Minimum Wage
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Minimum wage has been the same for close to 15 years (perhaps longer??) I can't remember. it's been a long time. It hasn't increased with the cost of living. It should at least move up with inflation.

This just goes to show how corporations are in the governments pockets. McDonalds states that their jobs were created for kids but it was just to get away with making the billions in profits and keeping the minimum wage low. This law has been misrepresent by this corporation. As President Rosavelt said when signing it into law "any company that does not pay its people a livable wage does not deserve to be in business". It was meant to be a LIVABLE wage not a kids wage.

Minimum wage here in our city is very unfair because the price of cost living is very high and the price of food shelter and medicine is high too

I find the minimum wage here unfair. I've been working for more than four years now here in our company and I am still at a minimum wage.

Minimum wage sucks. I make only 50 cent above that, and it stinks. Luckily I love my job and I also know I will be getting a raise in 2 months...but still!

I have been working at my same dead end job for 6 years now. It's nothing of great quality but is a job. I wished I finished college to get a better job but didn't. I just now make $10 hr.

I agree that $10 per hour isn't enough to live on but just think of those working for the federal minimum wage of $7.25. If that were increased you'd get a much deserved raise as well, or you should.

My sons partner has a degree form the U of M and can't find a decent paying job. Its really tough out there now days a degree doesn't guarantee you a good paying job anymore. Its basically who you know.

I feel the same way. I wish I would've stayed in college so that I could earn more money today...live and learn.

Also there are lots of free online courses which can get you skills to get a better job. Check out jobs and see what they want and build up your skills to that.

i definitely think minimum wage needs raised at least to $9-10 an hour, but I also think food stamp laws and public aid laws need more adjustments

example: I got a sister has 2 kids lives w/their dad her boyfriend of 14 years. He works part time but uses his $ for beer and marijuana their 13 year old son gets an SSI check he is deaf that pays THEIR house payment...my sister gets a job and quits after 1-2 days well she made it 3 days once yet she knows she can always get foodstamps cut these lazy people off....plus if a child's disability check pays for a home it should be the child's home when they are 18 not the parents!

That is sad that your sister is taking advantage of the system and that her boyfriend works part time just so he can drink and use drugs (I am not sure if the boyfriend is on food stamps, but one the questions does ask if you are on drugs and if you answer yes one is not eligible). I am sorry that your nephew is on SSI and that your sister uses the money for their house payment. My friend has been on SSI since she was little and her mother started a savings account where her SSI money went into. Now that my friend is an adult she has access to the money and it was her decision to have her mom give her an allowance so it will not be gone fast. My friend lives with her parents until she finishes college (she has one more year for her Bachelor's degree and then wants to go to graduate school).

I agree with reforming our welfare system and the minimum wage being increased to at least $9/hr. On a forum once, I mentioned that we would be paying employees ~$12/hr. minimum wage today if wages kept up with inflation since the 1950's. Interesting thought.

David's right, if the minimum wage had kept up with inflation it would be much higher than $7.25. EVERY TIME it's proposed to increase the minimum the right screams that it will cost jobs and wreck the economy and that has NEVER turned out to be the case. It only makes perfect common sense, if you put more money into the hands of low wage workers they're going to spend it, thus stimulating the economy and everyone benefits.

So many cry if you raise the minimum wage everything will go up in price. It has been anyway ever since the last raise so I'm not buying it. Thats just hype that is spread so the big corporations can keep raking in the big profits off the sweat of others. The proof is in the profits people.

Case in point, food and energy prices. They've gone up but pay has not. And in my case, it's not so much minimum wage pay, but everyone's pay in general that isn't an entrepreneur unable to keep up with inflation. That is a recipe for disaster.

For me, Minimum wage is decent however should be raised for a fair bit to support bigger families or people who work hard. People can become greedy at the end of things, and if you end up getting a job with minimum wage, and your not happy, try and do something about it :)

I'm not sure how you could think $7.25/hour is decent. Maybe for a teenager living at home and just after some spending money but for someone trying to run a household and raise kids it majorly sucks. I'm sure most people stuck in these jobs have tried and are trying to do something about it but if they have no college or technical education or special skills that's much easier said than done.

Its not easy to live off minimum wage. Minimum wage does not always mean minimum skills (which is the argument used by many to justify the low minimum wage). My husband is a trained mechanic and trained to operate a list of heavy machinery and guess what - where we live many of those jobs are minimum wage.

I thought we needed more immigration to do the work that citizens won't do. The "reform" Obama has in store after the election will suppy more workers for the jobs the people here will not do.

George, did you accidentally but this comment in the wrong spot because it makes no sense in relation to Kristin's post?

