of all wage and salary workers. (We wrote more about the demographics of minimum-wage workers back in July.)
NewMinimumWageDistribution
3 Nineteen states (plus D.C.) have set their own, higher minimums, ranging from $7.35 in Missouri to $9.19 in Washington State. (Some cities and counties have gone even higher — San Francisco’s minimum wage, for example, is set to rise 19 cents to $10.74 next month.) Those states collectively include 45% of the nation’s working-age (16 and over), meaning the federal demographic data don’t capture a significant share of the nation’s lowest-paid workers. Fortunately, there are other approaches.

MinimumWage_States

4 Nearly 21.3 million U.S. workers (or 16.4% of the workforce) would be directly affected by raising the minimum wage to $10.10 by July 2015, as the Senate bill referred to above seeks to do, according to analysis of microdata from the Current Population Survey by the Economic Policy Institute (a labor-backed research group that supports raising the minimum wage). 85.5% of those workers, according to EPI’s analysis, are 20 or older; 57.3% are female; and 39.4% are black or Hispanic (versus 26.8% of the workforce as a whole).

5 While not strictly minimum-wage workers, almost 23.2 million Americans (17.8% of all wage and salary workers) worked in the nation’s lowest-paid occupations as of last year, according to Pew Research Center analysis of occupational employment and wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those occupations, defined as paying $10.15/hour ($21,112/year) or less, were largely in a few categories: retail salespeople (4.3 million), cashiers (3.3 million), food preparers/servers, including fast-food workers (2.9 million) and waitstaff (2.3 million).

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances

  1. Photo of Drew DeSilver

    is a Senior Writer at the Pew Research Center.

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146 Comments

  1. jack jones1 week ago

    you cannot work about whether a 15 dollar minimum wagecwill cause inflation or 7 dollar hamburgers. you have to say what is the dignity of work. most minorities are wageslaves at menial jobs. many have opted out for welfare , foood stamps, medicaid. i would rather seee those programs abrogated no mediciad no welfare no food stamps unless you are really disabled and a national $15 an hour wage so everyone feeels working is valuable. to treat people like garbage when athletes get 20 million a year is anti christian. it shows how whacked out americans has become . we are a dysfuctional country promoting mental illness. if dave ramsay wants me to debate him on national radio or hannioty 775-348-7990- we neeed every working in america who is in a peon job to calll for a national strike the dasy before juluy 4th and shut down the country. we have to many bureaucrats making 50,000 grad a year involved in programs where they do very little we can close most welfare offices , end food stamps except for the disabled and end medicaid for the those unless disabled. amweica would be firing on alll cylinders. the question is who willl be the coalition to organize this-the workers hopefullly- not labor unions. if republicans understand the tradeout 15 an hou and the end of welfare except for the disabled and the end of medicaid except for the disabled even rand paul and ted cruz willl be marching. we have alll been suckered by this masssive bs bureacracy that is totally dysfunctional. america’s lowest paid workers can shut down this country in a weeek of not working-a day may not be enough but it willl have to be a tradeout you cannnot have a 15 an hour wage and continue to pay billions to these crazy programs except to the diabled-

    Reply
  2. Joseph Warren Holt1 month ago

    The word WEALTH came from the word HEALTH.
    About 500 B.C., the first coins were produced in LYDIA, asia minor, by Croesus.
    The coins were produced with Gold ( and silver; or ELECTRUM) in the alluvial river that ran down from the mountain streams.
    Indeed, (we and) the Lydians traded their coin for anything and everything, as neighbors traded HEALTH for WEALTH. Everyone had to have this new invention. And how are we different when we are constantly demanded to trade our WEALTH for our HEALTH care.

    When the wise man Solon visits, Croesus asks Solon if he had ever seen greater opulence than his own. Solon replies that birds like peacocks are incomparable in their beauty. Croesus disagrees, and he tries to impress Solon with a list of vanquished foes and claimed territories. Solon still disagrees, telling Croesus that the happiest man he had ever met was a peasant in Athens. He explains that the peasant worked hard, raised a family, and was content with what he had.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croesus_an…

    Ben Franklin once said “those who would give up their freedom for security deserve neither. Franklin attended Boston’s Latin school, like most of Boston’s Patriots. He was well aware that SECURITY comes from SEIZURE (Latin), meaning to take or steal!

    In Detroit, when I was a child, we used to rake and pile the autumn leaves, and then BURN them. This is now against the LAW. Now we bag the leaves (and buy the bags). Then a garbage truck takes the leaves to the incinerator and BURNS the leaves. It is illegal for us to do what the LAW does habitually. Go ahead, MAKE/Print your own money,
    which the LAW does habitually, yet prevents those who grant the LAW it’s existance, from doing the same.

    In the 1980’s THE JOA began printing the Detroit FREEP and NEWS together under an illegal Monopoly. What did our Lawmaker’s do to these violations? They changed the LAW.

    And it will certainly shock most of you that LAW is not good, nor true.
    The opposite of LAW is TRUTH. LAW is introduced in 1066 to the english language, when the Normans (Norseman) conquer. Soon the new King creates the Domesday (modern: DOOM) Book. ( Old English Dom meaning STATUTE or JUDGEMENT). ( LAW from Old Norse and Anglo Saxon LAGU, meaning “to LIE”).

    We do not have a fair wage or a maximum wage. We have a MINIMUM wage. Take this as a caveat. The LAW will always give you the LEAST. The LAW will give you the minimum education, food, and housing that will enable it to enslave. And if you refuse, it is likely the LAW will put you in a cell/jail or even kill you. it will further embarass you in the media with statements designed to turn friend and family away, and there will be no response given from the ALLEGEDLY ACCUSED.

    Jesus: “judge not lest ye be judged…..

    Consider that Serf, Servant, Slave, Minister, and Employee all originally mean SLAVE.
    Consider that in all Truth that a DOLLAR is a piece of cloth and/or paper. It isn’t precious nor metal. It is a stumbling block.
    That everyone is trying to take advantage of each other by paying out less DOLLARs and taking more. and this is OK under the LAW; It is THE LAW! The Law is thievery!
    Consider that if I COP your wallet, I have stolen. And that every cop, Judge, and politician is stealing from and lying to US, and laying heavy charges upon US, that they will not pick up. Who will pick it up? US not them.
    That anyone who reads the word “charge” in a dictionary realize there is no good charge, laying of a charge, chargers are dangerous, to lay charges destroys, and does no good, and the bill for these Charges belong to US, and almost never to a JUDGE, COP, or Lawyer.
    “For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. Matthew 23:4
    If the truth will set you free (why rely on LAWS?), A COP, JUDGE, and a LAWYER will imprison, and even kill, and it will be JUSTIFIED under the LAW.

    Consider how fair(er) it might be if none could earn more than twice the lowest paid. Or that every US taxpayer be given a minimum and equal Tax credit. (Let’s say equal to the poverty level?). Or that every American should be paid an EQUAL wage. After all it is just paper/cloth.
    If leaders were good people, they would not have to parade in front of you convincing US it is so, every year, every election. In fact they are preparing for the next election, because our leaders have already failed us, NOW. And when they redouble their efforts to attack Crime, or health care, or any issue, they fail, and then redouble their efforts, again, each time sending the maximum bill to US, who cannot expect more from the Law than MINIMUM.

    I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could
    be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” … Galatians 2:21

    And if you comprehended most of this, study ETYMOLOGY and Truth as the philosophers did, Not LAWs. If the road to hell is paved with good intent, then those under the Law are on a highway.

    Reply
  3. Peter macardle2 months ago

    How come I am entitled to food stamps but on top of that I have to pay for mandatory healthcare which I cannot afford make any sense. I cannot afford to feed myself but yet I have to pay medical an extra gazillion dollars a month (it may as well be). I do not qualify f
    or Medicaid, I am single I live alone why am I being singled out so.
    Please help I have been with the navigators and what ever and all say that nothing can be done. My health continues downhill since I got laid off from a real job back in 2008. Is there any reality out there. Does anybody know what it costs to keep roof over your head these days?……………………help?

    Reply
  4. Rudy2 months ago

    …..The republicans will back to a certain degree amnesty,…other such things that aren’t conservative…..but won’t promote fair social security increases for retirees only. But of greater importance…..they won’t admit or address the fact that american wages aren’t keeping up with costs,prices. Like the democrats,they can’t see they are not representing us that pay taxes. Thugs,foreign countries, Hollywood is of more importance to them. Sad.

    Reply
    1. angiep1 month ago

      Did you mean “we that pay taxes?” There in lies the problem.

      Reply
  5. Arlett Gonzalez3 months ago

    i agree

    Reply
  6. Diann Jackson3 months ago

    I do not believe that everyone is trying to take advantage of hand outs. I think many love what they do and we just want to be able to make a better life for ourselves and family. Unfortunately we where not all giving the opportunity to go to the best schools and make the best grades and have a great career. We are doing the best we can and that best deserves more than $7.25/cents,$8.00,or even $9.00s and any amount of cents will not do it. So I am praying that the increase of our wages will pass to all that have the ability to make this change may the love of God touch your hearts.No matter how it goes I will continue to pray with the love of God in my heart.

    Reply
    1. Arlett Gonzalez3 months ago

      your right (:

      Reply
  7. Gabe Berg4 months ago

    You guys Always forget the caregivers working in home health and convalescent homes as minimum wage workers. You assume that everyone who makes minimum wage works in fast food.

