July 23, 2015

5 facts about the minimum wage

U.S. minimum wage value over time, adjusted
As efforts to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour have stalled repeatedly, several states and cities – from Los Angeles to New York state to Washington, D.C. – are acting on their own to raise minimum pay rates. Although some proposals target fast-food workers specifically, organized labor and anti-poverty groups are pushing for $15 an hour as the new standard for all workers paid hourly.

While the idea of raising the minimum wage is broadly popular, a Pew Research Center survey from January 2014 found clear partisan differences in support. Overall, 73% of people favored an increase in the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour, mirroring a Democratic-backed proposal that failed to move ahead in Congress last year. But while large majorities of Democrats (90%) and independents (71%) said they favored such an increase, Republicans were more evenly split (53% in favor and 43% opposed).

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

1Adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage peaked in 1968 at $8.54 (in 2014 dollars). Since it was last raised in 2009, to the current $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum has lost about 8.1% of its purchasing power to inflation. The Economist recently estimated that, given how rich the U.S. is and the pattern among other advanced economies in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, “one would expect America…to pay a minimum wage around $12 an hour.”

2Nearly half (48.2%) of the 3 million hourly workers who were at or below the federal minimum in 2014 were ages 16 to 24. An additional 22.4% are ages 25 to 34, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; both shares have stayed more or less constant over the past decade. That 3 million represents about 2.3% of all wage and salary workers. (See more about the demographics of minimum-wage workers.)

3 States With Minimum Wages Higher Than the FederalTwenty-nine states, plus the District of Columbia and nearly two dozen cities and counties, have set their own higher minimums. State hourly minimums range from $7.50 in Arkansas, Maine and New Mexico to $9.47 in Washington state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Together, these states include 61% of the nation’s working-age (16 and over) population, according to our analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Among the cities that have enacted even higher local minimums are San Francisco ($15 by 2018), Seattle ($15 by 2021), Chicago ($13 by 2019) and San Diego ($11.50 by 2017), according to the National Employment Law Project.

4About 20.6 million people (or 30% of all hourly, non-self-employed workers 18 and older) are “near-minimum-wage” workers. We analyzed public-use microdata from the Current Population Survey (the same monthly survey that underpins the BLS’s wage and employment reports), and came up with that estimate of the total number of “near-minimum” U.S. workers – those who make more than the minimum wage in their state but less than $10.10 an hour, and therefore also would benefit if the federal minimum is raised to that amount. The near-minimum-wage workers are young (just under half are 30 or younger), mostly white (76%), and more likely to be female (54%) than male (46%). A majority (56%) have no more than a high-school education.

5The restaurant/food service industry is the single biggest employer of near-minimum-wage workers. Our analysis also found that 3.75 million people making near-minimum wages (about 18% of the total) worked in that industry. Among near-minimum workers aged 30 and younger, about 2.5 million (or nearly a quarter of all near-minimum workers in that age bracket) work in restaurants or other food-service industries. But because many of those workers presumably are tipped, their actual gross pay may be above $10.10 an hour. (Federal law, as well as wage laws in many states, allow tipped employees to be paid less as long as “tip credits” bring their pay up to at least the applicable minimum.)

Note: This is an update of a post originally published in December 2013 and previously updated in May 2015.

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Business and Labor, Economics and Personal Finances

  1. Photo of Drew DeSilver

    is a senior writer at Pew Research Center.

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272 Comments

  1. Levi2 weeks ago

    i would really like to know how many people minimum wage is supposed to support?

    If it is supposed to support a single person, then the current rate is fine

    If it is supposed to support one parent and one child then in leade a little

    If it is supposed to support a family of 4, then it needs a major increase

    The problem isn’t the wage, it is that people are not working the right jobs to support their own needs. Or they are spending too much in wants. Pizza and beer and cigarettes every day isn’t want minimum wage SHOULD be paying for. If you want extra things, get a skill and get a skilled job.

    My point being, working at McDonalds should t be an individual’s go-to if they have a family. It won’t work.

    Also, America, stop making families you can’t support. If you have a terrible job, don’t have a bunch of kids.

    Reply
    1. Alex12 hours ago

      It is NOT fine to support even a single person, and I make 11 dollars an hour. If it was ‘fine’, I’d be living just fine, keeping myself healthy with no fear of running out of money to pay my rent and buy my food and pay for my gas every month. Don’t even go there if you don’t live it yourself. You have no perspective.

      Reply
  2. fuckedoverAmericanworker2 weeks ago

    For those that want to abolish the minimum wage and use half assed “logic” to try to justify their greedy, immoral and inhumane position I ask them this. How do workers pay for food, or a car to even get to the job when they are making 25, 50, 75 cents per hour after minimum wage is abolished? How do they afford food or even a decent place to sleep for the night before work the next day? When they get sick and/or injured how do they get medical care in order to get to work the next day to toil and make that companies profits? Why not abolish child labor laws as well. Even a 5 yr old can do some physical work. five years is a long enough childhood since these kids these days are all coddled too long. They need to learn the value of hard work. After all it is just entry level work.
    Better yet, it would be more “cost effective” to enact slavery when you really think of it. Let the free market decide the fate of those slaves. Then you won’t have to pay wages at all. Human bondage is a much more viable option for business owners.
    Why not abolish ALL environmental regulations. After all those laws are abusive to employers and prohibit real growth. Dirty cancer ridden smoggy air, dumping chemicals into waterways for later human consumption, and having humans eat raw sewage is a much more cost effective strategy. Any intelligent and college educated businessperson can figure this out from a basic economics course after all……. these solutions are so simple and full of good common sense.

    Reply
  3. Higgsorsonbot3 weeks ago

    Okay so the stats here say only 3 million people in america are hourly employees. Yet some how this equates to counting the 20.6 million people working for minimum wage?

    How does that math make any sense? All minimum wage jobs are hourly.

    I think the real stats should be for people making 15,000 a year or below for one reason or another. You’d probably find that number to equate to something like 100 million people. Thats what should be being addressed. Not some stupid law about barely paying people a minimum. You need at least 20,000 a year to function independently. 12,000 on rent if your lucky how are you supposed to live on 13,000 a year?

    Reply
  4. Billy3 weeks ago

    I’ve read a lot of nonsense in the comments, but I guess that is what makes America America. First off, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that if you increase wages, then something else will need to compensate for the change. There are a ton of different pieces at work that people on here are discounting left and right. However, I’ll take the easiest route.

    If I’m a restaurant owner, and I’m “forced” to pay my employees more, then my first thought is ‘how do I keep my profit margin at the same level after this debacle’. I have a few options:
    – Lower my quality standards and purchase lower grade stock (not going to happen as I don’t want to lose my customer base)
    – Schedule my employees for less hours and make up the time myself (not going to happen because I put my time in with the business and I don’t want to kill myself)
    – Let some employees go and replace with automation (electronic cash registers are getting cheaper and cheaper – maybe an option)
    – Hire more workers but keep everyone part time except my manager to ensure no one qualifies for benefits (this would probably save me a ton of money in the long run, so a possibility unless everyone is already part-time)

    There are more options available, but as you can see they aren’t going to affect me… just my workers.

    What we NEED to do is abolish the minimum wage laws and let the economy heal itself. Federal minimum wage laws do not take into consideration the cost of living for someone in New York versus someone in Alabama. This is one of the largest problems with the entire system. If people have to have a system, then let it be handled at the state level. Honestly though, if my competitor is paying $12/hr for skilled labor and I’m paying $8/hr, where are the applications feeding into – my store or his? It’s basic supply and demand, but everyone let’s their political views get in the way. It doesn’t take an economist nor a political scientist to understand basic principles. All I’ve read on here is right wing and left wing trash.

    I personally make enough to be considered in the top 5% of wage earners in the U.S. However, I started out making minimum wage. I paid my own way through college, I had the drive to succeed and I didn’t rely on the government to bail me out for my mistakes. It wasn’t an easy road of living on the street after suffering a bankruptcy, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been to both ends of the poles when it comes to wage earners. I actually had a year where I made $0. I’ve worked with minimum wage earners and the one thing I can say about most of them (not all of them), they want money for nothing. I know I’m going to get replies from people saying “that’s not true” or “not all of us are like that”. Face facts and get a grip. If you’re working in a minimum wage job and you are over 28 years of age, then you have made some poor choices in your life and this is the time the consequences set in. Either make something of yourself, or continue to scream and whine that someone needs to give you something more to better yourself.

