The minimum wage is a training wage. Nothing more, nothing less. If you
don't like what Walmart pays, don't shop there.I started
my current job 22 years ago at $5.75 an hour. I was married with two kids and
one on the way. I worked a couple of other jobs on the side to supplement my
income. I worked my butt off to support my family. By the way, I wasn't
on food stamps either. I could have easily qualified. Maybe someone
working at minimum wage doesn't need that Smart Phone, their Ipad, cable
TV, a new car a fancy computer, their NetFlix account, designer clothes, eat out
all the time, their credit cards. Maybe they need to lose their sense of
entitlement and learn to get along in the real world. Maybe they need to learn
to deal with life without having so many things.A living wage is
relative and in the eye of the beholder. After 22 years, my current salary
might not seem like a living wage, but I have learned to live within my
means.Forcing employers to pay a wage that the market may not
support is wrong.
@atlWRONG on both counts! The only minimum wage-earners in my employ are
the dozen or so 15-16 year-olds. Everyone 18 yrs old and older has always been
paid above the minimum wage. I do not need government to tell me how to operate
my (highly successful) business. I am in year 25. Furthermore, there is a good
chance you could not buy my business. But then again it is the rare
left-leaning individual who has a real grasp of the realities of capitalism and
To "pragmatistferlife" have you spoken with most kids under 25 yas old?
Agan, why do teens and young college age kids need to have minimum wages
Would the job creators try to keep wages low to make more of a profit?How about
hiring illegal labor? The market will take care of that?
I think we should just do what conservatives want. No minimum wage, no Medicaid
, no Medicare, no social security and no unemployment.Why we are at
how about zero taxes on the wealthy since they are god like and the rest of us
can bask in new great economy.
First of all, the current level of the minimum wage is very low by any
reasonable standard. For about four decades, increases in the minimum wage have
consistently fallen behind inflation, so that in real terms the minimum wage is
substantially lower than it was in the 1960s. Meanwhile, worker productivity has
doubled. Isn’t it time for a raise?Now, you might argue that
even if the current minimum wage seems low, raising it would cost jobs. But
there’s evidence on that question — lots and lots of evidence,
because the minimum wage is one of the most studied issues in all of economics.
U.S. experience, it turns out, offers many “natural experiments”
here, in which one state raises its minimum wage while others do not. And while
there are dissenters, as there always are, the great preponderance of the
evidence from these natural experiments points to little if any negative effect
of minimum wage increases on employment.- Raise Thaf Wage, Paul Krugman
"give up their cell phones, ipads, cable TV, late model vehicles,
SUV's, Hummers and the like, stop eating out three times a week, "Alfred lives in a fantasy world, like most conservatives. Working full time at the current minimum wage, $7.25, will earn, gross,
$15,080 a year. Taking out payroll taxes of 6.3% leaves $14,130 or $1,170 a
month. Just over a thousand a month and Alfred thinks these people
are buying Hummers, SUVs, late model cars eating out three times a week and all
the other bells and whistles. Alfred, nobody is getting a loan for a
60,000 dollar hummer (guessing on the price, I imagine they are more) making a
grand a month. I doubt you could afford the insurance on a hummer making
minimum. Alfred, like most conservatives, is very much out of touch.
@one old man:"I know several, older, well educated people who are
doing that now because their jobs were shipped overseas and they simply cannot
find anything better."Yes, and with the raise in the minimum
wage even his current job is likely to shipped over seas.@one old
man:"You are already paying big bucks for welfare. But you'll
actually save money if we make it possible for people to pay their own medical
bills -- and to work for a living wage."Who says the current
minimum wage is not a living wage? There are millions of people around the
world who work for far less than that. Furthermore, those minimum wage earners
would likely do just fine should they decide to give up their cell phones,
ipads, cable TV, late model vehicles, SUV's, Hummers and the like, stop
eating out three times a week, and ride a bike or bus to work.
@wrz:"We can thank the likes of Teddy Kennedy for the minimum wage.