    Reply
  8. Michelle5 months ago

    I work for a company in SF & I am paid the SF min. Wage
    When I work for the same company doing the same thing in a different city can they drop my pay rate to the min. Wage in that city ? Is that legal ? Also it’s inconsistent . What should I do ?
    PLEASE ADVISE

    Reply
  9. Michelle5 months ago

    If you work for a company say in SF. And you do some work for them in Say redwood city can they reduce your pay to the min. Wage on those days ????

    Reply
    1. ldskg2 months ago

      Yes, they can, but they likely won’t. They wouldn’t make much money off it due to the administrative and recordkeeping work involved.

      Reply
  10. Barney6 months ago

    Help me! I need to know something about low wage for 60hrs working time and it needs to relate to the quote… ‘the poor get poorer and the rich get richer!!!’

    Reply
  11. Savvy6 months ago

    We, need to stop being the The United Nanny States of America. I recently asked my zoning a permits department if I could use my front yard to have a vegetable garden and they said yes, which I was surprised due to other story’s I’ve read and hear about being denied . To me it makes more sense to produce food than to have grass anyway. Now, if all the states could be localized like in the 50’s, we’d be all the better for it. The government is making it next to impossible for you to be ALLOWED to at least even feed yourself with out you having to ask for permission to do so. People need to be allowed the basic rights for their person and property like the use of rain water and being able to plant food etc.

    Reply
    1. ldskg2 months ago

      Those are city or neighborhood governments. You can easily leave or vote to have those changed. Most people don’t even vote for city elections, so it wouldn’t be too hard to get things changed.

      Reply
  12. Bazooka Joe7 months ago

    If the minimum wage raises to say $15 then what will professional workers make? I’m just trying to figure out if I wasted that 18 years in my field, $40K plus on school loans and 5 1/2 years of college (working at minimum wage). Maybe I should have just stopped at high school or not even made it that far. When I got out of college I had room mates until I could make enough to have a place on my own. I raised my pay the old fashion way….hard work. Minimum wage is meant to be a starting point not where you get comfortable at.

    Reply
    1. Jamie B7 months ago

      Even at 15.00 an hour, that’s not an end salary. That’s a fair starting point compared to consumer cost index.
      The fact you were charged 40k for an education is more of a concern to me than the minimum wage. Education costs, minimum wage, they have all been implemented to benefit a select few as opposed to the greater news of our species.

      Reply
    2. ldskg2 months ago

      Your school debts are why I support making colleges state-owned institutions. Also, if the minimum wage rises, so does yours, otherwise you wouldn’t have incentive to work your field, and everyone else like you would strike.

      Fifteen dollars an hour is what it costs to LIVE in this country, not even very comfortably at that.

      Reply
  13. JEFF7 months ago

    FIRST OFF. MEN DECIDING WHAT TO PAY OTHER MEN IS WHAT BROUGHT ABOUT SLAVERY. WE HAD TO FIGHT WARS AND MAKE LAWS TO PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING AGAIN THAT SHOULD TELL YOU HOW PIGGISHLY WE TREAT EACH OTHER. BUT IF I DECIDED THAT I WOULD ONLY PAY YOU IN PEANUTS(WHICH DOES NOT PAY YOUR RENT) THEN THE NEXT GUY DID THE SAME. SO YOU HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO GET PAID IN PEANUTS I THINK YOU WOULD BE PRETTY PISSED. AND THEN NO WOULD WORK. RIGHT NOW IF ALL YOU CAN AFFORD IS RENT, FOOD AND NOTHING ELSE THEN DOESN’T THAT MAKE YOU A WAGE SLAVE. YOU MIGHT AS WELL BE GETTING PAID IN PEANUTS CAUSE AT LEAST YOU WOULD HAVE THE FOOD COVERED. AND DON’T GIVE ME THAT CRAP THAT A PERSON COULD GET A BETTER JOB PAYING MORE. YOU CLEARLY DON’T LIVE IN SAME AMERICA AS ME WHICH JUST RAISED THE MINIMUM WAGE FIRST TIME IN 20 YEARS, BUT CERTAINLY HAVEN’T SKIPPED A BEAT IN INFLATING PROFITS EVERY YEAR. WHY SHOULD THEY CONTINUE TO GET 100% RAISES EVERY YEAR AND GIVE US WHAT 3% RAISE IF THAT? AND WHY DOESN’T THE GOVERNMENT WANT TO HELP WHY ARE THEY IN SUCH AGREEMENT WITH THE COMPANIES AND THEIR SELF APPOINTED GRANDER. I WONDER. GREED MAYBE. THE PROBLEM IS PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO FIGHT FOR WHAT IS RIGHT OVER FEAR OF WHAT OTHER PEOPLE WILL CALL THEM SOCIALIST OR SOME GARBAGE. I SAY THE ONLY THING TO DO IS TAKE WHAT IS OWED TO US. AFTER ALL HOW YOUR STUPID BOSS DO HIS AND YOUR JOB WITHOUT YOU.

    Reply
    1. jc5 months ago

      This is so true! Sometimes a pat on the back is not enough to stay above water. People are drowning. Business owners are the winners here. No matter in the short or the long run. Employees make the business run.

      Reply
  14. jay g8 months ago

    It Should Be $21.16 — or Higher ( inequality.org/minimum-wage )

    Reply
    1. A7 months ago

      Economic illiteracy run rampant.

      Reply
      1. Nan R.2 months ago

        Gotta disagree :) Economists do understand what it takes to live on the USA without relying on the government, churches and family members to help out or to live with them to cover rents, etc. $20 is the typical minimum for almost all major cities and major communities in the USA. Personally I would prefer seeing companies cover the living costs of their employees rather than get the massive amounts of corporate welfare they currently receive from “we the people”. That is essentially Socialism for businesses..plain and simple. (BTW I am a Business Economist with over 27 years advising businesses, so I do understand rational argument versus armchair economist arguments and political rhetoric).

        Reply
    2. Thomas Houck6 months ago

      Based on your logic why not just make minimum wage $100.00 per hour. Then you can pay $35 for a Big Mac and everyone will be happy. (Sarcasm)

      Reply
      1. IDK5 months ago

        I know it’s sarcasm but…

        @100x40x52 and at current income tax levels you’d make net 160,083$ a year. That leaves you with a net wage of 76.96$ per hour.

        Now the big Mac price of 35$ means you’d have to work 27 minutes to make the 35$.

        Now in real life you make 7.25$ federal minimum, and a big Mac costs 3.99, requiring 33 minutes of work to make the 3.99$.

        So, using the big Mac as a basis for other goods, 100$ an hour for a 35$ big Mac is still a better deal.

        Reply
  15. Michael Castaldo8 months ago

    Back in the 90’s we in Australia realised that its the middleclass that drive an economy not the rich thats why the rich pay the highest tax rate as a percentage of income. We also have the highest minimum wage at $16.88 US dollars. This drives consumption which is 60-70% of all growth in advanced economies. America has it completely backwards how they could be so ignorant to this fact is amazing. Australia has set the record for the longest streak without a recession at 24 years and with the way things are going we might just get another 24 years.

    Reply
    1. Thomas McCraw8 months ago

      Michale Castaldo

      I deal in business everyday with Australia. The are now have the highest cost of living and as result of their leading industry’s of mining and Agriculture has been shutting down and selling off the land and equipment (too costly to buy from Australia). Yea they followed the USA example on how to drive business out and overseas. They have a new Chancellor and if he would spend more time on the economy than reporting the lost airplane they may turn things around. For us we are not buying on the cheep all this mining and farm equipment to sell and ship to other country’s.. So yes raise the minimum wage and be like Austalia and watch more jobs leave the USA.. Thus we don’t produce, we don’t export and cant off set our imports creating a larger foreign debit.. Sound like a plan to kill the USA off.

      Reply
      1. Joe7 months ago

        This is crap, the fact that you are comparing apples to oranges! He is talking as a whole, not a little of this or a little of that. “I deal in business everyday with Australia” as you say but sounds like you are NOT and Aussie! Until you are you’ve not an insight on the country as a whole, only within your business field!

        You may be against the raise as you’ve probable already make enough to feed your family, however, those sweating at McDonald’s, or Walmart, places that make BILLIONS in profits but pay their workers so little that most need welfare in order to make ends meet, and that means WE pay for this in our taxes, and I for one am tired of paying for their employees, when they should be paying them a decent living expense!

        Keep it real man!!

        Reply
    2. Savvy6 months ago

      Its because their are powers at work to slowly destroy our country one issue at a time.

      Reply
  16. dee8 months ago

    The fact is someone has to work these jobs and not everyone can attain there dreams. Raising wages will not change anything except how people perceive the president and our government. Cost of living will go up and so will the coat of living. Less people will get hires since people barely get hires as it is.

    Reply
  17. MJ8 months ago

    If we raise the minimum wage many families would not qualify for food stamps and would buy more generic foods to stay within budget. Name brand foods would lose profits.

    Reply
    1. thisguy8 months ago

      Our entire food system needs to be reanalyzed, we really should get all the “poisonous” foods that are causing obesity and cancer off of the shelves. As far as the consequences to the businesses who cares, if their distributing known health risks should we really support their business in the first place? We need to emphasize in our society the importance of whole foods, growing and connecting with your food, and in turn a little self sustainability.
      Unfortunately with an increase in minimum wage the fast food industry would still thrive, at least till all the consumers ate themselves to death or their offspring evolve digestive systems that don’t become cancerous and a cardiovascular system that will pump that grease through their veins effortlessly. All in all we the under payed under privileged lower class are the foundation of the middle and upper class, if we were invested in more we would be able to invest in our communities more and that would be a much better world for everybody.
      Don’t forget about poverty and crime rates.