    Reply
    1. Kyle3 weeks ago

      Billy, this is the most logical, straightforward comment on this forum. You know what you are talking about. Your final paragraph is something that is so filled with common sense, that the left wing will never discuss it. I have always said the Left truly does not care about the low wage worker. The left knows if they give what people want, they will win their votes and be able to stay in power all the while the unskilled/uneducated remain at the bottom and become even more dependent on government. Great post!

      Reply
    2. Tyler Layton Welker3 weeks ago

      How does an economy heal itself? I understand where you’re coming from, and how it will be harder to allocate profits with a larger chunk of revenue going to wages. My suggestion would be to look into the ‘crisis theory’ more to understand how your business can still remain at a level of profitability even with the increase in wages.

      I disagree with your statement. This isn’t a simple fix, so there is no simple solution. You state that we don’t need economists to fix this, but again I disagree. If you’re looking at it from a supply/demand standpoint, then sure, your problem is easy… but our world operates on much more complex laws than that. You do not take into account price elasticity, Qs, Qd, inflation, PPP, interest rates/liquidity traps, or in our day and age, a macro look at the world and the competition provided from other countries.

      Reply
    3. Jon2 weeks ago

      Our largest employer (Walmart) refuses to pay a majority of its employee’s enough to live, therefore over 80% of it’s employees are on some form of government subsidies which means we the taxpayer must make up for Walmart’s lack of compensation. Walmart will never be forced to change. We have become a country run by money, and Walmart has the most which means they write the laws. Also all of the mom and pop stores that you used to be able to get specialized service have gone out of business due to the new Walmart moving in. These stores often paid their employee’s a descent living. Small towns are most visually effected by these stores.

      I believe most of our country no longer has any business morality left to it. Even as you were speaking about the “profit margin” you are ensuring this idea. As a business owner who is making millions or billions or even hundreds of thousands in profit a year. Why is the profit margin the #1 thing. I think the profit margins of many of these companies need to be hurt. Capitalism unrestrained is terrible and creates a slave class with a big corporate head making billions while it’s workers starve, can’t afford an education, can’t afford medical care, and often can’t afford housing.

      Money does not trickle down…more and more just keeps getting taken from lower and middle class. Now the middle class is such a small fraction of what it once was.

      Reply
  5. Annie4 weeks ago

    For simplification purposes using simple ratio calculation…. A loaf of bread cost .05 in 1935 when minimum wage was .25 an hour. A loaf of bread averages about 2.50 now (at Walmart). Using the FOIL method of ratios, minimum wage would be 12.50. If we applied this to college tuition, using Harvard as an example: Harvard tuition was 450 a year in 1935. Now it is 45,278. Using ratios of the .25 minimum wage in 1935, minimum wage should be 25.15. LOL. We could do this all day when applied to every day purchases. minimum wage has indeed, not kept up.

    Reply
    1. Matthew Trahms3 weeks ago

      Where do you live? A load of bread in wi at Walmart $1.29

      Reply
      1. James Edmonds4 days ago

        A loaf of bread doesn’t mean its a loaf… How much weight was that loaf in 1930 compared to 2015. Some of my sliced bread has massive air pockets in it. Selling me half a loaf blown up to look like a full loaf means a lot. Look at the package weight. 2 equal sized loafs can have different weights which justify the difference in cost.

        Reply
  6. S1 month ago

    I am a fiscal conservative. I am, for the most part, far “right” in my politics. However, I absolutely believe the fed min wage must be raised to at least 12 and possibly 13 to 15 an hour for ALL lower paying jobs. I’m 52 (which adds a whole other dimension to looking for work — being older I mean –) and I have a 4-year degree from a top university that I went to evening college for over 10 years to earn while working full time. I worked over 25 years in a professional field — in salaried, good paying positions. After being laid off in the deep recession of 2009, I was not able to find a job in my field. I could not leave the state (NY) because of sick parents and my spouse’s job was here. I have had to “recreate” myself into a clerical/admin person just to stay employed. I can fill my house RIGHT NOW with people I know that “were” CPAs, accountants, technical writers, engineers, software developers – and many other professions – people that DID do all the right things! It no longer matters. Many companies are filling all their engineering jobs with foreign talent here on special visas. The bloodletting of outsourcing of our jobs that Perot warned us about many years ago has happened – and we now have the result. Then let’s not forget the nightmare that has been the OBAMA economy. How long is it George Bush’s fault?! Millions more are on food stamps and in poverty since Obama was elected – period. The labor participation rate is the lowest it has been in years!!!

    The fact is – so many people would not even BE in min wage jobs if we had not lost most of manufacturing when our government and the greedy corporations outsourced all of our jobs. America used to be a nation where there was a place for everyone. Not everybody can or will go to college. America used to be a country where those that did all that Mike says must be done (education/training etc.) would do very well — but there was still a “place at the table” for the guy or girl who graduated HS and maybe wasn’t smart enough for college or a big deal job. Those people could get manufacturing jobs or support jobs in manufacturing companies and make 14/15 an hour. They could still have a small home or apartment, feed a kid or two, and watch football on Sundays. Those days are GONE. Is this what America is now? Only those with masters degrees and even more advanced degrees and the absolute top skills “win” and everyone else starves? Is that what we are now?

    All of you who still have your great jobs, your great benefits, and your great life, you better get down on your knees and pray it never changes — just hope you don’t fall on hard times, or get downsized – or get downsized multiple times as some people I know have been. My life changed forever in 2009 (and has never come back). In just six short years, we are slowly slipping OUT of the middle class. Going back for more/different college costs money. Let me also mention how many times I’ve been told I’m “overqualified” for the degree I already have!! The majority of jobs want “entry level” and recent college grad — anything to not pay a good wage. Any extra money I have will go to my kid’s education – so they might have a chance. All this “retool” and “go back to school” is very easy to TELL people to do – but it costs money to do it. One can’t just place their current life on hold (that they used to be able to afford) and just step off into another universe and “remake yourself” — the bills wait daily and must be paid. By the way, how many times exactly should I go back to school/trade school/other and remake myself? Twice? Three times? Should my spouse do the same? Is the new norm to be in a perpetual re-educating yourself/more college/more degrees with an incessant never ending string of college loans? Who watches the kids while I go do college all over AGAIN? When I think that my parents were “allowed” the luxury of going to school/getting a skill – and then getting a job — a field — and that was it — gosh how wonderful it must have been. My entire adult life has been defined by employment (or lack of) and it has gotten far worse. All that time is GONE. The time I might have spent with my kids, my church, the community, all of it — GONE. I — along with many others – we spent that time focused on the incessant job flipping and changing and trying to stay employed — there is a COST to living like we are living in the “new work world”. The incessant getting, losing, finding, training, losing, finding, getting of JOBS — the total lack of security — it impacts your whole life. It is now way to live. I don’t care what party you are – you can’t tell me when we have congressional house leaders living at the Ritz Carlton while in Washington on the taxpayer dime and a President that takes 17 vacations a year — that the people wiping your grandmother’s behind in the nursing home, or the guy digging ditches, or the receptionist at your dentist’s office, AND the burger flipper don’t deserve a living wage when they are willing to work!!! That is just NOT America.

    The global economy, corporate greed, and government corruption and greed/ignorance is eradicating the middle class out of existence. Many of us have worked hard, gotten the education, gotten the skills, worked long hours, and many of us are competing with 200 other people for that receptionist job. Take a long hard look and get off your pedestal and you will see many of you don’t have a clue — because it hasn’t happened TO YOU.

    The American Dream is dead.

    Reply
    1. Emily Brouwer4 weeks ago

      Brilliantly said.

      Reply
    2. Big Mike4 weeks ago

      Not brilliantly said at all. You (s.) Are getting a cold reality of what this country has done to minorities for centuries. You weren’t overqualified for the position, they just don’t want to pay you for your services when they can get any Tom dick and Harry to do (for minimum wage) what you would want to get decently compensated for. It seems like you only believe that the wages should go up strictly because you could either benefit from it, or you realize that you could be (or just escaped) being next in line. I’m not impressed

      Reply
    3. Kyle3 weeks ago

      Bottom line – we are now a country that relies on technology to be the backbone of our economy. Manufacturing is gone for good. If one wants to get ahead no matter their circumstances, it comes with skills training, education. You’re in a tough spot seeing how you are educated but the generation of today is being brought up in the most tech savvy world ever which makes it easier for employers to hire the young to save money, insurance and work them more. Basically we have to hunt or be hunted.

      Reply
  7. Mike1 month ago

    I feel like the situation is. Oh no were out of money. Thats ok we can just print more. soon the dollar will be cheaper then firewood. heres a thought. I wonder what would happen if we lowered minimum wage and made the burger flippers actually worry about their own futures

    Reply
    1. Jay4 weeks ago

      Do you really think that the “burger flippers” making that minimum wage DON’T “worry about their futures”?