Like a true Democrat and politician, he knew he could garner votes by promising
higher wages, even though it would be businesses paying those higher
wages."Obama is supporting raising the minimum wage because he
is a shrewd politician (or, at least his handlers are). He knows that the
majority of wage earners will look favorably upon the action hoping that their
wages will, likewise, raise. They are not smart enough in economics to see the
downside. That's what Democrats do. They appeal to the masses who have no
inkling as to what is taking place in the economy. The heck with the welfare of
the American economy... the important factor is get Democrats reelected by
making the other party (Repubs who oppose the wage hike) look bad.True statesmen will look out for the good of the country's economy first,
above their own political career. We have few real statesmen anymore in
congress (and none in the Democrat party). That's why we have a $17
trillion debt and climbing. And that's why with country is going to the
"Despite a few exceptions that are tirelessly (and selectively) cited by
advocates of a higher minimum wage, the bulk of the evidence -- from scores of
studies, using data mainly from the U.S. but also from many other countries --
clearly shows that minimum wages reduce employment of young, low-skilled
people."("Delay the Minimum-Wage Hike", by David
Neumark, Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2009)Read the whole article.
@Open Minded Mormon:"'A rising tide lifts ALL ships.'
That's why."Raises in wages is not a rising tide.
It's just the opposite. Higher wages businesses have to incur raises the
cost of goods and services produced by those businesses... which slows
purchasing and thus, economic activity.
"Raise minimum wage"Yeah, sure... You wanna send millions of
jobs over seas and put millions more American workers on the government dole?In the first place, the government has no business setting any kind of
wage. That is the function of a free market system.We can thank the
likes of Teddy Kennedy for the minimum wage. Like a true Democrat and
politician, he new he could garner votes by promising higher wages, even though
it would be businesses paying those higher wages. That is just plain thievery,
pure and simple.
"Legislators who support increasing the minimum wage believe that this
policy will benefit poor families; however, our research indicates that past
experience with minimum wage increases in the U.S. is at odds with this view.
Minimum wages do, no doubt, help some families escape poverty; but the
employment losses associated with a higher minimum also appear to cause some
families to fall into poverty. On balance, our estimates suggest that the latter
effect outweighs the former, and therefore the net effect of minimum wages is an
increase in the proportion of poor families."("Will
Increasing the Minimum Wage Help the Poor?" by David Neumark, Mark
Schweitzer, and William Wascher)
This will create more inflation and even further kill the value of the dollar.
You know redshirt, I always wonder if you read the studies you cite. This is
from the abstract of the Berkely study you cite:"We find no
indication that the rise in the minimum wage reduced employment"This is from the conclusion of the Berkley study:"we find that
the increase in the minimum wage increased employment. We present a wide variety
of alternative specifications to probe the robustness of this conclusion. None
of the alternatives shows a negative employment effect. We also check our
findings for the fast-food industry by comparing changes in teenage employment
rates in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York in the year following the
increase in the minimum wage. Again, these results point toward a relative
increase in employment of low-wage work- ers"Thanks, redshirt,
for providing information that proves, once again, that you and your fellow
conservatives are just plain wrong.
Red Shirt actually labor statistics show 1) about half of minimum wage earners
are under age 25..not teenagers. 2) only 23% of teenage wage earners earn
minimum wage or lower. So even if rasing the minimum wage resulted in lower
unemployment it certainly isn't a devastating blow to "teenagers"
in general. Secondly, urban minimum wage earning teenagers are most likely to
be working at national chains of one kind or another, and a national chains
response to a minimum wage increase is not going to be laying off
people..it's going to be a price increase, or productivity demands. And
before you go there..most of these young workers are working retail..jobs not
available to overseas workers..and the price increases are at most a couple of
cents on some products.
Consider the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare and the reasoning of John Roberts
on the subject of employer mandates. When looked at in this light, minimum wage
laws are equivalent to a tax on employment of low-skilled workers.When we place a tax on something, we tend to get less of it. People adjust
their behavior in order to avoid paying the higher tax. In the case of minimum
wage, they hire fewer low-skilled workers.In economic terms, when
the price of labor increases, the demand for it decreases. Raising the minimum
wage results in the availability of fewer entry-level jobs.The way I
see it, employment is a contract between the employer and the worker. Both are
free to accept or reject the terms. Government has a proper role in enforcing
such contracts, but it should not be dictating the terms. The terms are a
private matter, or should be.
Larry I think many businesses will suffer if minimum wage is increased. I wrote
to Mike Simpson about it will have to see what he says. Hopefully it won't
pass the House.