      Reply
    2. Pamela8 months ago

      MJ, that would be a good idea. Name brand foods are usually no better, in my experience, and come from the corporations that are destroying small businesses and the middle class, and overpaying their boards and stockholders, who often take their money out of the country to avoid paying taxes.

      Reply
  18. Scott9 months ago

    Federal law should be changed to adjust min wage with inflation. This would help with the current trend of inflation going up anually. After about 5 years you would see a dramatic change and this would help with jobs and growth. This is so easy but it will never happen because society is to stupid to see how simple things are.

    Reply
  19. Daniel9 months ago

    The minimum wage is a dictate from a group of human beings; that one human being must must pay another human being a certain amount of their own personal money; in order for the second human being, of their own free will and not out of coercion, to do work for the first. That hardly sounds like liberty or freedom.

    All of these “facts” about the minimum wage are frankly meaningless. They are based on a law which compels people how to use their own money. If a neighborhood kid offers to mow your lawn for $3, are you a criminal for paying him? If a girlscout offers to sell you some cookies for $2, are you in violation of the law for purchasing them?

    A homeless man with a cardboard sign offers to work for food. I give him a raking my leaves and in return for his work I give him a meal. Is that being a decent fellow human being, or is it an illegal activity? What business is it of some men to tell other men how they must pay yet other men who deal with one another of their own will.

    The reality is that to believe in a minimum wage you must first believe that all money is automatically owned by all of society. And that therefor, any one man cannot work for another without also involving all the rest of society; in that case all of society has a say in what any two “free” individuals do because there is really no such things as individuality.

    Once you understand the true concept of the minimum wage, that it has nothing to do with liberty, individuality, or freedom; then you realize that all the little factoids about it hardly matter on whit. It is a dictate of compliance and oppression, not a tool of liberty and personal freedom.

    Reply
    1. George LONGORIA9 months ago

      It is most definitely a societal problem. The fact of the matter is that most of the wages paid in this country is done so by a conglomerate of extremely large companies. These wages are paid not on a one on one basis. Those days are long over. It is now a take it or leave it atmosphere. The underprivileged people find that they are in the habit of eating therefore they take whatever is offered even though that means that more than one member of the family has to work. We need to go back to the day as you say ‘one man negotiates with another man’ for the wages paid. I agree however this should be compared to the productivity accomplished then and the wage earned. You will find that the ratio has changed greatly in favor of the large companies and corporations. It is shame on this country to have to govern wages of the masses.

      Reply
      1. Richard Tebaldi6 months ago

        The reasoning for raising the minimum wage is false. When minimum wages go up, costs go up and some businesses will raise their prices to “match the hatch”! The poor will get poorer. Energy, food, health care, and all the staples go up and eat the new wage. All of us will pay more taxes. Our dollars will be worth less, so that our deficit may not look as bad. The problem in the U.S. is Government overspending, and screw ups like a billion dollar war to kill Sadam and others; like the overspending on Medicare and Medicare fraud. Like the Banking system chiefs who got paid for doing an injustice to folk who couldn’t afford to pay the balloon note at the end of 5 years, and the bankers knew it, but took their bonus’ and ran. Screw America! Our legislators decided some businesses were “too big to fail”! Nonsense!
        Another company would have bought them at the price they were really worth, and make the company profitable again. Our legislators write checks without having money in their checkbooks causing inflation. The only thing that is too big to fail is The U.S. Government, and it’s failing fast. American voters need to change the way they elect their representatives. BIG BUSINESS and Big MONEY is running this Country
        at the expense of the taxpayer. Taxpayers need to fund elections, not allow Big business to dictate terms to legislators in return for election money, dump all lobbyists, and start passing legislation to get us out of this mess they created. Barney Frank wasn’t doing his job when he said ” There’s no problems with Fannie Mae”! HE DIDN’T KNOW because he wasn’t qualified to do the job! I could go on and on………in the end, it’s the fault of voter apathy!

        Reply
  20. Jacqueline Gargiulo9 months ago

    What Frank – a voice of reason – says. Thank you, Frank.

    Reply
  21. Sara9 months ago

    This isn’t a minimum wage problem, poverty is a societal and skills problem. If you have cancer, building more hospital rooms won’t cure the problem, attacking the root of the disease will. The issue is that people working a cash register at a fast food place don’t have the skills required to raise themselves up. They likely didn’t have the upbringing to give them the self-esteem and structure to make something more of themselves. Over 70% of black children grow up in a home without a father present. That is one of the roots of this evil. You also have people in this country who came from somewhere else that have not assimilated into American life who have no desire to learn and/or improve their language skills. This isn’t a minimum wage issue, this is a personal, societal and skills issue, here’s how to solve it:

    1) Restore the family unit in America
    2) If you’re not from here, assimilate and learn the language and stop expecting everyone to communicate to you in your own tongue.
    3) Match the skills of today to the needs of tomorrow. Get unemployed people re-trained and our young people in a skill that is needed. We spend more than anyone on earth on education and what do we have to show for it?
    4) Stop expecting the government to solve your problems and take responsibility for yourself and your own destiny.
    5) For those men who do not own up to their family responsibilities, send them to work camps where they can at least produce something good until they can live up to their commitments.
    6) If you have several children from multiple different mothers or fathers, don’t blame others, blame yourself. Educate children to understand that they have value and having multiple children with different fathers or mothers is a path to poverty not to success.
    6) Put a higher tax on a job leaving America, and a credit for every one that stays.

    Problem solved.

    Reply
    1. Dave3 months ago

      If you are poor, you have no money to burn on attending school. The privatized educational system keeps the poor poor, for a variety of reasons. The fast food worker knows her job is unskilled. She knows she could make more money in some other occupation. However, she also also don’t have the networking to know what jobs to aim for, to gain an entry level foot in the door, or find the time to stop working and study. You also underestimate the costs of student debt, which are hurting so many millenials nowadays.

      The poor should just become rich is a nice mantra, but it underestimates the amount of connections and capital the successful usually need.

      Reply
  22. MichelleandJerry Ray11 months ago

    Help me out here because I know nothing about politics, i’m just one of those underskilled cnas, that works very hard. My husband is a union worker with no college at all, he even has co-workers with no high school education. They make $26.00 an hour, have benefits to. They recently received raises. I didn’t hear any union workers complaining of this affecting small businesses or inflation, why not? I know people who already have construction skills who cant even get in the union, but yet there are some who get hired as an apprentice and get training and are paid $15.00 dollars an hour with no skills at all. Why isn’t the man with more skills getting in the union? Why should he have to work a lower paying job and be ridiculed because he wants more money. Do you believe cronyism exist? Doesn’t the huge amount a union worker makes affect the economy. I make half what my husband does and I work twice as hard, and my job offers no benefits at all. I like what I do, I take care of people who are dying, people who really need someone. Who is to say my skill is worth way less than yours. Somebody has to do this no if ands or buts. So someone who does what I do doesn’t deserve to make enough to pay there rent, electric, gas, car insurance, gas for car, food, or even have benefits? I don’t think god intended it to be this way.

    Reply
    1. Tula10 months ago

      Please, don’t ask “who is to say my skill is worth way less than yours” because economic value isn’t the total worth of any action or job. You’d probably agree, based on your comment about god’s opinion on our current economic structure. Church (or whatever assemblage based on one’s religion) is incredibly valuable to you, but you’d probably be against paying or being payed to go to church. The economic value doesn’t equate to the value, even if we’re talking about jobs. In my opinion, a job shouldn’t be just an income but a career. I find the prestige and moral value of jobs to both be very valuable.

      Reply
      1. Jodie Martin Cordell8 months ago

        Yeah, but you can’t eat on moral values or prestige.

        Reply
  23. Spank MaMonkey11 months ago

    Raising the MW is a double edged sword. It will put some more money in the pockets of teens and some unskilled workers. But it will guarantee a loss of some of those very jobs, forcing the people it is supposed to help back onto the welfare rolls. It will also increase the price of the goods and services these same people use (fast food, discount chains.)

    The definition of inflation is “too much money chasing too few goods.” Well, we don’t have the stagflation of the Jimmy Carter years, but we are only a few steps away under Obama. The national economy is teetering on the brink of destruction for the middle and lower classes, but most people are more concerned with the affairs of Justin Bieber and America’s Got Talent. It’s really sad, but we’ve become so complacent that the end will come with a wimper rather than a bang.

    Reply
    1. Frank11 months ago

      This is a really bad theory that does not hold water in most cases. It just isn’t true, even though it sounds respectable.

      Reply
      1. Grace D.Hand10 months ago

        I agree Frank. Recently they did a poll and found that over 51% of minimum wage workers were over 20, not teenagers. also the economic policy institute released that raising the wage will have little to no effect on the job market. -Grace

        Reply
        1. Ryan Merwitz7 months ago

          Blah. I live in California I came in to the work force right as they raised minimum wage frome 6 to 8 dollars an hour. I was excited to be making more right out the door. But slowly I realized that everything else seemed to go up as well our rent at the time was high 600s for a 2 bedroom apartment it went up to almost 800 by the time we left. Food went up and gas went up as well a double edge sword indeed. So from what I have seen that poll is full crap.

          Reply
      2. Richard Tebaldi6 months ago

        You’re wrong, Frank! I noticed you had no alternative fix to the problem, either. Read history! Jobs are important and we’re not business oriented enough to allow small businesses to hire more folk. The minimum wage is NOT a living wage. It’s a place to get experience, but the new generation is too lazy to try. A man’s goal should be to NEVER have to collect an unemployment check, and our Government’s responsibility is to get out of the way and help create jobs.