      Reply
  8. Ginger1 month ago

    What about States like TEXAS that pay servers $2.13 an hour. I can not afford to even live, eat, or have a vehicle.

    Reply
    1. Ryan4 weeks ago

      I worked as a server in different restaurants for 9 years. My $2.13/hr paycheck was almost always void due to the amount of tips I earned. When I calculated hours worked for dollars earned, I would usually hit $15-20/hr. That’s after tipping out up to 5% for bartenders, bussers, hostesses, and food runners. I even had to pay CC merchant fees on tips earned at one restaurant at 3% and *still* made $15/hr+. If you’re not earning that as a server, you’re working at the wrong restaurant. That part of minimum wage can easily stay where it is.

      Reply
  9. Thomas1 month ago

    I have read several comments elaborating on the negatives of raising the minimum wage. Clearly nearly everyone but me works for mcdonalds corporate because they know exactly how much a Big Mac will cost after a wage hike. I must say I will not be able to eat at McDonald’s if the prices go up like this. It is very concerning that a small raise in labor cost could so drastically affect the cost of food. Especially for an elastic good that people are very price sensitive about.
    I would like to eat cheaper and keep my costs down so I think we should repeal the minimum wage. China is a good example of a country that we should be emulating. They are not completely capitalist but in many ways we are more socialist than they are. While our wage growth has been stagnating they have more than doubled their real living wage. All with a minimum wage that is virtually pennies to us. They will no doubt surpass us soon as the world’s largest economy.
    They do all of this without the dreaded welfare state we have here. If we dismantle welfare along with the minimum wage we will be able to stop all of the leechers on our great nation.
    I can envision McDonald’s with company apartments behind them. Workers will not need cars and they will only eat at mcdonalds. They will have filling and healthy menu items available if they want. If they do not want to work they can hit the road. Uncle Sam is not going to give them a handout if they do not contribute.
    This will make everything so much cheaper for the middle class and the poor will be paid according to what they are worth which is close to nothing. They may never be able to save any money with the rising rent costs but they can always have a mcdouble and they will have a roof over their heads.
    It is only fair that people like me that planned out an actual career will get paid above and beyond. I mean it wasn’t easy to get a job with my art history degree. I had to work for it and I am glad my Uncle Ray recommended me. Now after seven years I make more than six figures. At least at the top everyone is paid equitably. If you put in the work you can make it too. There is no hand holding like this minimum wage; you have to stand on your own two feet.
    So to conclude I think the middle class and upper class should stick together. We are the true workers and job creators. Call your congressman or lobbyist and make sure to vote. We can turn this 15 dollar minimum wage debate into a question of why do we need a minimum wage. At the very least lets keep the minimum wage at 7.25 that way inflation can make it meaningless. Let’s return America to our roots of hard work and make this country great again.

    Reply
    1. Sylvia d1 month ago

      Thomas that was hilarious!

      Reply
    2. Charles Chambers1 month ago

      And the minimum wage hasn’t kept up with the cost of a college education, partly because of inflation and partly because state funding of higher education has dropped 40 percent since 1978. If it had, it would be setting at $26 per hour.

      Reply
  10. Richard1 month ago

    Higher minimum wage also means more money in federal taxes, FICA. That is the main reason the government is pushing for it.

    Reply
    1. Joel3 weeks ago

      A higher minimum wage means that the rich people will have to give more money to the poor. That means that the wages of the rich will go down slightly and the wages of the poor will go up. Since the rich tend to pay a higher percentage of taxes than the poor do raising the minimum wage would actually decrease the tax revenue the government collects. Also if the minimum wage was raised too high compamies would be encouraged to outsource jobs to other countries which would increase our unemployment rate and increase the amount of money the government would have to spend on welfare

      Reply
      1. Jade Slone7 days ago

        Rich, just the rich? What about the people who are making ends meet making $16 an hour? Or the nurses and medical workers who make $20 or so starting out? Do you REALLY think employers are going to up THEIR pay, even though they busted their butts in college? No they won’t, they’ll be to busy paying the self entitled lazy burger flippers who didn’t want to go to college or went to college in the wrong filed. The working middle class Americans are the ones who will suffer, bringing their wages closer to minimum wage to pay those who haven’t earned it. SURPRISE SURPRISES, Middle class get’s punished for everything in american is seems.

        Reply
  11. Mike1 month ago

    My primary concern with a higher minimum wage is the risk of automation. I own a business that provides automation solutions to companies which naturally eliminates jobs. As the cost of labor increases, the ROI for an automation solution also increases. For example, assume I can provide an automation solution that will replace a minimum wage job for a one time cost of $40,000. With a minimum wage of $7.25 (assume $8/hour including employer side taxes), the payback period is 2.4 years – very few business would be interested as they typically want a payback period of 12 to 24 months. If the minimum wage is increased to $15/hour (assume $16/hour including employer side taxes), the payback period is 1.2 years – something that now makes good business / financial sense and would likely result in the worker in this example being replaced by a computer / robot and not having a job at all.

    Reply
    1. Ben Stuplisburger1 month ago

      I think your comment is one of the most concise explanations of the literal inhumanity of capitalism.

      Reply
      1. David McMahon1 month ago

        “I think your comment is one of the most concise explanations of the literal inhumanity of capitalism.”

        Well actually history proves you wrong. Technological progress destroys jobs in the short term but massively increases jobs, and higher paying ones at that, over the long term. Yours is the tired worn out argument of the luddites. Capitalism has done far more than any other system for raising people out of poverty and is the primary reason that the US, western Europe, Japan, Canada, and Australia are wealthy. It is also the primary reason that Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea rose from poor backwaters to wealthy nations in a very short time period. China is now following that path.

        Reply
        1. Doug Ament1 month ago

          Please note that those countries also kept the capitalists away from education, healthcare, infrastructure, and the criminal justice system. They also did not let huge capitalists pass on their costs to the citizens (sports stadiums, tax incentives, etc).

          Reply
      2. bigfatmouth1 month ago

        You seem to be implying that, were you running the show, you would outlaw automation. Is this correct? If not, what level of automation would you allow?

        Reply
  12. Laurie1 month ago

    Here’s the thing and it’s not hard. Why would an employer pay someone $15 to flip burgers (or be a cashier etc…) you get paid based on what skills you have to offer. In other words, what are you worth? Have you been to a grocery store and gone through the do it yourself line? Cashiers are easily replaced along with many other minimum wage jobs. It doesn’t matter how many bills you have or what you think you deserve. It’s a fact you can’t support a family of 4 on $7, $10, or even $15 an hour. If you plan on a family, a nice car, a house and money for extras then you plan for a job that affords you that by making good choices early on in your life and working hard to achieve that lifestyle. You also might prepare yourself to pay 30% of your salary in taxes to pay for those who make bad choices and think they deserve part of what you make!

    Reply
    1. Ecfinn1 month ago

      No, that’s not how it works, not for minimum wage. The concept of minimum wage is that no one working 40 hours a week should be living in poverty. When these multinational corporations, making record profits and reaping billions in tax breaks, under-pay their workers, taxpayers wind up covering the cost of the public assistance programs they need because they’re not paid enough. We will always need burger-flippers and ditch-diggers. Should they be paid slave wages because what they do is low-skill and “unimportant”? Not in America. By the way, as has been noted quite a bit, low-wage jobs provide serves and products that are mostly supported by low-wage customers. As FDR said, “The best customer of American industry is the well-paid worker.” If you pay people better, they are going to buy more of your product.

      Reply
      1. Michele Sandifer1 month ago

        Why are some workers demanding less hours to stay on welfare? They want to stay in poverty. It makes no sense. Taxpayers still end up paying for them.

        Reply
      2. Mapleleaffarm1 month ago

        You might think you are punishing those big nasty corporations, but the wages are paid by the franchise owners. Those franchise owners pay a monthly franchise fee to that corporation. Usually about 6 percent a year. CA released data last week that said restaurant owners, franchises included, net about 4 percent from their business. So a mom and pop cafe doing 500,000 sales would see 20,000. Wow. Isn’t that greedy?

        Food prices for the food industry has soared. I know. Walking the walk. I can remember when ground chuck was .99/lb. How about dairy prices?

        What is humorous about the hatred from the left towards McDonald’s is how they were lauded a few years back for announcing the creation of 60,000 jobs. The CEO is a big democrat supporter. Now he is pond scum.