To "atl134" your analysis is wrong. In the grocery store you have the 5
checkout lines running with 3 baggers, plus the 4 people in the bakery, 2 in the
deli, plus the 6 guys who stock the shelves, 4 guys who unload the trucks, 1 guy
watching the produce, 1 watching the floral department, 1 guy who cleans the
floors. You now have 28 people that you have to pay $1.75 more. That means
that per day you have to pay those people $490 more in wages and pay about $49
more in employer contributions to payroll taxes. Now, you have to pay out an
additional $3773/week in salaries or $196,196/year in salaries.A
grocery store is not a good place to measure the effects of raising wages
because of the minimal hands on labor. Plus, that analogy doesn't take it
back to the food production and transportation. If you follow the money trail
back to the beginning, you may be supprised to see you food bill go up by 10%
per month. Imagine what that does to a poor family that already struggles with
Raising the minimum wage does not result in job loss. Actual studies done on
the subject, not just articles in conservative publications:Arindrajit Dube, T. William Lester, and Michael Reich, “Minimum Wage
Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties,” The
Review of Economics and Statistics 92 (4) (2010): 945 – 964.David Card and Alan B. Krueger, “Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case
Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Reply,”
American Economic Review 90 (5) (2000): 1397-1420.Sylvia A.
Allegretto, Arindrajit Dube, and Michael Reich, “Do Minimum Wages Really
Reduce Teen Employment? Accounting for Heterogeneity and Selectivity in State
Panel Data,” Industrial Relations 50 (2) (2011): 205-240.
RedShirt, I am curious. Why do you refer to an article published in the National
Review by Veronique de Rugy as "the Berkley study"?
To "merich39" and "one old man" go and read "Minimum Wages
and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and
Pennsylvania" at Berkley, "Raising the Minimum Wage: A Tired, Bad
Proposal" at National Review, and "The Young and the Jobless" in the
WSJ.They found that by raising minimum wages you create more
unemployment.So, lets take your example and apply what we learn from
the studies.John works at Walmart, and thanks to the higher minimum
wage, is now able to get his family off welfare. Meanwhile because of the
higher minimum wage Walmart now puts on a hiring freeze and allows the staff at
their stores to shrink either through attrition or by firing people. You get
one person off welfare (or reduce their welfare) and now put another one on
unemployment plus welfare. However since John doesn't earn much, he pays
no federal income taxes.How are we better off if we now we have gone
from 2 people with few welfare needs to 1 person totally dependant on welfare?
At best we break even, reality will probably show that we lose more than is
@One Old Man You know well educated people working for minimum wage? I
don't think so. And if they are I question their education.
@Invisible Hand"All of you min wage advocates should try starting your
own business sometime. Before you rip on business owners for being greedy, walk
a mile in their shoes. Try facing the day to day pressure of making payroll and
paying vendors and contractors. "Let's pretend I'm
manager at the Food Lion I worked at (I'm from out east). There's
roughly 30 employees a day making near minimum wage and working 6 hour shifts
(others make more and aren't affected). Let's say minimum wage goes up
a dollar (or I increase the just-above-minimum wage a dollar to be
just-above-new-minimum-wage). That's an extra 6 bucks an employee or 180
dollars a day. Now how many products does the grocery store sell in
a day? Let's say that we scan 20 items a minute between the 3-5 checkout
lines. Over the 10 hours the store is open (I'll exclude the early morning
and late evening hours that are quieter) that's 12,000 items a day. To pay
the 180 dollars to cover the minimum wage increase I'd have to charge an
extra 1.5 cents an item. That's not a crippling price increase.
Thinkin' man must not have been thinkin' when he wrote: "By the
same logic, why should I as a consumer be forced to pay higher prices for goods
and services to subsidize welfare for low-wage workers?"It's just like the argument about ACA. You are already paying big bucks
for welfare. But you'll actually save money if we make it possible for
people to pay their own medical bills -- and to work for a living wage.
No, Midvalian, not all workers working for minimum wage are kids or people
without education or skills. I know several, older, well educated people who
are doing that now because their jobs were shipped overseas and they simply
cannot find anything better.What we really need to do is reverse the
dismaying loss of what was once one of America's shining graces - the idea
that we are all working together and not in opposition.But greed
gets in the way of that. Just look at what's happening with CEO salaries
Get rid of the minimum wage! Why should I be forced to subsidize sub-standard
employees, when I shop at wal mart or any other business. If you don't want
to work for minimum wage, don't! Find or create a better job, if your so
So Marc,you want to punish those evil school districts who do not pay
their 14 year old sweepers more than $7.25?Maudine,the 3
states with the higherst unemployment have higher minimum wages. the 6 states
with lowest unemployment have the federal minimum wage.Redshirt,Interesting that you quote actual studies, but the lib "response" is
to misquote Reagan. What the libs DO understand is the more people thay can
make dependent on government, the more likely lierals are to retain power. that
is the sole reason for everything they do.