        Reply
  24. Tim11 months ago

    Though I feel the minimum wage is too low, raising it isn’t going to fix the problem. Ask yourself where did the leverage come to flatten wages over the last 40 years? Why has ‘unionized’ labor gotten a bad wrap? Shouldn’t the success of an employee be in line with the success of a company (ESOP)? What about the deregulation of the financial sector?

    youtube.com/watch?v=PlyZSxd3sRk

    Reply
    1. Shawn11 months ago

      Tim, I had a bad wrap once. I was sick for days after it.

      Reply
    2. Frank11 months ago

      The problem I have with unions, and I like unions, but the problem I have with them is that they don’t really float all boats. Well, that’s partly true: If the tide rises a lot for union workers, it will rise only a little for everyone else as a result.

      Unions are a solution for some people, but we really need something broader-based than mere unionization. And we need something strong enough to counter the effects of the big-moneyed interests that presently control our government.

      Finally, we need real public education that is free and available to all. Industry now owns the U.S. education system, lock stock and barrel. It’s a coup.

      Reply
      1. Rabid Hippie10 months ago

        The reason we have labor unions is that before we had them, 12 year old kids worked 12 hours a day for pennies per hour, people were regularly killed on the job with zero punishment of the company, and MOST Americans were living in wage-slavery (where you are paid just enough to cover the costs of employer provided housing and food.) We should have every employee unionized. so that NO employer can pay less than a living wage and stay viable. Of course, the unions need to regulated carefully to avoid Jimmy Hoffa type crap, but that can be done, if the people are willing. The fact is, McDonald’s employees that receive a welfare check are NOT getting money from the gov—McDonald’s is getting the money, by NOT paying a living wage, the savings go to the bottom line and WE taxpayers make up the difference. I’ll pay 10$ for a Big Mac. Probably make me healthier, too, if they cost a bit more.

        Reply
  25. kevin1 year ago

    well it seems that the liberals really think that the raising of the minimum wage will fix the problem with social aid… so shouldn’t that mean that all social aid can be stopped and our taxes go down because joe some and his family are no longer on welfare and are paying more in taxes? I will believe it when I see it…..LOL….. want more pay work your way up the ladder… don’t want to do it then don’t whine, working an entry level job for an extended period of time is a choice, but too many people are lazy and cry “poor me” I have no empathy for them. I have worked entry level jobs at entry level pay and worked my way up just like many others have before me and I am sure many others will do the same in the future

    Reply
    1. Frank11 months ago

      Kevin, nice thoughts but, again, some of them are simply based on incorrect information. There are many reasons that a person stays in a low-pay job, and laziness is low on the list, in my opinion.

      Sure, there may be some people with no gumption, but go look at the job board. Thousands of jobs, right? But how many of them are scams? And how many are minimum wage jobs or nearly-minimum wage jobs?

      Can you think of any artificial barriers to gaining the skills for the really good-paying jobs?

      Can you believe that most people would rather work than be on welfare?

      Do you believe that public assistance is the best way of life for anyone? (I don’t.)

      Can you see ways that our system can be improved and made more fair?

      Reply
    2. Lisa10 months ago

      Everyone always calls low wage jobs, “entry level jobs”. Entry level my left cheek! Here is a fact that NO ONE ever thinks about or acknowledges: There will always be a need for someone to do these so-called entry level jobs(e.g. Food service, dry cleaners, cashiers, aides in nursing homes, aides for disabled people, hospice care, etc.). They “can” be entry level jobs where people move up the ladder, but someone will ALWAYS have to work on the lowest rung of the ladder, because we will ALWAYS need people to provide those services.

      Don’t those people on the lowest rungs deserve to make a LIVABLE WAGE where they can pay for the necessities of life without having to choose between food or rent? Food or meds? Where people have no choice but to have daycare workers raise their kids for them because they have to work two jobs just to make it? People always complain about bad parenting nowadays. It’s partly because the parents are out working their butts off trying to help their families scrape by, instead of spending more time at home teaching their children how to be decent, respectful, responsible, socially conscious adults.

      Until people wake up and see the realities, they will continue to spew bull crap about low wage people being lazy, and about them not being willing to work hard enough to improve themselves and their lives, and thinking that welfare is so awesome people would rather sit at home and do nothing.

      Alot of people get welfare they don’t even recognize as welfare… such as bailouts of the banks, subsidizing the ridiculously profitable oil companies, and finally, student loans.

      If you look at that graph about, 41% of the people working minimum wage jobs are ages 25-54. Those are people trying to survive on their own, which is hard enough on minimum wage. But alot of those are raising families on minimum wage income. And alot of those aged 16-24, are young adults still living at home with their parents because they can’t support themselves on minimum wage , and still go to school.

      They NEED a raise in the minimum wage.

      Reply
      1. Chelsea10 months ago

        Lisa, I have been waiting for someone to articulate this as accessibly as you have. All I can say is YES.

        Reply
      2. Brian3 months ago

        Yes those working on the bottom of the ladder are teenagers or college kids. adults in their late 20s and beyond should not still be working as a cashier at a fast food restaurant/

        Reply
        1. bapbam48 mins ago

          Do you think $15.00 an hour is too much for a fast food working teenager? FYI: I worked as a fast food cashier in 1968, yes as a high school student. I made $2.25 per hour. That translates to $15.27 using the CPi inflation calculator.
          data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?…

          Reply
      3. Brian3 months ago

        Entry level jobs are for teenagers and college kids

        Reply
        1. ldskg2 months ago

          I love how you just ignored the entire point of her post. Someone ALWAYS has to work the lowest jobs. Also, have you considered that sometimes no other place will take you?

          Reply
        2. Buddy Wilds2 weeks ago

          Where did you park the time machine? If only this were still the case….

          Reply
  26. Carlton1 year ago

    Gee, so in 1966 when I made 1.05 an hour I was technically making about 20% more than millions of Americans today. Meanwhile there are people actually making 2 million an hour here. I say hurray for the states that are taking it into their own hands and leaving the house of Representatives to continue collecting nearly 87 dollars an hour for doing nothing.

    Reply
    1. Frank11 months ago

      Thanks for saying so, Carlton. I agree. In real dollars, I believe minimum wage has gone down since 1968. And the wealth at the top has risen astronomically. Rob from the poor and give to the rich. It makes no sense to me but it seem to agree with millions of Americans. Go figure.

      Reply
  27. Tray1 year ago

    Two huge issues concerning minimum wage and more jobs.
    1. If one is working full-time at minimum wage, there are tax credits and other income enhancements. Net amount of money received by the fulltime minimum wage earner usually is represented much less than is actually received after tax credits and other income enhancements. Low wages = negative taxes, or income redistribution from high(er) income taxpayers.
    2) If we really want more employment at higher wage levels throughout this country, let’s address all the people born between 1940 and 1960 who continue to work in the public sector, yet are fully retired, and receiving a pension equal or greater than their net wages. Yes, I am talking about double-dippers. Every time a person in the public sector retires, and is allowed to continue to work in the public sector, a younger person is kept out of a (good paying) job. The job for the young person may not be the job the retired person is leaving, but through promotions and resulting domino effect, someone is kept from starting a replacement job. Want lots of young people to have jobs, outlaw double-dipping in the public sector.

    Reply
    1. Dawn8 months ago

      Retiree “double-dippers” represent additional income that is usually spent on grandchildren, expensive “necessary” pharmaceuticals and extemporaneous medical incidentals, in addition to security cushining for those who would take advantage of them. Comp the above and allow them to give back voluntarily by guiding the next generation with their sage wisdom and kind advice.

      Reply
  28. Ray1 year ago

    Hmmm. If you force people to pay more can we also force people to work? Answer at the end.

    Economic ignorance prevails. You are in an extended period of overcapacity worldwide as we last had in the 1930s. You are also in a period of extended productivity improvement as the computer and logistics productivity are realized, which leads to a concentration of wealth. Raising the minimum wage won’t work but will only speed the search for alternatives to labor (see the test marketing of automated order taking in lieu of waitstaff).

    Remember, the overcapacity in the depression was only resolved with an international war, which is the inevitable resolution at all times such as these. The US benefitted significantly from the war as our economy was unscathed. We were the most productive, selling the means of production (and war) to the world. The inevitable rise of competition and decline in the US value of menial work is well documented over generations.

    Raising the minimum wage will help a few and hurt the many. Especially in light of the redistribution of Obamacare from the young healthy (many minimum wage earners) to the old and unhealthy. Lets let that travesty play out before we add another. Maybe we should consider reducing sales and wages taxes to where they were 50 years ago before raising the minimum wage.

    The true cause of poverty is not identified here, but is more cultural and big government created. Getting ahead requires hard work and self discipline, not easily taught in the land of plenty with iPhones, xbox, gameboys, online porn, drugs, gangs, and politically encouraged divisiveness. Look at our government policy on open borders suppressing wages of the poor. Amusingly, this is most evident in a 0% interest we currently suffer through which encourages consumption and risk taking over thrift.

    Can we force people to work? Ask doctors who are currently being forced to take less to nothing to serve their fellow man.

    Reply
    1. Carlton1 year ago

      So if we lowered the minimum wage to one dollar an hour everybody could work and we would all live in Utopia.