        BTW, in 1979 13.4 percent of workers made minimum wage. Today 3.9 percent.

        This article was honest enough to point out that wait staff with tips, that mostly go unreported, make considerably more than minimum wage. At my place of business they make above 15/hr not including wage, and benefits.

        Reply
        1. Doug Ament1 month ago

          In 1979 the minimum was more real money adjusted for inflation.

          Reply
      3. Brad1 month ago

        That was in FDR’s time. Today we have a global market and consumers mainly buy things manufactured in China. We are no longer insulated to low wage foreign workers. If a low wage worker wants to blame something, blame a globalist economy. Then they can blame themselves for not having a marketable skill to fit into it.

        Reply
      4. David McMahon1 month ago

        “The concept of minimum wage is that no one working 40 hours a week should be living in poverty. When these multinational corporations, making record profits and reaping billions in tax breaks, under-pay their workers”

        That is your concept of the minimum wage, there is no US laws that says “no one working 40 hours a week should be living in poverty”. But more to the point- more than 50% of people employed in the US work for a small business, not a multinational corporation. How are mandated wage increases going to impact them? That is more relevant than asking how it would impact WalMart.

        Reply
    2. Tim1 month ago

      Have you ever worked as the cashier who runs the “do it yourself line?” It’s astounding how many people are not competent enough to check out their own groceries. It is NOT a job that is easily replaced and it IS an important service. Just because it takes less education to become proficient at it, doesn’t make it unimportant.

      Reply
    3. John Kominitsky1 month ago

      Your right, capitalism does not pay what one deserves. It pays what one negotiates. Thus, a need for unionization in the low skill labor market. America’s “Divide and Conquer” mentality causes low pay for dirty, hard work. Do CEO deserve $1000-$2000 per hour. More if the CEO puts in less than 60 hours a week. Time on the links or dinner table with customers only counts as half time:_) Mostly, and unless you cynical, your misinformed with your suggestion for one to prepare for a 30% tax rate that pays for takers that made bad choices. I hope you are not referring to seniors on Social Security and Medicare. Never forget America’s military budget is higher than that spent by the next ten nations combined.

      Reply
    4. Katie2 days ago

      It’s not just a matter of skills. Anyone doing even the most menial job should be paid a liveable wage. If it mean $10 an hour or $15 so be it. If wages are at a level that people can support themselves then the need for food stamps, welfare, food banks and all the other State and Federal programs aren’t needed.

      Sure things would go up in price, but taxes would go down as well. Imagine liveable wages, like in the good old days that created wealth and prosperity and the Middle Class.

      Just because you don’t place a value on a menial job doesn’t take away the fact someone has to do it. Imagine 40 hours standing over a hot grill or emptying bed pans, taking out garbage. It’s still requires a human being. That human being should be treated fairly and with dignity. Why should they have to rely on the state and taxpayers. That’s why you need a minimum wage, it sets the minimum standard an American should have to live by and on.

      Reply
  13. Sergio E1 month ago

    Any person supporting min.wage raise can stop complaining and TAKE ACTION. You can always start your own business and pay a “fair/honest” $15/hour or more (why not). On the other hand, any person who thinks that’s not convenient, can move their business abroad (China, India, Mexico, etc. Why not, actually that’s what some corporations are doing). Free country.

    Reply
    1. Matt Wellmann1 month ago

      With what money? If you’re on public assistance, chances are you have no credit history. Good luck getting a loan from a bank with low income and no credit history.

      Reply
      1. bigfatmouth1 month ago

        I think he was directing that to the sneering leftists who are NOT poor, yet smugly claim to care about the disadvantaged just because they advocate a higher minimum wage.

        So, like Sergio says, these individuals should open a business , pay employees $15 an hour and reap the rewards.

        Reply
  14. Josh1 month ago

    The main thing that critics of raising the minimum wage forget to take into account is that when you put more money in a low wage workers pocket they spend it. More spending means more profits for businesses which means they don’t have to raise prices that much if at all. In the states and cities where they have already raised the min wage the local economies are doing better than in states that haven’t, and more jobs are being created. Yes, it should create upward pressure on wages, (which have been stagnant for decades) but at the same time the extra money circulating through the economy should offset the extra costs for labor. The money doesn’t disappear once the worker gets it. They put that money back into the economy when they spend it. Also, since the current minimum wage is a poverty wage for a full time worker, the taxpayers subsidize the businesses that pay minimum wage with SNAP benefits to their workers so that they can stay above water. If they make enough money to make ends meet without gov assistance then that saves the gov money because we don’t have to spend as much on SNAP. Robert Reich explains it really well: youtube.com/watch?v=9qPAyJOBylk

    Reply
    1. Drew1 month ago

      They can spend it or save it, or whichever. But paying people inflated salaries damages the economy by causing waste.
      Resources that could be better allocated are instead used to bolster salaries.

      Over time, that will both raise the costs of living and increase unemployment.

      Were it otherwise, Obama’s stimuli plans wouldn’t have spent billions to create millions in earnings. Spending huge sums to create only a few more jobs is, to put it simply, stupid.

      Artificially raising salaries will cost employers and by extension the rest if us far more than any benefit we’d receive from Keynesian demand side machinations.

      Reply
  15. Zeb1 month ago

    Reading the comments here shows what is wrong with our country. Too many people believe they are entitled to all sorts of things. Working retail or in the food service is not a career. The fact is that many college graduates only start out making 30k per year and only get small raises after that. They put in 4 or 5 years and a small fortune into their education only to get paid the same as someone making burgers and filling drinks. Why would anyone do that. You can talk about the “fat cats” all you want but doubling labour costs will dramatically increase prices. So all the people who work in the middle class of 45 to 65k a year will have less. That is the group that drives our economy and raises families. That is who this will hurt. The people making low wages now already qualify for all sorts of welfare and aid. Basically this is just another socialist move that will only squeeze the middle class even more than it already is.

    Reply
    1. Mark Zalewski1 month ago

      Did you skip that part about how, when adjusted for inflation, that the current minimum wage is worth less than it was 40 years ago? So, do folks flipping burgers today deserve less than they did before?

      Reply
    2. Thomas Sanders1 month ago

      The problem with this country is people like you, who expect every job that doesn’t have a 10 year plan to be equivalent of slave labor. People would have a lot more career options if they didn’t get stuck in the vicious cycle which is minimum wage employment. See the thing is, it doesn’t matter what you do there are bills to pay, for most people those bills add up to more than what a full time minimum wage job pays, so when you have a minimum wage job, you have to work as much as possible, just to get by. Well when you work as much as possible, there usually isn’t many opportunities to go find another job (especially if the min wage job is M-F 9-5)

      But no people like you believe everyone should have to go thru hell just to get established in a sub par mediocre life.

      Reply
    3. Ashton Cox1 month ago

      40k a year is what my grandfather made to support a whole family. I make just under 40k a year and can’t afford my 1 bedroom apartment on my own. Middle class is 60k-85k a year, depending on where you live.

      Reply
    4. Ray1 month ago

      If the question posed is “shouldn’t X get paid more than people flipping burgers?” Damn right they should! That’s why we are raising the minimum wage, the key word there being minimum. Hopefully you chose a career that values you more than minimum wage or you have a union to fight for greater than minimum wage. You know to at very least match inflation.

      If you don’t then go flip some burgers, enough people walk out from there necessary jobs and guess what will happen, employers will start paying more. This is why unions exist.

      None the less, as a software engineer I think I will make some investments into point of sale terminals stock because I do think we will see an increase in sales around those for the services industry. The job of cashier is really not that important anymore.

      Reply
  16. Greg1 month ago

    If the minimum wage were to be raised to $15 per hour (roughly $30k for a full-time job), what would happen to the wages of those earning about $30k now (recent college grads, for example)? Would they be disincentivised to get that college degree, when (at least in the short run) there would be no difference in salary? Would those currently making about $30k be motivated when they know that the lowest paid, least skilled workers in the organization are making exactly what they are making?

    And, if these forces play out, wouldn’t that eventually put upward pressure on wages at the next few tiers of the pay scale? The $30k’ers demanding more than the minimum wage, and then the next tier gets caught by the tier below them, and so on, and so on?

    And, if that occurs, doesn’t that put upward pressure on prices in general? Hasn’t the primary reason that inflation has stayed in check is the fact that we are facing wage stagnation?

    I fall fairly close to the middle of this argument. And I am interested in the thoughts of others on these questions.

    Reply
    1. Dan Wood1 month ago

      Wages in this country have been stagnant for the last 30 some odd years. When the top 1% takes home about 20% of the pay something is wrong. The economy is only strong when people spend money and when you are spending all of your money on housing and food, you don’t have enough money to stimulate the economy.