One of the arguments against raising the minimum wage is that the companies (ie
WalMart) will just pass those increased costs on to their customers. This is
likely true. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Currently, someone who works at Walmart and makes the minimum wage will likely
be dependent upon food stamps and other social services to be able to survive.
WalMart customers pay a lower prices for their purchases and all taxpayers, not
just WalMart customers, end up picking up the tab for the social services. By
increasing the minimum wage and getting more taxpayers off of tax funded social
services, we shift the cost of WalMart labor from all taxpayers to Walmart
customers, where that cost properly belongs.
To "Open Minded Mormon" how does creating more unemployment help? Yes,
"A rising tide lifts ALL ships" but as the studies show that with
respect to minimum wage, the tide is not rising. An equally valid statement is
"a receeding tide strands all ships".As the Berkley study
found, raising the minimum wage is a bad thing and will lead to greater
unemployment.Your statements only confirm a lack of understanding.
Historically, as I stated previously, raising minimum wage laws only increases
unemployment.If you want to help the poor and get them employed you
cannot keep raising the minimum wage becaue first it increases unemployment, and
second it raises the price of the goods that we all need.You and
your ilk constantly complain that businesses move overseas where labor is cheap.
What do you think will happen when we make US labor that much more expensive?
It is well documented that the right to work states have lower unemployment.
Why is that? Could it be that the cheaper labor rates attract businesses? What
will happen when US labor rates increase?Why do you want more people
unemployed? Do you want more people dependant on government handouts?
RedShirtUSS Enterprise, UTWow, the comments here only show that most
liberals do not understand business.First, according to the IRS, the
majority of minimum wage earners are suburban teens and young college students.
Why is it necessary to raise wages for that segment of society?=========== Wow, that comment only show that most conservatives do
not understand economics.To use an old Ronald Reagan Republican
aphorism..."A rising tide lifts ALL ships."That's why.
All of you min wage advocates should try starting your own business sometime.
Before you rip on business owners for being greedy, walk a mile in their shoes.
Try facing the day to day pressure of making payroll and paying vendors and
contractors. Maudine, what qualifies you to say how much anyone should make?
Eric, in what universe are you living where if you raise the price of something
you get more of it?
Wow, the comments here only show that most liberals do not understand
business.First, according to the IRS, the majority of minimum wage
earners are suburban teens and young college students. Why is it necessary to
raise wages for that segment of society?The biggest reason why
raising minimum wage is a bad idea is that it actually raises unemployment among
teens. See "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food
Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania" at Berkley, "Raising the
Minimum Wage: A Tired, Bad Proposal" at National Review, and "The Young
and the Jobless" in the WSJ.Why do you liberals want to support
an idea that historically leads to fewer jobs, and more demands on those with
Raising the minimum will stimulate business, as the underclass gets more
purchasing power. There is no data to show that raising the minimum hurts
Not a single business will fail due to a higher minimum wage.Any
sane business owner will simply add a nickel or dime to their product or
service.Consumers will pay it, and will not ever notice the few pennies
more.Those who don't/won't and fail anyway, just
prove they aren't very good business owners in the 1st place, they product
or service is not worth it anyway, or they are simply looking to blame someone
else for their own failures.Gas companies flex their prices several
DOLLARS per gallon all year long, forcing consumers to pay $Hundereds more each
month, and yet - ironically - not a single conservative, Tea Party Republican
whines about that?
"The only down side to raising the minimum wage is possible
inflation."Not really. Increasing in the minimum wage has
usually increased unemployment among young workers. Hardest hit are young black
people. Google: "WSJ The Minority Youth Unemployment Act"Also, Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell have written extensively on this
@Rikitikitavi"Increasing the minimum wage will in fact cause job
losses because employers like me will hire fewer workers or else raise
prices."So what you're saying is you currently pay your
workers the bare minimum and your company is so inept at earning money you
can't even afford a dollar an hour more per employee?"Either way inflation is the inevitable result."A small
percentage of the workers in this nation getting a 1 dollar/hour pay increase
would not substantially alter inflation.