      Reply
    2. Frank11 months ago

      I agree with Carlon’s observation. Ray, however, raises an important point and the point is this: Raising the minimum wage needs to be part of an overall strategy that includes many other aspects, such as job training, public supported education, laws promoting a level playing field for American workers, reform of a legal system that gives disproportionate power to wealthy corporations, removal of the status of corporations as “individuals,” and more. We have a long way to go.

      Reply
  29. Gus1 year ago

    Minimum Skills and Minimum Education equal Minimum Wage.

    If you want more, gain skills and education to sell to your employer. After all, that’s what everyone in the workforce does, selling your skills and education to an employer to produce a product or service which can be resold to others for profit.

    None of us work for free and that includes the owner of the business. Business’ are there for one reason and one reason only, to make a profit, not to help you.

    Everyone deserves to be compensated for their work however if you don’t have any skills or an education don’t expect to get a grand compensation package.

    In my career field, which is none of the reader’s business, one must have hundreds of hours of training and multiple licenses and compete with many others who want the same career, just to walk in the door and as many employers have discovered, if you do not pay a reasonable wage, the employee will take their skill and education elsewhere.

    If you have minimum skills and minimum education, you have nothing to offer your employers competitor so you become stuck making minimum wage. You can easily be replaced, there is someone else waiting for you to leave so they can have that job. OBTW – there is a difference between a Job and a Career.

    Reply
    1. Sarah1 year ago

      In response to your comment I would like to say that I obtained some form of post secondary education that you were describing above, but due to my lack of work experience in my chosen field and in general. I had to take a job as waitress at a local diner due to my student loans and my other financial commitments to my family, and even if I was to get a job in my desired job (pharmacy technician, and yes I do plan on to further my studies.) that would have a starting wage of $10.50. That’s hardly enough for a young mom with two kids to live comfortably, but it would be better than what I’m doing now. So it proves a point that there maybe other reasons why one such as myself would have such a low paying job other than not investing in their education.

      Reply
      1. Gene6 months ago

        If you make less than $10.50 an hour after tips you are a lousey waiter.

        I work for $7.50 a hour, min wage in Missouri, and live just fine. I have room mates, both with an income. We own our house, pay our bills, eat well and have money left over for fun. $7.50 an hour is $15,600 a year before taxes, well above the poverty level for the lower 48. It’s a matter of money management and setting priorities.

        Reply
    2. RJK11 months ago

      Straw man argument.
      No one is really arguing that you should expect to earn a high salary when you have no education or skills. The argument is over how we define “minimum wage”, and the fact is that how we define it needs to be updated with the times. Why is it okay that the minimum wage, when adjusted for inflation, is so much lower than in the past, especially when the costs to become educated and skilled keep going up and up, and we have so many highly-educated people stuck in minimum wage jobs?

      Reply
    3. Frank11 months ago

      Re: Gus says, “Business’ are there for one reason and one reason only, to make a profit, not to help you.”

      Gus, that is a transient opinion rather than a permanent fact. A business that views itself as nothing more than a profit-making machine has no real justification for its existence.

      Reply
      1. Rabid Hippie10 months ago

        Frank is spot on here. Nobody opens a hair salon because they want to be rich. They do it cos they like hair, and hairstyles, and they want to have a job doing something they like. Everybody chooses a career for different reasons, and those that choose primarily on the basis of money are, in my opinion, the problem. They don’t care about making safe medicines that work, or giving customers a good service at a good price, they only care about the bottom line. MOST companies could pay all their people more, but that would cut into the caviar money of the top officers, and hence is unacceptable for the top officers cos they don’t care if your child dies from an easily treated disease, as long as they have their boat payment covered.

        Reply
    4. Chelsea10 months ago

      Gus, are you saying the CEO of a company works millions of times harder to earn their millions of dollars extra than their lowest earning worker?

      People get grand compensation packages even when they don’t work a proportionate amount more or harder. Yes, they’ve come across an opportunity where they are able to “earn” that much more, but that’s what it is–an opportunity. They were more lucky than others–they had access to certain skills to be learned in school, they had networking abilities that weren’t otherwise earned.

      If you wait long enough, you might become lucky. But that’s what it generally is. Luck.

      Reply
    5. Aviator 20109 months ago

      Not a very educated comment.

      The problem is min wage has not kept up with inflation.

      Additionally it is a baseline; people do gain skills and experiences, but a 40 hr per week employee cannot live off the current wage. (back then, employees could)

      In reality, if min wage had kept up with inflation and reflected worker productivity (W.P. has gone up 90 percent in the last 30 years) then min wage would be about $20.00 an hour.

      Additionally, many min wage positions are not “skill-free” positions. They usually require experience and some form of education.

      And, the vast majority are not teenagers; many, many are adults with families.

      I unequivocally hope you read a newspaper more often :(

      Reply
    6. eric.8 months ago

      How the hell am I supposed to pay for those certifications and degrees with rising tuition? Stay in school til im 40 so I can graduate debt free? …please

      Reply
  30. Johnny V1 year ago

    One only has to look at China for an example of depressed wage structure. The first thing you know these people are going to want to own automobiles. In America, we need to keep these low wages low so that the middle class and poor cannot be out purchasing.

    Pity the stockholders who might suddenly have to TRY and reign in executive wages or miss a dividend payment! Where is the company store when we need it?

    One could have never seen this loss of wages/ benefits for the American worker being the cause of a class revolution coming—that only happens in Europe. Oh wait a minute, we use to be British didn’t we.

    Those bad union folks won job killing things for EVERYONE– like sick pay;vacation pay;retirement benefits;health care;job & child safety (OSHA) conditions AND a living wage. NOW any and all of these are causing employers to go out of business—-boo hoo.

    Reply
    1. Carlton1 year ago

      Follow the charts and see since 1972 when the number of union workers peaked until now when it is less than half as many and see how the actual earnings after inflation of the average worker has dropped 20% while the top 1% have had an increase of 260

      Follow the charts since 1972 when the number of union workers peaked at 32 million until now when it is around 17 million and then see how the average American’s wages after inflation have dropped 20%. Meanwhile the top 1% have enjoyed a 260% increase in that same period.
      We question why so many more people are on food stamps now. A union worker in the Cooper plant in Indiana with 2 children can qualify for food stamps his wages are so low. Just think how that affects people making 8 or 9 and hour.
      Raise wages and more people can support themselves. Simple arithmetic.

      Reply
  31. Skyking11 year ago

    It is amazing that the “studies” mention the benefits to the low skilled workers but fail to grasp these targeted jobs were never intended to be career jobs. Have these employees no pride or motivation? Next, these jobs “studied” do not project the higher costs for the poor to buy the food at these outlets, pricing some people out of a meal. But hey, it makes liberals feel good, right?

    Reply
    1. Carlton1 year ago

      It would raise the price of a Big Mac ten cents if the minimum wage was nine bucks an hour. If the workers were making more they could afford it.

      Reply
    2. RJK11 months ago

      I don’t even know where to start with this one. We live in a country where dozens, if not hundreds, of people are applying for the same position at WalMart, and you think the reason people don’t move up in the world is because they lack a sense of pride?
      There are so many job applicants per position now that computers have to narrow down the resumes based on relatively-arbitrary buzzwords.
      The reason these once-temporary jobs have become careers for some people is not because they like or prefer it, or don’t try; it’s because they aren’t finding anything better.

      Reply
  32. carl ricker1 year ago

    Opponents against raising the minimum wage, mostly republicans with very comfortable wages, fail to recognize the value of paying a ‘living’ wage which increase will exponentially, increase economic activity resulting in more jobs and, of course, by itself raise economic value in every sector. To think that McDonald’s or Taco Bell etc are going to shut down is absolutely incredulous; it might increase the cost of a burger by 10 cents, but really – let’s pay a decent wage and quit grumbling or try to rationalize why not! Republicans need to wise up or there will be drastic ramifications for the party in election time – actually probably too late after all their obstructions. Time to get rid of them for a while and get this country moving…..

    Reply
    1. Carlton1 year ago

      Exactly correct. How many cars or TV’s do the Walton children of Wal-Mart buy each year. If their employees made a decent wage they could cumulatively buy ten of thousands of cars and TV’s creating tens of thousands of more jobs.
      The Waltons are not job creators ,it is the working people of America that have enough money to buy the goods that create the jobs.

      Reply
    2. Crystal11 months ago

      You only think about the BIG corporations and you totally forget the small business owner, which puts most of the money into the economy. The small business owner who only makes what he earns and who puts in 70-80 hour weeks to keep his business afloat because the economy is in the tank. When the depression/recession hit, had to lay off all his employees and do all the work himself to make the product. Finally, gets to hire back his employees as the economy is getter better and the government wants to take more from him. So, what is that going to do… he is going to have to let go of an employee to compensate for the wage increases. You only think of the bottom and the very top, totally ignoring the middle.

      Reply
      1. Rob10 months ago

        The idea being that, in the long run, an improving economy will due to increased circulation of disposable income will ultimately increase the profits of said business owner and allow her to hire back lost staff. Furthermore, she should see business improve. So shortsighted.

        Reply
      2. Buddy Wilds2 weeks ago

        If the “minimum wage” had kept up with inflation over the past decades, many of these small businesses would never have gotten started in the first place. Does that make it wrong to correct the mistake? As a self employed hairstylist, I have seen my income go down in the past 10 years while inflation is roughly 25% for that same decade. Many people tried to cut corners by coloring their own hair (I have seen shelf space in retail stores dedicated to home hair color triple in these same 10 years) and get less frequent haircuts. It seems logical to me that if the middle class began to grow again, people will have more to spend on such things. The customer creates the jobs by spending money on goods and services. Companies do not create jobs without consumer/customer demand.