      Reply
      1. TommyMigs1 month ago

        *when you are spending all of your money on housing food and taxes.

        Reply
    2. Michael1 month ago

      No. federalreserve.gov/econresdata/f… (Warning: economics. Tl;Dr: “wage developments are unlikely to be an important independent driver of (or an especially good guide to) future price developments.”)

      The reason we’re told over and over again that wage increases lead to inflation is simple — the people who wield the political and financial power in our country *want* wage increases to lead to inflation, because that would keep us running scared from increasing wages. But even the Federal Reserve has blown up the myth of cost-push inflation: research.stlouisfed.org/publicat…

      No, we’re facing wage stagnation because of the greed of the owner class, and it’s trivially easy to prove. Productivity per hour per worker has increased by more than 50% since 1970. Inflation-corrected compensation per hour per worker has increased by less than 5% since 1970. You know what has increased since 1970? Corporate profit margins, by more than 400%.

      Moving that profit margin back into the hands of the people that actually generate the productivity won’t trigger inflation. Study after study has shown it. We just need *some* boogeyman to be scared of so that we won’t force the issue, and inflation was a convenient scapegoat. As we learn that particular claim’s falsehood, they’ll come up with something else to feed us. Keep an eye out; it should be intriguing.

      Reply
      1. Drew1 month ago

        So then employers WON’T raise prices, even though their labor costs are higher?
        Most people find that hard to believe.

        Reply
  17. Dan Neiswender2 months ago

    Hey Pew:

    Interesting that you picked 1968…How about picking the year it started? Oops. Minimum wage would be less than $6 per hour now adjusted for inflation. Only dummies think raising the minimum wage is a good idea.

    Reply
    1. Jim Brown2 months ago

      Doubling labor cost of big mac would add .68 per sandwich or 3.00 to 3.68

      abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/20…

      Oh my God, it’s the end of Democracy!

      Reply
      1. Dana Corbin1 month ago

        And that is according to a study by the VERY CONSERVATIVE HERITAGE FOUNDATION. Other studies I have seen put it at $0.14. So there’s that.

        Reply
        1. Nick Conner1 month ago

          Yup. $0.38 per big mac to pay for folks bringing home an extra $1000 per month. I think it’s sad that this information is out there, shows what a small impact it has on the average person, and yet folks won’t listen.

          Reply
          1. leftyg1 month ago

            Please, stop assaulting me with all these facts. Its hurting my pre conceived notions about economics. Its hurting my ideology!

          2. JB1 month ago

            You see an increase of $0.38/burger. I see an increase of 23%. If prices on everything increased 23% I would buy less even though I can afford a 23% increase on everything. So how would that boost the economy? I spend way more than someone making minimum wage but if people like me didn’t keep spending up with inflation, the economy would slow.
            It would be interesting to see how much on average a person making <$15/hr gets from government assistance such as housing subsidies and food stamps. Would taxes go down accordingly? A laughable concept isn't it – sure the corporations should take a hit on their margins but shouldn't the government take a hit on its revenue?

    2. Richard Schwalb2 months ago

      Pew didn’t establish the 1968 minimum wage as a goal or target for what an inflation adjusted minimum wage should be. They simply stated, accurately, that 1968 was the year that the inflation adjusted minuimum wage peaked at the highest pay rate. Mant people, like you, would immediately propose that we should not keep the minimum wage at the historically highest level. It appears that the lowest adjusted minimum wage was around 1944, not long after the minimum was established. We shouldnt necessarily have the wage at the lowest historical adjusted rate either. The point is that if you believe a minimum wage should exist, it does need to be adjusted occasioally (or perhaps anually?) and this chart provides facts to help everyone decide where it should be on a rational basis.

      Reply
    3. MTH2 months ago

      So, to incentivise rich people, we pay them more.
      And to incentivise poor people, we pay them less.

      Reply
      1. Eric Anderson1 month ago

        Nothing to with how you start. If you are productive, you get paid more. If you spend less than you make, you will become rich. Easier said than done, but true, nonetheless

        Reply
        1. Larry Towers1 month ago

          This is BS. The rich people running corporate america only care about the compensation of the people that actually provide the goods and services to the public. The people that just push paper on the back end are all overpaid regardless of how badly they perform.

          Reply
      2. CCLynn4 weeks ago

        Which isn’t working. The top 1% don’t need more money; when they get more, they aren’t spending it, so it stops traveling through the economy. The poor spend all or nearly all they make, just getting by. Giving them a wage hike means MORE money going through the system.

        I mean, how many loaves of bread can one person eat in a day without getting sick, no matter how expensive the bread? Looking at it from the standpoint of how much a person will spend (if they have it), they should STOP giving tax breaks/incentives to the rich, and start doing some of that (pay increases, mainly) to the working poor.

        Reply
  18. hammar3 months ago

    Excuses, excuses and more excuses to keep the poor, poor, and the fat cats rich.
    Raise the minimum wage and give everyone some cash to spend.

    Reply
  19. Lower Minimum Wage3 months ago

    Increase minimum wage and prices will go up. A $3 Big Mac will become $5. The customer who pays the additional $2 then has $2 less to spend so he/she does not shop as much. All businesses will be affected not just those with minimum wage employees. Or the businesses with minimum wage employees will just hire less employees. The college student who needs a part time job will not get one. This also would affect consumer spending. what about the retiree who has a lifetime pension of $4,000 per month which they paid for with 30 years of hard work. The pension is set. when inflation goes to 12% instead of 2% due to a minimum wage hike how can you morally say this is ok when the hike cost an elderly person a 10% pay decrease??

    Reply
    1. Russell Scott Day3 months ago

      The person with the job deserves an honest paycheck given to them for that job, regardless of whether or not you want a cheaper hamburger.
      More money in circulation is the aim, for that and little else raises the most boats. The rich are just keeping score.
      People who raise prices because of claims that they have to because of wages, especially when we are talking about corporations like Wal Mart of the Waltons are out of their minds if they think labor believes them about anything.

      Reply
      1. Tired of the Nonsense3 months ago

        Obviously you’ve never run/owned a business. Labor costs are held to a percentage of sales/profits. Raise the cost of labor and the cost of goods/services produced goes up proportionally.

        Reply
        1. Stephanie3 months ago

          Then get your family to work for nothing in your small business if cost is such a burden to you.

          If people were paid a better wage, that money would come right back into the economy with luxury purchases, not the necessities.

          Reply
          1. Momma K2 months ago

            You do realize that if he puts his family to work to make up for the difference, all those employees he has would have to be let go.

          2. savanah1 month ago

            amen!!

        2. Nick Conner1 month ago

          If you can’t run a business without paying your employees a living wage (and minimum wage today is not liveable. Source: firsthand observation of almost the entire population of Hagerstown MD), your business is not viable. Just because more folks are un/under-employed and desperate does not justify being able to pay lower wages.

          Reply
        3. nope1 month ago

          Start up companies have about a 50% chance of death in the first five years. So while I understand that people want to protect them from failing because of increased wages, but the real target is franchises with a large number of employees.

          A subsidy to small business could be paid while they stay within parameters that kept them local to make up for increased wages. Take the money out of the insane defense budget.

          Reply
    2. Chris3 months ago

      You forget all products sold in America are adjusted in price for market capital inflation. It’s adjusted by what our dollar is worth. Giving people more money doesn’t make our dollar worth less because wealth wont magically decline. So the only reason prices would go up is because corporations will use the excuse you just said to combat the fact they have to pay there workers more. Greed rules this land don’t for get that.

      Reply
    3. Scott Abbott2 months ago

      Simply put raising the min. wage will NOT cause prices to skyrocket. At a time when corporate profits are at an all time high, raising the min wage is common sense. Study after study shows that raising the min wage has no great affect on prices.

      Reply
    4. Scott Abbott2 months ago

      Wouldn’t businesses want customers with more money in their pockets to spend???

      Reply
    5. Mitch2 months ago

      This argument is not valid. If you seriously think these companies can’t afford a FAIR wage hike, you’re either ignorant, or greedy. You act like these companies are poor and people are being paid fairly.

      The point is, people are NOT being paid fairly. If they were, your argument would be legitimate, but its not.

      Reply
    6. matt1 month ago

      FWIW: Minimum wage here in ohio has gone up about $3 since I started working.
      And you know what? Fast food restaurants still have their dollar menu. I think it’s 0.10 more than it was before.
      Bread’s gone up about 0.30-0.40. Coffee went up 0.10. Fountain drink went up 0.06-0.07 (can’t remember). Candy bars went up 0.40. Milk and gas have gone up more. But most items haven’t gone up by a dollar.