The only down side to raising the minimum wage is possible inflation.With those making higher earnings [and paying higher tax revenues and getting
less tax payers subsidized food and housing].FYI - these were a huge
portion of the 47% Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republicans were complaining
about.You don't want people "mooching" from the system,
pay them enough for them to have something to contribute.
@Thinkinman"By the same logic, why should I as a consumer be
forced to pay higher prices for goods and services to subsidize welfare for
low-wage workers?"If you look at what I posted earlier, you
should be concerned about you "subsidy" for the executives.They
are the ones getting a disproportional amount of the pie."Funny
how liberals fail to realize that all of us pay when "corporations" are
penalized financially. Check your 401K lately for what corporations you
own?"Corporations are actually doing quite well. And in a large
part because of the productivity gains of their workers. But CEO's and
other executives are increasingly getting a disproportionate piece of the pie.
How are they being penalized financially?
Terrific letter, making an argument I hadn't considered before. Well done.
Oh, and Rikitikitavi, no you won't. You'll hire more people.
You'll have to, to keep up with increased business. The stimulative value
of a raise in minimum wage is an accepted and established economic axiom.
By the same logic, why should I as a consumer be forced to pay higher prices for
goods and services to subsidize welfare for low-wage workers?Funny
how liberals fail to realize that all of us pay when "corporations" are
penalized financially. Check your 401K lately for what corporations you own?
You really do not know what you are talking about. Increasing the minimum wage
will in fact cause job losses because employers like me will hire fewer workers
or else raise prices. (or else both will be the result). Either way inflation
is the inevitable result.
"America is twice as rich as it was back then. So why are American workers
making less money?"The continued flood of immigrants into and
manufacturing out of this country has made low skilled labor much more
available, thus much less "valuable". We only have ourselves to blame
for electing people who aid and abet these circumstances. If anyone thinks
hiking minimum wage a couple of bucks will help anything - they're
The minimum wage would have to be raised to around $10.50/hr. just to regain the
purchasing power it had in the sixties. Since the sixties, inflation adjusted
per-capita GDP has doubled. In other words, America is twice as rich as it was
back then. So why are American workers making less money?
Excellent comment Maudine.Corporate profits have been steadily
climbing. CEO and Executive pay has skyrocketed.Average worker pay has
been fairly flat.From International Business Daily"Chief executive pay jumped by more than 725 percent between 1978 and
2011, according to a new report from the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute,
compared to just 5.7 percent growth in worker compensation during the same
period. The pattern contributes to the widening wage gap between the
nation's highest earners and other earners -- something the report says is
a driving factor of income inequality in the U.S."How does this
get politicized? How does anyone, Republican or Democrat look at the above
numbers and defend them? How did corporations and CEOs dupe so many
of the working class of this country to defend the disparity in pay
increases?How does anyone see a 725% increase for CEO's vs a 6%
increase for the average worker as being good for the country?Put
aside partisanship for just one minute and read what is quoted above. What does
common sense tell you?
Most adults makking minimum wage get food stamps and subsidized rent. Thing is
by raising the minimum wage you are raising prices to go with it. Businesses
particularly small ones will pass the cost on to you anyway. As for ceo's
if you bring in more money to them you deserve a pay raise yourself. Business
owners work hard so you can have jobs and products you enjoy. Are they making
you any poorer. They toil more than there employees too.
A very thoughtful letter, and the minimum wage should be expanded to cover all
gainful employment. At the present there are portions of the workforce that are
Ideally you are not trying to make a living on minimum wage. You will be
unhappy and miserable. Min Wage jobs are supposed to be for Kids who just
entered the workforce and start at the bottom. If you remained at the bottom
you have to ask yourself: what happened to me? If you decided not to
learn a skill that is what happened. And if you had no opportunity to learn a
skill, a min wage job can set you up for low wage management, and lots of other
things. LET NOT pander to those who want to make a living flipping
burgers. Sure raise the Min wage a bit, but not too much, its not supposed to
be a living wage.
If the minimum wage had grown at the same rate as executive pay, it would be
over $20/hour. Management does not need to make 300 times what the
average employee of their company makes. And before you go off about
how raising minimum wage is going to increase prices, please be sure to include
in that comment why CEO pay isn't one of your concerns when discussing
prices. PS - If you look at the numbers, very few minimum wage jobs
are held by teenagers who have no financial obligations beyond themselves. PPS - Countries with higher equivalent minim wages, have lower