        Reply
  33. LindaJ1 year ago

    The problem with the low wage setting is that to support oneself one must collect at least food stamps from the federal government, and usually medicaid (that will be changing, maybe). The very low wages are paid by many fast food stores, and some retail outlets, most notoriously by Wal-Mart. I think businesses should pay people who work full time enough to support themselves. And businesses shouldn’t be allowed to “get more profit” by only hiring part time people. And their profits should be whatever is allowed under a fair wage, not what they currently are by being subsidized by me (a federal taxpayer).

    I do not agree businesses can’t afford to pay workers. Yes, they will make less profit. But looking at the stock market and the disparities between actual workers and profits available to stockholders, fair wages seem equitable. Two people seem to each have to work two jobs to support themselves and some children in rented housing situation. That’s ridiculous.

    Reply
    1. Jason Brand1 year ago

      In other words, wages and profits should be controlled by the government. This completely ignores the fact that the capital to start and run a business is risk capital supplied by the owners, and they can use that capital in any way they choose, including NOT being in business, not having any employees, and therefore not paying any wages at all.

      Reply
      1. Carlton1 year ago

        If there were no government controls on wages and working conditions ten year old boys would still be working 60 hour weeks in Kentucky coal mines

        Reply
      2. Rob10 months ago

        You surmise that people would no longer be interested in making money becuase they had to pay a fairer wage? I think not.

        Reply
    2. AMerkatz10 months ago

      Really? “yes they will make less profit.” Im sorry, but it was “the business” (investors/owners) that have put up the capitol, and taken the risk. They deserve every cent of profit they can obtain. It is businesses that support families, put food on their table, and pay the bills. I find it odd that folks forget where their dollar comes from. Is it always fair? No its not, but if you dont like it do your very best to become the investor and take the risk. Yes, a living wage is needed and it would be nice to see everyone happy, living in comfy homes, driving luxury cars but at what expense? Business was never ment to be kind, loving and there to kiss your boo-boo’s, its there to make money, and thats what they do.

      Reply
      1. Jacqueline Gargiulo9 months ago

        Yet, there is no business without the worker and the purchaser. Businesses are open systems that connect to a wide range of stakeholders, not just shareholders, and the balance must be found and maintained.

        Reply
  34. Carol Nicolay1 year ago

    The problem is a “living wage.” Dunkin Donut’s or Mickey D workers should be entry level jobs, not living wage jobs. They should be jobs kids in college or moms get for a supplemental income, or a retired teacher. You should not make a career out of Dunkin Donuts. You will never have a living wage there, and it will just increase the cost so that those workers will not be able to buy what they sell.

    Reply
    1. Dee M.1 year ago

      Since when do moms not need to make a living wage?

      Reply
      1. Brandon10 months ago

        Do you know what SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME means? Apparently not.

        Reply
    2. Scott Tomlin1 year ago

      So if these jobs are not considerable for careers who do you people suppose should run and manage these businesses for the owners? Not everyone in this country can or even should go to college that would ruin the entire capitalism structure that the wealthy pretend like they support. The truth is many people that work these “jobs” for an extended period of time are just as valuable to the company as anyone else. It sounds to me like people are not asking for the world to hand them everything for nothing simply that they are compensated fairly for their work and value in the market and the workplace.

      Reply
    3. Carlton1 year ago

      The news in Denver reported a couple of weeks ago that 70,000 jobs went unapplied for in the area for the Christmas season. Why? Because these cheap retailers selling Chines junk at ten thousand per cent profit want to pay minimum wage with lousy part time hours. People are figuring out it just isn’t worth it to work for slave wages in slave conditions.

      Reply
      1. UsedtogetMinWage12 months ago

        and these same people that chose not to apply… are they collecting any kind of income? Unemployment, perhaps? Maybe getting paid to not work is preferable to getting paid to work.

        Reply
  35. Ron from Eugene1 year ago

    So far inflation has been a non-factor for the last decade and the fed has been printing money for the last 7 years. A significant factor in the wage discussion is the employer’s ability to pay. Profits for Fortune 500 companies have never been higher in recorded history as they have been for the last 3-5 years. Wage increases can happen without increasing prices if profits are shared more with the employees. Thats what unions have done over time until the last decade or two. If you observe the charts showing average family income for the last 70 years with union density over that same period, you see matching lines. As union density increases so do average family and individual wages. They decline as union density declines, and that can be compared nationally and on a state by state, city by city comparison. And our stiffest competition globally are more unionized than we are. We are becoming an oligarchy, where the wealthy have sufficient resources to influence policy decisions and outcomes. As my dad used to tell me, follow the money and you will understand what has transpired.

    Reply
  36. Doug Kelly1 year ago

    No one wants anyone to have to work for a minimum wage. No one can live on the minimum wage. But to impose a minimum wage on businesses hiring virtual apprentices at the entry level will do nothing but eliminate the young and the less educated from the job market.

    It is unimaginable that anyone actually believes this helps the working man or woman. Jobs are owned by the companies. Companies are not in business to employ people. They are in business to make a profit for their owners, which with larger companies means the workers who have their retirement benefits and IRAs invested in the stock of these companies.

    It is compassionate, good and fair that most people want others to make more than a subsistence level of earnings. It helps everyone. But the honest and most forthright way of raising wages and earnings is for the country to become economically sound and productive again. A minimum wage is a false economic ideal that naturally sounds good, but is full of the terrible unintended consequences of eliminating the young and less educated from being able to get a job at all.

    So how does our country become more productive. Less governmental involvement in our personal and business lives will free up the natural creative juices of our people and they can outproduce any nation in the world.

    So you say, well, what if a company is just stingy and doesn’t care about its employees? The answer is obvious. It’s a free market. If the economy is doing well, then one can simply get a better job with a better company. Before the great recession, companies were becoming more and more responsive to their employees because it was critical to their success to do so. Unfortunately now we are in a period of recovery from the debacles of our governing politicians. So we have a buyer’s market in the jobs sector.

    This will pass, but meanwhile too many people will suffer the injustices of not even being able to get a entry level job without stellar experience (which should be worth even more).

    A minimum wage law is a lie to the worker, and leads to false hope of more pay. Nothing could be more evil.

    Reply
    1. Mac1 year ago

      Pretty much all of what you say is true, Doug; I would just point out that unions have in effect also set an artificially high minimum wage. My real point, however, is that I resent being forced to subsidize 1) people who, for instance, eat fast food that I myself wouldn’t touch, and 2) large companies (through safety-net programs) who don’t pay their people enough to live.

      Reply
      1. timr1 year ago

        fact is that you are subsidizing minimum wage workers(like those who work for Walmart) thru your taxes in that those minimum wage employees are qualified to receive SNAP, Section 8 housing, and Medicaid. Wouldn’t it be better if those companies were forced to pay their workers enough to that they do not have to depend on govt programs to survive?

        Reply
        1. Mac1 year ago

          Perhaps the cost of these programs should be billed back to the company involved…along with a 10% administration fee. We really should not be subsidizing bad habits and unethical business practices.

          Reply
          1. Jerry1 year ago

            Charging the cost of these programs to the involved companies would reduce their incomes which would cause their stocks to go down and would impact the 401(k) savings of millions of taxpayers. If you raise the minimum wage to the $15 per hour that the workers are asking, it would effectively end their eligibility for various government programs. This would mean that most, if not all, subsidies these wage earners currently get would disappear to them and cause them to spend any raise they would get on additional costs for housing, food and of course the newly required health insurance. The effect this would have would be twofold, first these individuals would save money for all other taxpayers because the programs these minimum-wage workers currently have would disappear for them. And secondly I believe you would see widespread closing of mom-and-pop operations that simply would not be able to afford to pay the additional money.
            At least one good effect that raising the minimum wage would have would be that people who are currently living in the lower poverty level would be lifted somewhat out of that arena and be required to pay taxes like the rest of us instead of taking our tax money as they do now. Unfortunately, raising the minimum wage could also have the side effect of raising inflation which could cause millions of seniors to begin living in poverty. Bottom line, get an education and find a job that pays a livable wage. As Carol pointed out in her comments, fast food places were not intended to provide careers, they were intended to be jobs for students and people just entering the workforce. Anyway, as we all know, when government gets involved, things become so much better for everyone, LOL.

  37. Joe1 year ago

    Maybe, just maybe, taking action (mainly regulatory and tax) to entice American companies to bring their manufacturing back to the US would help??? Wouldn’t it be nice to see “Designed, Engineered and Manufactured in the USA” again?

    Reply
    1. timr1 year ago

      or maybe if we simply closed the tax loopholes that enable companies to make more money when they move their manufacturing offshore. Which the House gop is adamantly opposed to doing

      Reply
  38. Tom Oberg1 year ago

    Austrian Economics point of view via Kel Kelly–The Case for Legalizing Capitalism. This is just a simple start. Read von Mises, Rothbard, etc. to learn more.

    “…the government (and only the government) creates unemployment, except for unemployment that arises from temporary factors such as switching between jobs. The notion that there could not be enough jobs for everyone is absurd.

    So then why is there unemployment? Primarily because some workers are prevented from working by having the cost of their labor fixed artificially high, above the market price, by law.

    If the government prevents companies from hiring workers for less than a given wage, and if workers are not capable of contributing enough to company revenues to be able to cover the cost of their wages, they will not be hired.

    The minimum wage can help no one except those remaining workers who receive increased pay at the expense of the ones let go. Ultimately, having a minimum wage harms those it purports to help. But it’s more than ineffectual; it’s damaging. Those who are hurt the most are those with the lowest productivity—younger, less educated, inexperienced workers.