      Raising the minimum wage WILL increase the prices of everything.
      But let’s not pretend that the price of items is going to go up by like 3bucks each.

      Reply
  20. Just Retired3 months ago

    Great, double everyone’s present minimum pay. What will they do for the people who are retired and are stuck with their 1-3 % Social Security increases per year. I can tell you, I would NOT be eating out or using other services where these $15 per hour people are working. End result, less people purchasing, less people needed in stores, restaurants, or other service providers. End result – layoffs. How do you fix that, easy, raise the wage of the only people left working. Be smart, slowly start increasing the wages to match or to stay slightly ahead of inflation.

    Reply
    1. Nick Conner1 month ago

      This is why we need to seriously revisit our systems as a country. It doesn’t have to be a choice between the working poor and the fixed income retirees. Given what we spend money on in this country, and how much we have the ability to collect from citizens and business without major impacts to their quality of life, we have no excuse to not both ensure a living wage for anyone who spends 30-40 hours per week working AND ensuring social security/medicare funding is fixed to purchasing power (instead of being used as a political bargaining chip).

      Reply
    2. Mabes1 month ago

      This irks me: older retired people that collect SS, Medicare/Medicaid, but somehow in their infinite wisdom figure that raising the minimum wage is evil, nobody should ever get welfare, unemployment insurance or health care (Obamacare) but them. REALLY? Older retired people are the ONLY ones “entitled”? I’ve got facts for seniors: 10 years after your retirement you have TAKEN more from the SS system than you have PUT IN. IT IS FACT. So who are the moochers again?

      Reply
    3. Y09581 month ago

      Just Retired: “Great, double everyone’s present minimum pay. What will they do for the people who are retired and are stuck with their 1-3 % Social Security increases per year.”

      Just Retired, Bernie Sanders wants to both increase minimum wage and expand Social Security: usnews.com/news/the-report/artic…

      I think you should check him out.

      Reply
  21. Brian Siebert3 months ago

    I have yet to see a study that asks whether the work that is being produced is worth the increase in wages. If the minimum wage goes up to $15 on hour, employers are going to ask a lot more from their workers.

    Maybe an unintended consequence of a wage increase will be a forced increase in work ethic. I see a lot of disgruntled people in their workplace, doing as little as possible to get by, and complaining for more and more. At fifteen dollars an hour, those people will need to perform or move on.

    I support that.

    Reply
    1. mattmatt1 month ago

      Agreed-ish.
      Minus outsourcing when possible (touch-screen ordering at fastfood restaurants) the megacorps will do what it seems as though they have always done. They’ll pass the new business numbers to their entry-level store managers and expect them to make up the difference. Managers at local retail stores are already expected to work 50 hours per week on salary. Now it’ll go up to 60-70.

      I wonder. . .could corps transition low-skilled employment to salaried in an effort to avoid minimum wage shenanigans? Pay 30k and demand 50-60 hours per week? What kind of benefits would they be required to dole out?

      Reply
    2. Big Mike4 weeks ago

      Good perspective

      Reply
  22. Roger Epps3 months ago

    The obvious solution would be to start your own business and pay all your employees way more than similar businesses are paying. Get all your friends to do the same until nobody will work for the original companies – Who cares if you make any money or not?? The goal is to pay your employees more, not to make money for yourself … Then when all employees are rich and all business owners are poor we can stop bitching and complaining about the evil business owners

    Reply
    1. Rob3 months ago

      $15 an hour is no where near what it’d take to become “rich”. The point of the wage increase is that the current minimum has not been adjusted properly for inflation, and it is not enough to support even a meager existence with. So rather than business paying people what they need to survive, they end up on state assisted programs, and tax payers take on some of that debt, and people live barely scraping by.

      Reply
      1. chipcromer2 weeks ago

        first, define poverty. then figure out how we can live efficiently on less money not just always looking to raise what people get paid. everything is tied to wages and the cost of goods will either go up or businesses will close. I did close my manufacturing business and people lost their jobs. Now I am a RN and work for a hospital. China makes most of what I used to produce and the American consumer buys it. How do other countries live on so much less?

        Reply
    2. Dan Neiswender2 months ago

      Roger Epps- Brilliant comment…loved it…

      Reply
  23. David Price4 months ago

    Does the proposed law only apply to those workers who are classified full-time employees, or does the proposed law apply also to those who are part-time?
    -dp

    Reply
  24. dswynne7 months ago

    It’s funny how some of you ignore basic economics.

    You raise the minimum wage. Those cost will either be transferred to the consumer, in the form of higher prices on goods and services, or there will be job cuts. In fact, the CBO ran the numbers: upwards of 900,000 people will benefit, while 500,000 people will lose their jobs. Furthermore, most people don’t make minimum wage after the first year, and, thanks to an influx new immigrants (undocumented or otherwise), you’ve just created a glut in labor. Meaning, more people are applying for fewer jobs, unemployment rate soars, and, a few years later, you will still be wanting to increase the minimum wage because costs continue to go up.

    Food for thought.

    Reply
    1. EmmittBrown5 months ago

      this shows a solid understanding of microeconomics. But this is macro economics. Are you sure you’re in the right class?

      Reply
    2. rob5 months ago

      Why does the cost go directly to the consumer always? Dividends from stock holders afraid of losing customers by raising prices is one start among many places

      Reply
      1. Ed Owen3 months ago

        the cost increase goes into the cost of goods sold calculations. this is not a dollar for dollar increase but in industries where labor is a large part of the cost it can have a large affect. most unskilled jobs are in industries where this is in effect, housekeeping for example. this cost of doing business will be passed on if for no other reason than to maintain profit levels. Most of these businesses are low margin already so any cost increase in business effects the bottom line. I run a cleaning business and this is always a tightrope act, we already pay $15 per hour but as 1099 not employee. honestly I could not afford to bring my contractors on with all the additional taxes and costs. One rule of thumb is that an employee needs to bring in around 2.5 times what you pay them for a company to break even. this includes all costs related to operating the business including their wage. this would result in a $15 needing to bring in $37.50 per hour. Think about how many coffee shops or subways do that level of business. The lie being spread is that some want only companies with 25 or more employees, so what makes the little company or their employee not also worth the increase? it will be interesting to see.

        Reply
      2. Tired of the Nonsense3 months ago

        If the stock holders don’t receive a competitive rate of return on their money, the stock is sold, stock prices of the corporation decrease, and the business eventually goes bankrupt. The employees that benefitted from the increase in hourly wage are now unemployed.

        Reply
    3. Adey J3 months ago

      You raise the minimum wage… and those people will have income to spend in the economy. The maximum impact is that your low quality, extremely cheap burger is slightly more expensive. However, this is not shown to be true in countries with higher minimum wage, in excess of $10… such as Australia, France, UK, Germany.

      Reply
      1. William Avitt2 months ago

        “You raise the minimum wage… and those people will have income to spend in the economy.”
        Sigh… No, they will have the exact same amount of money to spend in the exact same areas of the economy they are now. You see, costs will rise, hours will be cut, and within five years (maximum), that $15 will now have the same buying power that $8 has now. Those are just facts. It’s how things work. All you will do is raise the cost of living, and you will increase the percentage of those working for minimum or slightly above minimum wage because people already making 15 or 16 dollars an hour won’t necessarily get a wage increase. Some might, but most won’t. Try again

        Reply
        1. CCLynn4 weeks ago

          The cost of living has been going up steadily, while wages have not. Shouldn’t BOTH rise so that those of us who aren’t making a living wage can at least tread water?

          Reply
    4. Warren3 months ago

      You make fantastic points Adey. I would also add this to your thesis…if and when the minimum wage is taken to $15 an hour, what affect will it have on those second tier jobs that are paying $15 an hour now? Will raising the minimum wage to $15 create a dominoe effect on all wages rising. If one was to say no it wouldn’t, then one could surmise that a 22 year old college grad would be snagging a job for $15 flipping burgers over HS students. Additionally, if I as an owner of a fast food joint was forced to pay $15 an hour I would surely look to automation to replace as many humans as possible.

      Reply
      1. Automated response3 months ago

        Fast food companies and other firms that employ low skilled workers are going to implement automation regardless of the minimum wage. Even if the minimum wage was lowered, it is still cheaper and more efficient to have automated services.

        Reply
    5. Adam Tondowsky3 months ago

      This is a likely intentional misreading of what the CBO report said. While it is true that the CBO said 500,000 people would lose their jobs, it said 900,000 would be lifted out of poverty and that 16.5 million would receive higher wages.