    …if raising wages will help workers, then why not apply the minimum wage to everyone, and make the minimum wage $100 per hour? Or $1,000,000 per hour?”

    Reply
    1. UsedtogetMinWage12 months ago

      Finally somebody that gets the economics of the issue! If I want to work for $3/hour, why shouldn’t the government let me?!?! At least I’d have a job, some income, and my self-respect! If I want to hold out for $50/hour, I’d better have a pretty good resume and bring some real value to my employer. Ultimately, it should be the employee and the employer that decide what wages are earned and paid.

      Reply
      1. RJK11 months ago

        What you’re not taking into account is that large employers like WalMart (not to pick on them exclusively but they are the obvious example) drive the wages of the area. So if you “choose” to work for $3/hr, then your company will “choose” to pay everyone at your level the same or similar. Then area businesses, because it is currently an “employer’s market” to borrow a phrase from real estate, will respond by reducing their wages, too. This isn’t just conjecture; it’s a recorded fact that some economists call “the WalMart effect”.
        So by you “choosing” to be paid such a rock-bottom wage, you’re playing a part in depressing the job market of your entire area, if your employer has enough of the market to sway it.
        It’s not just you who gets affected by it, in other words.

        Reply
      2. Frank11 months ago

        Tom Oberg, this is really inadequate thinking. A brief glance at the history of wages and conditions of the working class should be revealing something about why we need minimum wage standards.

        The arguments you gave would be a fine justification for slavery so far as that goes. But do we want to encourage slave labor? Perhaps some do. A lot of people were angry about emancipation.

        But with your theory being applied, we have a real possibility of worker conditions becoming even worse than slave conditions. As bad as slavery was, under slavery, there was a hope that slaves would be treated at least humanely. But under your system, working conditions would not be the company’s problem.

        Companies could say, “Sorry buddy, if you don’t like it, go work somewhere else.” But if there is nowhere else?

        If you think we have a lot of homeless now, just wait until your system is in place.

        Reply
      3. Pamela Haymond8 months ago

        Used- to- get, I can hardly believe what I’m reading here. Would you really “choose” to work for $3 an hour? If I were your employer, I’d assume you were either 1) already wealthy and loved the work, or 2) had so little self-respect, you’d need to be rescued from your own impulses. I wouldn’t pay someone that; it would be unethical and I couldn’t live with myself. It also seems clear that if you were willing to work for $3 an hour, you’d also be willing to pay it.

        And, as RJK eloquently pointed out, any unethical employer would love you and hold you up as an example of the ultimate wonderful employee, and they need more of those.

        And $50 an hour is sure a big jump from $3. I wouldn’t ask that of my employer; that would also be unethical.

        The idea that employers and employees “decide” together what wages to pay is nonsense, except at the highest levels of expertise. I can picture your average Jack-in-the-Box employee bargaining with the CEO over his paycheck.

        I am working in L.A. right now to raise the minimum wage to $15. (And incidentally, with a Master’s Degree and 45 years in the workforce, it’s how much I’m making.) In my city, minimum wage amounts to such slave labor that corporations regularly hand out info detailing how their employees can get food stamps, subsidized rent, etc. They are fully aware that because of their tax breaks, the current misuse of “eminent domain” for profit-making industries, and other forms of corporate welfare, that they can increase their profit by spreading out the cost of the employee welfare across all taxpayers. And employees are forced to live on charity, and as MLK used to say, charity is not justice.

        On another note, it’s been fascinating to read everyone’s comments on this very important issue. The differences between those people who actually live and work in this world, are aware, think, and, well, FEEL, as opposed to those parroting Ayn Rand-like “freedom” nonsense (and yes, you’re obvious, and how could you allow yourself to be used that way?) is really clear. Thank you to those that think and feel.

        Does it occur to anyone that these issues are ones of basic morality? Greed is winning because unearned and excessive wealth is admired in the U.S. The chickens regularly vote for Colonel Sanders, and on the issues of God, guns, gays and abortion. They want to think, vote and live on moral terms; don’t we all, truly? They can’t think past those issues; they don’t have the education, which nowadays in not geared towards learning, but towards earning. They also don’t have the information. We can thank our mass media for that.

        It seems sad to me, too, that a lot of time, thought and effort is going into us all just kind of talking to each other here in the Cybervoid. Hopefully, we’re all out there working for our beliefs, even those people I really disagree with. Hopefully, we have the time and energy to get out there and work for our beliefs, and are not exhausted by the day-to-day fight to survive.

        As an unrepentant 60’s kid, I’m so discouraged. I so grieve sometimes, as what the young of our country has been taught is normal, as what they have been forced to accept. I grieve for those who are working so hard and honestly in a system that’s rigged.

        The revolution will not be televised, or brought to you by Glaxosmithkline.

        Fight on.

        Reply
  39. Lou Wagner1 year ago

    The real problem that no one wants to talk about and that is inflation. The government is making the dollar worth less by printing more of them. That makes everything that the lower wage earner needs to buy more expensive which in turn causes him to want to get more for his labor. The problem is the marketplace has too many workers for the skill level required in low-paying jobs so there are always workers who are willing to work at the current wage. Passing minimum wager legislation merely soaks up some of those inflated dollars in wages but increased prices caused by the raise cause the same frustration a few months down the road. The only real solution is to stop printing money.

    Reply
    1. Doug Kelly1 year ago

      You have this right, Lou. When I began work in 1967, the minimum wage was 85 cents in the state, and the federal wage of just over $1/hr and only applied to those businesses engaged in interstate commerce.

      The first point — Number 1 above — says that the minimum wage in 1968 is equivalent to $8.56 in 2012 dollars. Holy crap. Has there been inflation or what?

      And the thing is, this doesn’t matter. My wife and I lived okay for just starting out on our minimum wage jobs at the time. Yet no one can live on the minimum wage nowadays. More has changed than meets the eye.

      Inflation is one thing, but the things we buy now as presumed necessities like cars, have become disproportionately expensive due to the overly high tech computerized cars we now think of as normal. Much of this has come about from government’s insistence we have more safety features and fuel economy features than can reasonably be accommodated. Not to mention power windows, brakes and steering as standard equipment. On our minimum wage jobs, we bought a brand new 1968 Volkswagen from the VW dealer for $1750. It had an AM radio and a heater and a semi-automatic transmission. Wow! What does a new Beetle cost now?

      Much has changed. Most of it for no good reason.

      Reply
    2. PaulV1 year ago

      I agree!

      Reply
  40. J.K.McGeady1 year ago

    In today’s USA it is obvious you do not have to work for a wage if you think it too low. If someone or an organization wants some one to preform a service let them set the wage to attract the talent they require. THE INVISABLE HAND always works if no other interest has their hand in the pie.

    Reply
    1. RJK11 months ago

      In 1990s USA, perhaps, but not today’s. If you don’t take that low-paying job, you might not have a job at all. Millions are “underemployed” – meaning, they are employed in positions under their normal worth. Do you think that is done out of choice? No.

      Reply
  41. Don Endresen1 year ago

    Labor costs at most fast food operations amount to a little over 20% of sales. That makes the labor component for a $4.00 hamburger 80 cents. If the average fast food wage was increased by $2 per hour for the half whose wages are less than the $10 per hour, it would increase the labor cost of that $4 hamburger by about 13 cents.

    A one dollar value menu burger’s cost would increase by just over 3 cents. Doesn’t seem like an outrageous affront to capitalism to me to have the less fortunate among us move slightly closer to a living wage.

    Reply
    1. Joe1 year ago

      This is just what my wife and I were talking about this afternoon but I didn’t have the numbers so thank you for those Don. If, for example, McDonalds increased the minimum wage they paid to $10.00 (I happen to think $15.00 would be much better but …) and if all McDonalds restaurants in the US increased the $4.00 hamburgers to $4.15 would people stop eating at McDonalds? I don’t think so and especially since all the others (Burger King, Wendys, etc.) would start paying $10.00 to stay competitive and sell theirs for $4.15.

      Reply
      1. Rob1 year ago

        @Don and Joe,

        So, if you believe there’s no problem with increasing the minimum wage for McDonalds employees, and you’re so bold as to argue it should be even higher than what the politicians are proposing, why don’t you open a franchise (or any small business requiring low-skilled, entry-level workers) and pay them the wages you think are appropriate? That would at least be more honest of you than satisfying your own sense of morality by encouraging the government to force other people to do so. Talk is cheap, especially when the consequences of the policies you support have no direct impact on you.

        Reply
    2. Doug Kelly1 year ago

      But Don, the problem is that while this is not an outrageous affront to capitalism, it is an outrageous lie to the worker. What does a minimum wage mean? Why not make it $20 per hour and we’d all be well.

      There are limits on how far one can push a false economic idea like the minimum wage. It is a lie to the worker and leads to false hope for him or her. Such a thing is cruel and in the end doesn’t make a bit of difference to their larger picture of their life.

      Reply
    3. PaulV1 year ago

      So if you increase the minimum wage, the cost of the produce made by the worker increases which means that his money does not buy as much as it did before the increase in the minimum wage. Then the worker wants more pay. A vicious circle, isn’t it?

      Reply
      1. RJK11 months ago

        You would have to buy hundreds of thousands of burgers a year for that math to work out.
        Bottom line is that we are paying people less than what we did before, yet we’re not paying less. Meanwhile, profits keep going up and up, and the gap between rich and middle class widens.