      Is that trade off worth it? That is entirely a values judgement and economists have no greater expertise on that than anybody else.

      Reply
    6. Bob2 months ago

      The gloom and doom of those against minimum wage increases has never happened, ever.

      Reply
    7. Joe Bova1 month ago

      You are wrong

      Reply
  25. Cliff7 months ago

    Government uses the CPI to calculate inflation. Of course, it gives the lowest possible number and does not even meet the Governments own definition as a measure of inflation. The CPI rate was 1.5% last year while the Fed reported that monetary inflation grew 4.9%. If the Fed rate were used as a measurement standard, minimum wage might have to be about $30/hr to equal its past buying power. The Government keeps inflation stats low so they don’t have to pay more on social security, etc. Ironically, because wage growth lags behind real inflation, tax revenues also come up short so Government has to borrow the difference. Corporations are the ones who benefit from this at the expense of the economy and American workers. If we could afford the equivalent of $30/hr in the 60’s, we can afford it now. It is only Corporate greed and paid politicians holding us back.

    Reply
  26. Carl Stieger7 months ago

    It is interesting that Pew chooses to use the “implicit price deflator” method of determining inflation instead of the more commonly used Consumer Price Index. Why would they do that? Well if you go by the CPI, the inflation adjusted wage from 1968 wouldn’t be $8.56/hr, but $10.56/hr (in 2012 dollars). You’d think that a respected research institute would at least mention this huge difference between methods instead of just going with the one that makes the current push for a $10/hr national minimum to be unprecedented.

    Reply
  27. jack jones9 months 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
    1. rob3 months ago

      taking away safety net, and raising the wage floor above market clearing levels is a terrible idea. A minimum wage, means anyone with a skill level lower than that wage level will be unemployed. Increasing the min wage will mean LOTS of people are unemployable. What do unemployable people do when there is no safety net?

      Reply
      1. question everything1 month ago

        they would be forced to find another job instead of finding the safety net cossy and staying in the safety net for as long as the government will keep expanding the net for them.

        Reply
  28. Joseph Warren Holt10 months 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
  29. Peter macardle10 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
    1. Mark8 months ago

      I would suggest getting a roommate or renting a room in a house, instead of living alone. You will slash your housing expense.

      Reply
    2. byran6 months ago

      I fully agree. A government shutdown? Why doesnt everyone under 12 $ an hr just up and quit going to work. They shut the ports down because they want things. Well there would be not much to ship out of america if that low wage warehouse worker is not there to make the product. The government I think would be reminded who they are supposed to be working for. WE THE PEOPLE. What a concept it started out as. Now its a bunch of filthy dirty rich ppl using scientist’ and phsyciatrist’ to manipulate an entire population. Satans in the details. If we all banned together I dont think it would take but a week to take back our country, without protest, without violence. But too many ppl would be afraid of losing what LITTLE THEY HAVE. TOO MANY WOULD BE SCARED TO TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM! Quit your job and well all gather at the river, lake, ocean and sing and dance around the campfire. We could promote it as TAKE A WEEK OFF WORK AND SPEND IT WITH YOURE LOVED ONES.AND, Why arent crank crack & heroin not in the same catagory as anthrax? Let me know what you think. This is the first time ive seen anthr human wth my idea for a peaceful change in us policy.

      Reply
    3. Ed Owen3 months ago

      Reality is rough, life holds no promises nor do you deserve to get any. Be smart and fine how to improve your worth, increase your skills in a meaningful way. Many of us have been there and will again as we cycle through life. but hand-outs that are considered entitlements kill the society.

      Reply
  30. Rudy10 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. angiep10 months ago

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

      Reply
      1. Ed Owen3 months ago

        No, truth. many do not pay their share. many of these are at the lower end of the scale. Why should I be paying 25% of my wages when those don’t? do I not work as hard, better myself? are my children not as worthy of an education? Yet my quality of life needs to be diminished so that others can get free school and housing and food? Sorry, I have traveled that road when I was young. Make yourself worth more by improving who your are. No able bodied person should get a hand-out that lasts forever. And yes, they should pay taxes as well.

        Reply
  31. Arlett Gonzalez12 months ago

    i agree

    Reply
  32. Diann Jackson12 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 Gonzalez12 months ago

      your right (:

      Reply
  33. Gabe Berg1 year 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
  34. Michelle1 year 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
  35. Michelle1 year 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. ldskg11 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
  36. Barney1 year 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
  37. Savvy1 year 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. ldskg11 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
    2. byran6 months ago

      If they let us all grow our own food without pesticides and shipping and packaging, (every little thing has to be in its own individual wrapper) raise our own chickens, be in touch with nature, then THEY will lose out. Thy would no longer corner the market. They would no longer be able to poison us with bht (deisel fuel) and other frikn chemicals. They own the tv stations that tell u to buy a hungry man dinner, what deoderant etc and they own the companys that make hungry man and that deoderant. Were screwed, were nature deficiant. God put us naked in a garden. Look how far weve come baby! Give me a teepee and a buffalo once a yr and ill figure out the rest. Dont need this government wich doesnt have my best interest’ at heart, tryn to tell me what to eat!

      Reply
  38. Bazooka Joe1 year 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 B1 year 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. ldskg11 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
      1. Mark8 months ago

        if it took $15/hr to live in this country, those who didn’t would be dying off, but they aren’t. If they did there would be a worker shortage and wages would rise to $15/hr. I had no income or near minimum wage for 3 years, yet I’m still alive! Amazing!

        Reply
  39. JEFF1 year 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. jc1 year 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
  40. jay g1 year ago

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

    Reply
    1. A1 year ago

      Economic illiteracy run rampant.

      Reply
      1. Nan R.11 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 Houck1 year 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. IDK1 year 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
  41. Michael Castaldo1 year 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 McCraw1 year 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. Joe1 year 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. Savvy1 year ago

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

      Reply
  42. dee1 year 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
  43. MJ1 year 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. thisguy1 year 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. Pamela1 year 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
    3. mattmatt1 month ago

      I’m all for revamping the poverty guidelines too. The poverty thresholds were admitted by their creator to be bunk when they were proposed. They’re only supposed to be used for short-term, emergency situations. And, admittedly, there’s a certain logic to that if we buy that most people dip into relative poverty only temporarily.
      But still. The thrifty food basket model assumes you spend about 1/3 of your income on food, 1/3 on rent, and 1/3 pocket money. With the current poverty level at just under 12k/yr, that means you spend about 4k a year on rent (or 333 a month).

      Average monthly rent prices in the us run the gamut from double to triple that.

      Reply
  44. Scott1 year 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
  45. Daniel1 year 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 LONGORIA1 year 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 Tebaldi1 year 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
  46. Jacqueline Gargiulo1 year ago

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

    Reply
  47. Sara1 year 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. Dave12 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
      1. MP2 months ago

        Thank you for your voice of reason. I’m so sick of hearing the tired old “just go to college” excuse. Not only is federal education funding very limited, it’s hard to get, and even WITHOUT children, try working the 2-3 minimum-wage jobs necessary to just put food on the table and gas in the car while keeping a satisfactory GPA in school.
        People who hide out from the rest of the world in wealthy gated communities, who claim that the easy solution to the problem is to just “get the skills necessary” to climb out of poverty, need to step outside and take a closer look at the outside world.
        There are plenty of above-mentioned “family units” living in poverty.
        An impoverished, malnourished 7-year-old child, growing up in a home where both parents are working multiple jobs, is supposed to “take responsibility” for himself/herself? Since children are wholly responsible for the situation they’re born into….

        Reply
  48. MichelleandJerry Ray2 years 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. Tula2 years 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 Cordell1 year ago

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

        Reply
  49. Spank MaMonkey2 years 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. Frank2 years 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.Hand1 year 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 Merwitz1 year 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 Tebaldi1 year 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
  50. Tim2 years 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. Shawn2 years ago

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

      Reply
    2. Frank2 years 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 Hippie2 years 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
        1. Mark8 months ago

          $10 Big Mac will make you healthier, because you won’t buy them anymore, and we get to lay off the people selling them too.

          Reply
  51. kevin2 years 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. Frank2 years 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. Lisa2 years 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. Chelsea1 year ago

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

        Reply
      2. Brian12 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. bapbam9 months 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. Brian12 months ago

        Entry level jobs are for teenagers and college kids

        Reply
        1. ldskg11 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 Wilds9 months ago

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

          Reply
  52. Carlton2 years 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. Frank2 years 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
  53. Tray2 years 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. Dawn1 year 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
  54. Ray2 years 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. Carlton2 years 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. Frank2 years 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
  55. Gus2 years 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. Sarah2 years 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. Gene1 year 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. RR3 months ago

        Sarah,
        Why did you choose to have children before you had the skills to earn enough to pay for them?

        Reply
    2. RJK2 years 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. Frank2 years 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 Hippie2 years 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. Chelsea1 year 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 20101 year 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.1 year 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
    7. Nyara♥3 months ago

      Just a small correction. Business, effectively, seek their personal benefit and that is the higher profit as possible. Yet, some people seem to forget why we allow business to exist: it isn’t to make them win infinite profits and leave it on that, we allow them and we support them because they help the society in exchange with more jobs, infrastructure and stuff, that they gladdy work on as it is their own interest to do so.

      What is the problem, then? Sometimes, and actually, more than sometimes, business interests and society’s interests diverge as we aren’t exactly the same thing all the time. We have something named state, with something named law, with things called institutions to enforce it and pursue what is best for almost everyone.

      Minimal wage is (along most modern labor’s laws) one of the tools we use to try to move the interest of business and society toward the same direction. Currently, the U.S can easily pay a 11$ per hour minimal wage without any increase on unemployment and with totally affordable inflation (around 12%), and frankly, all the states that aren’t Mississippi or close to its ranks, can pay far more than that, but federal laws should work considering all the states, so 11$.

      What would happen if such things finally happens? Some (needed) economic distribution: the 20% poorer would have more disposable income to actually participate in the economy, pay their studies and health, and more. Yeah, the owners will complaint because they will have to update their car each five years rather each four years, but then when they go to eat a Big Mac, they will be served somewhat better as the worker would be less stressed for economical constraints.

      Reply
    8. Nyara♥3 months ago

      I forgot to note that because we require from business, we also have to please their interest from time at time so they will agree to follow the rest of the society’s line of work. This is also why we don’t rise the minimal wage to like 17$ (totally possible, but business outcry would be unbearable) and why we kept relative low minimal wage (because 11$ is still very low for what the economy is able to, 8$ is extremely minimal).

      So it work both ways: sometimes we please the business interest over our interest, and sometimes, we request them to please our interest over their interest. Because, at the long run, it totally payoffs.

      Reply
    9. Nyara♥3 months ago

      And at last, you may be wondering if you are smart enough about what creates this divergence on business and the rest of the society interests “if free movement of everything is always best for the economy”? Well, it is because how economies works in the first place:

      Demand.
      Supply.

      Minimum waged workers are FORCED to work on those jobs to pay their needs, their education, their freedom, their independence and live in the U.S in a fair way (because living from social assistance sucks). Thus, the demand is near to infinite, with its only limit being seeking a job that pays more than social assistance: you pay more than that, you can supply the demand.

      What is the problem? It is unfair: the productivity: in other words, how much money is generating the work of that worker, is at least four times higher of what they are getting paid for. Economy works because this disbalance on supply/demand doesn’t appear frequently as more people CAN choose more options to work on without major sacrifices

      OK, I know, people, nowhere, is getting paid the amount of money they are actually generating because we need to distribute part of that profit to interested managers, who will administer efficiently that money, to well, finally make more money that will be redistributed again by different mechanisms, including taxes. OK, that is the reason why some who is generating 70$ is getting paid around 30$, society can still live and work with that. But minimally paid workers are getting a stupid, abusive and unfair part of the cake with getting paid 8$ when they are actually generating more than 30$… sigh.

      Balance, please. We. Are. Not. On. The. 19th. Century. Anymore. Period.

      Reply
  56. Johnny V2 years 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. Carlton2 years 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
  57. Skyking12 years 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. Carlton2 years 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. RJK2 years 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
  58. carl ricker2 years 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. Carlton2 years 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. Crystal2 years 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. Rob2 years 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 Wilds9 months 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
  59. LindaJ2 years 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 Brand2 years 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. Carlton2 years 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. Rob2 years 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. AMerkatz2 years 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 Gargiulo1 year 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
  60. Carol Nicolay2 years 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.2 years ago

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

      Reply
      1. Brandon1 year ago

        Do you know what SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME means? Apparently not.

        Reply
    2. Scott Tomlin2 years 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. Carlton2 years 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. UsedtogetMinWage2 years 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
    4. Preston3 months ago

      Carol, it’s obviously been a few decades since you needed to find a job. If there were jobs other than McDonalds, people would take them. But there aren’t. I responded to a craigslist post in my town of 10,000 people. The post had only been up for an hour when I inquired about it. At that point, they had already received 200 applications for ONE position. This was a low-level computer job that required little skills. So as a person who is quite good with computers, I was rather dismayed when I didn’t get the job. The reasoning for not hiring me? I learned all my skills on my own – no jobs on my resume where I used computers in a work setting. You can’t say, “Get an education for a better job!” because the only respected form of education is a piece of paper with a college’s name on it, which takes money, which no one has. And even WITH an education, you can end up like my friend, who recently graduated after four years in college, and has no choice but to work an entry-level job at Rite-Aid. Because of this, jobs that would’ve been starting positions, or temporary, have become careers, and it’s a “career” where 100s of people are applying for a few positions. Currently, you can practically never find an internship or apprenticeship to learn skills and trades. The only way to learn anything now is to pay for it, which is hard to do when you can barely pay your bills. And if you do take the time to teach yourself things, at no or little cost, it isn’t recognized. Young people aren’t given the chance to take over and create like they used to. Everything now is about experience and hat you have on your resume, not drive or potential. If I, a 24-year old, wanted to start a business, I wouldn’t be able to get a loan. In the past, this wasn’t the case. All these older people say to work hard from the ground up. But in today’s world, you aren’t given that chance. No longer will you see a hard-working poor man work his way through the ranks, because, more often now, instead of promoting from inside, employees are kept in place, while an outside person who already has experience in the position is hired instead. To say inflation will cause companies to lay-off employees is also invalid. If this does happen, it’s more about the companies deciding to be jerks and doing what they think will save them money, but will actually ruin them in the long-run. Did moving auto manufacturing jobs from Detroit to China help our economy? No, it destroyed it. Especially in my state of Michigan, which used to be one of the strongest states in the country, and now has it’s largest city in bankruptcy. Did the auto manufacturers save money on labor? Yes, they did. But now no one (especially those in Detroit that were making them for so long) has money to buy the cars. What we need to do, is bring jobs back to America, make learning free and more readily available, and give our young people more opportunities so they CAN succeed in what you cry in outrage for them to do.

      Reply
  61. Ron from Eugene2 years 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
  62. Doug Kelly2 years 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. Mac2 years 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. timr2 years 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. Mac2 years 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. Jerry2 years 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.

  63. Joe2 years 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. timr2 years 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
  64. Tom Oberg2 years 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. UsedtogetMinWage2 years 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. RJK2 years 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. Frank2 years 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 Haymond1 year 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
      4. MP2 months ago

        If you “choose” to work for $3 per hour, go ahead and do it full time. Offer to babysit a relative’s kids, or care for their pets, 40 hours a week. Everything will be rainbows and butterflies, until it’s time to pay your rent, put gas in the car (it’s an average of $3 per gallon) or pay the electric bill so you can turn on the lights and use hot water to shower. (Unless, of course, you’re living out of your parents’ basement.)
        But you have no right to force the REST of us to do it – many of us are trying to support households, and we deserve a living wage.

        Reply
  65. Lou Wagner2 years 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 Kelly2 years 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. PaulV2 years ago

      I agree!

      Reply
  66. J.K.McGeady2 years 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. RJK2 years 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
  67. Don Endresen2 years 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. Joe2 years 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. Rob2 years 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 Kelly2 years 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. PaulV2 years 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. RJK2 years 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
  68. John Mccauley2 years 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 Endresen2 years 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. HK2 years 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. HK2 years 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
  69. Ryan2 years 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.McGeady2 years 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. Rob2 years 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. RJK2 years 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
  70. Kelly2 years 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 Zenber2 years 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. Joe2 years ago

        Agreed.

        Reply
      2. PaulV2 years ago

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

        Reply
        1. RJK2 years 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. LindaJ2 years 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
  71. Sue2 years 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 Zenber2 years 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. PaulV2 years ago

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

        Reply
      2. Rob2 years 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
  72. Robert Rosenbaum2 years ago

    Successfully regulating us into unemployment.

    Reply
    1. Paula1 year 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
  73. keith2 years 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. JYo2 years 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. Garth2 years ago

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

      Reply