        I love how these conversations inevitably talk about what the *worker* must sacrifice, but never the *company*. They’ve been enjoying artificially low wages for so long that we all just assume that’s how it should be, that it’s *normal* for the profit/wage ratio to be so completely out of whack. Why should we just accept that higher wages mean higher pricing, when profits are so high?

        Reply
  42. John Mccauley1 year ago

    What shoud be taken into consideration is the domino effect of reising the minimum wage. Example fast food company, the individuals subject to minimum wage must bump the wage earners of those above minimum wage and so on. There is no end. how does that effect the whole economic picture?

    Reply
    1. Don Endresen1 year ago

      And this is such a bad thing? We are desperately in need of consumers with a few more dollars in their pockets to spend that will actually spend them.

      Reply
      1. HK1 year ago

        Yes, this whole issue is being pushed by unions who want to use any increase to automatically increase their already high to sky-high wages which have made the United States uncompetitive and lost us more jobs in the process, thanks to union labor. They then want to use the propaganda to try and organize unwilling workers who DO NOT NEED unions.
        Of course, the democratic party, ones and operated by unions, is at their beck and call.

        Reply
        1. HK1 year ago

          the word in my last line should be “owned”
          I do not want to moderate my comments. I would rather see them deleted.

          Reply
  43. Ryan1 year ago

    Kelly, if cost of living went up at the same rate as minimum wage increases, the yellow line above would be flat. It’s not. Increases help the working poor. People that work for a living. That work should guarantee a living wage. If you don’t increase their wages, you pay for their food stamps, Medicaid, and all the other social services they’ll be naturally attracted to. You subsidize the working poor either through increased product prices (a more “market based” approach where businesses will succeed based on demand for their products at those prices) or you do it through public social programs (where the businesses accrue unearned profits by increasing demand by setting low prices and having the public sector subsidize their workers).

    Reply
    1. J.K.McGeady1 year ago

      Why not make the minimum wage say $ 40 and that would end all bantering about the minimum wage being a living wage for a family of four.

      Reply
    2. Rob1 year ago

      @Ryan,

      You’re misinterpreting the data. The fact is the minimum wage has outpaced the rate of inflation. You can see this by noting that the minimum wage in 1938 when it was first introduced was equivalent to $3.46/hour in 2012 dollars (other inflation calculators have the adjusted figure at slightly more than $4/hour), while the nominal wage today is $7.25. By that standard, the minimum wage is more than twice what it should be based on inflation adjustment.

      The other factor you need to keep in mind is that the minimum wage often subsidizes people in the upper middle-class. This happens because many people earning the minimum wage are high school and college kids working part-time to earn extra money or to help pay for schooling. Many of these kids come from families with incomes at or near $100K+. Only a small fraction are single parents trying to raise a family on that income.

      You also need to consider the impact raising the minimum wage has on those people who rely on those types of jobs as an entry into the workplace. Those places tend to be in industries with very low margins. Even relatively small increases in cost impinge on the ability of those companies to expand and hire more of the people who are purported to benefit from an increase in the minimum wage. Increasing the minimum wage to $10 or $15 an hour (or more) sounds good on paper, but it only helps those people who still have those jobs and are still able to work full-time.

      Reply
      1. RJK11 months ago

        You took only two data points – the very first and the very last – and based the whole opinion on that. That’s not how it works. It would be like comparing the penalty for being uninsured under the ACA in 2014 and again in 2050 and being astounded at how much it’s gone up – when in reality, it was designed that way to ease people into a new program and should not at all be used as a point of comparison. Same with minimum wage. This is why every article you read about this subject says minimum wage had NOT kept up with inflation. Ryan’s math is fine; you’re just cherry-picking your data.

        Secondly a large majority of companies that employ high schoolers in their first jobs are not low-profit companies by any stretch of the imagination. You’re talking about companies that are already making huge, even record-breaking profits, with plenty of money already to expand and hire more people… yet, they aren’t doing it. We, as a nation, are already used to be expected to produce more for less. There have been several companies who threatened that they would reduce hiring because of the ACA and had to backtrack when they realized 1) they would have to slim back production and lose profit if they reduced their work force anymore than they already had and 2) people crunched the numbers and called their bluff by pointing out that their profit margins already had more than enough room to absorb it and/or the resulting increase in price of product to compensate was so small that few customers would even notice. The same is also true for a minimum wage increase.

        Reply
  44. Kelly1 year ago

    I couldn’t agree more Keith. When will people understand that if minimum wage increases, the cost of living will increase as well. Businesses will find ways to keep costs down like cutting jobs, going over seas, or closing. And JLo this means you really won’t have any more money as well!

    Reply
    1. Xentafy Zenber1 year ago

      Kelly – The historical facts do not show what you are saying to be true. Whenever the minimum wage has been significantly increased throughout history, the economy grows. People have more money and the tend to spend it at the very places that are screaming the loudest, places like MacDonalds and WalMart. Even more importantly, consumer confidence rises and that also puts more money into the economy. A reasonable increase in minimum wages of around $12 to $15 will be a boost to the economy and get more people off of government assisted programs just for survival. It is the smart thing to do!

      Reply
      1. Joe1 year ago

        Agreed.

        Reply
      2. PaulV1 year ago

        Again, if raising the minimum wag is so great, why not $25.00 an hour?

        Reply
        1. RJK11 months ago

          For the same reason why new programs have smaller penalties at first: to avoid a shock to the system.

          Really, honestly, this is a tired old argument that is only used anymore by talk show hosts who dabble in politics. The answer is so obvious that anyone actually seriously in this debate laughs it off and turns back to the adults in the room.

          Reply
    2. LindaJ1 year ago

      Not necessarily. Some of the current profits corporations are showing are a bit obscene. My standard is that a single person working full time at minimum wage should be self supporting. The alternative is that you and support the person, by using the tax we pay to subsidize food stamps, rents, and similar things. I am pretty old, and when I was a young wife and mother if a spouse worked full time it and other spouse and a couple of children could live in a warm home, have a car, eat, and be clothed and go to a doctor if necessary. Not anymore. I think the above is a decent standard, and a stock market over $16,000 is not so much. I think everyone should make a fair profit but not gouge people.

      Reply
  45. Sue1 year ago

    It would be great if fast food chains and other small businesses could afford to pay their employees more, keep all their employees on the payroll, and still stay in business. What is likely to happen are layoffs, poor service, higher fast food prices, and less patrons in the door because of those two factors.

    I should not have to work for minimum wage because I have experience, a college degree, etc., but when I worked in retail part time after my unemployment ran out, I had to settle (i think?)for what they paid me. Life’s not fair. Especially when I found out that I was of less value than a high school kid who was stealing merchandise.

    Reply
    1. Xentafy Zenber1 year ago

      Most of those fast food and retail places ONLY hire people part-time now. Historically the claims of fewer hires, higher prices, etc. just haven’t proven to be true. It is just political rhetoric. Given that fast food is one of the highest profiting business in America, believe me, they can afford to pay higher wages and the market will not support them charging insane prices for a burger. It will balance out and people will be able to make enough money to feed their kids burgers and fries and the fast food people will win with bigger profits.

      Reply
      1. PaulV1 year ago

        You must be one of the people who believe that the country can spend its way out of debt.

        Reply
      2. Rob1 year ago

        @Xentafy Zenber,
        You contradict yourself. First, you say that fast food restaurants and retailers like McDonalds and Wal-Mart can afford to increase their pay scale because their businesses enjoy high profit margins; such increases would merely be absorbed by a Putin of those profits without the need or ability to pass along those increased costs to consumers in the form of higher prices (a dubious notion at best).

        Then you state those companies would enjoy bigger profits because their employees would be able to spend those increased wages buying more of their employers products.

        If a company increases the cost of its labor while holding its prices constant, it would, by definition decrease its profit margin. It may, possibly, increase its bottom line profit, but only if the alleged aggregate increase in its sales due to increased purchases by its own employees exceeded the increase in in its labor costs. That’s not likely since many larger fast food restaurants and retailers offer employees discounted food (not to mention the five-finger discounts some of those employees give themselves).

        You also ignore the wide-range of profitability within the fast food industry. While McDonalds enjoys fairly hefty profit margins of around 15%, smaller mom-and-pop operations so not; the average margins for those types of operations is around the 2%-3% range. Other types of restaurants fall into the middle. I assume there are similar disparities among different types and sizes of retailers. So, as is so often the case with government mandates on wages, prices and other business parameters, the ones out likely to be hurt by those policies –including the minimum wage law — are the little businesses who don’t have the kind of wiggle room to absorb those mandated increases in cost. Too often, the big guys use those policies to drive out competition from the little guys.

        Reply
  46. Robert Rosenbaum1 year ago

    Successfully regulating us into unemployment.

    Reply
    1. Paula4 months ago

      The solution is that Greed is called a SIN by God. It is as abominable as is the sin of idolatry to Him.

      When we are greedy, either as employees or employers or spenders, we are SINNING against God. We should tremble at that. And then repent.

      Reply
  47. keith1 year ago

    The more the government intrudes or legislates businesses the more that end up off shore. Although fast food will not end up over seas the costs of this will be directly passed to consumers and the long term effects will be more jobs lost .

    Reply
    1. JYo1 year ago

      I’m speechless. I wish you could live my life for a month. Why in the world would you enter a remark about off shore. Possibly you have no clear understanding? By the way, a lot us “minWage” folks don’t work with fast food. Good bye.

      Reply
    2. Garth1 year ago

      Jobs that tend to pay minimum wage are also the type of jobs you can’t offshore. They are service jobs.

      Reply