Anne, it is related to me because illegal immigration stagnates wages which might be why the wages in that area are so low.

I know minimum wage can't hardly support a family of two, much less if you have kids. And like always, when minimum wage goes up, so do prices

But why? Are we that selfish of a culture that we can't let the people on the bottom rung earn a livable income and have a chance to catch up to us? The whole fight for a minimum wage increase is so people can afford to live without struggling. They aren't fighting for an increase in wages to be paralleled with price increases. That nullifies the whole reason for the wage increase. Sometimes I lose my faith in humanity.

I think the minimum wage debate hits deeper than just monetary benefits. Obviously the minimum wage has not been adjusted for inflation and the cost of living increase. But this debate goes further as if it were a worthiness issue. Wage theft from fast food restaurants is in the billion dollar range where they would have the employees work off the clock and would not pay overtime. They would even clock them off without their knowledge. Fast food employees don't get paid sick days or holidays and usually have more than one job. They work incredibly hard, usually harder than some white collar employees. If you have ever watched "Undercover Ceo", they can hardly perform the tasks of their low wage employees. Everyone who works hard is worthy of a livable income. The average age of a fast food employee is 29. Whatever circumstances led them to a minimum wage job, they are worthy of a livable income and a chance to advance in life.

I personally think that instead of the arguments about minimum wage and pushing for a higher minimum wage we should be pushing for lower cost of living. Why does gas, groceries, electric, housing, and all other basics have to cost so much? They dont, but in order to get the costs down it has to be a trickle effect and everything needs to go down. Gas costs cant do down if oil costs dont go down first. Groceries cant get cheaper if gas doesnt get cheaper.. and so forth.

I am on the same page with you, Kristin. A person earning minimum wage should be able to to pay for the necessities of life from income. The law that created the Federal Reserve in 1913 stipulated the Fed's role was to ensure "stable prices." Stable does not mean the Fed sets an acceptable rate of inflation, it means STABLE. Yet look at inflation since 1913. And the Fed allows inflation through credit creation by the banks. The same law that created the Fed said the fed must allow credit to grow in proportion to the growth in the economy. Instead credit growth has far exceeded economic growth since the 1980's, meaning money supply increased faster than production. More money chasing goods and services = higher prices.

Kristin, that may sound good but you're never going to convince the greed guts business owners that they should lower their prices and with them their millions or billions in profits.

Seriously why do they need all that money, they will never spend it all. Its ridiculous. Even cutting back on some profits will help the economy in some way. Thank God the price of gas has gone down a bit but the heating bills will be killing some of us with a harsh winter that is to come.

I think everyone should have the right to earn enough money to support there selves without having to work 2 and 3 jobs. And the people that say they should get an education just remember you wouldn't be able to get your mc donalds and starbucks without them. So quit acting like your so much better than everyone else.

Soon that will not be true.

Prepare for the age of the robot.

Check out this burger robot that makes the patties, cooks them, cuts the toppings fresh, assembles and bags 360 to 400 hamburgers per hour. Doesn't get sick and doesn't need to sleep:
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What about small businesses? It would hurt them to pay more. And then, who is to determine what is enough? Minumum wage here is $7.25 per hour and it isnt enough to do nothing

Amanda, the market is there to determine prices. These jobs are not forced on anyone.

Politicians are there to raise the minimum wage in order to give raises without having to pay anything themselves. Meanwhile costs rise and jobs go away...

Sometimes minimum wage jobs are forced on people. There are a lot of people who can't afford a higher education and they have to go to entry level jobs.

my husband is 63 drew a real paycheck since he was 10 he has epilepsy, a stroke and heart attack, 15 back surgeries now early alzheimers is starting he is allowed to make $656 a month w/his disabiity he does w/a part time job plus i am working 3 jobs and yet we still are poor yes poor under poverty

You don't need to go to college to have great skills. A lot of classes are free online and accessible from the library. I know of people who are VERY successful without any college exposure.

George, in today's economy where can someone get a job that will make them VERY successful without college or some kind of technical training? Those jobs are few and far between. There was a time when there were tons of manufacturing plants all across the country where "uneducated" workers could make a decent living, but they've been gone for decades and they're not coming back no matter who's in the White House or Congress. You know it's true, they've been outsourced or the jobs are now being done by robots. What once took maybe a dozen workers to do now might take one or two.

You can self learn any number of technical skills. Those jobs are not few and sometimes can be done anywhere in the world. Check out places like odesk.

It might not be easy to train but people do it all the time.

It is true that some low skill jobs are being replaced by robots. And higher wages will accelerate that. But to gain skills just can take time and effort not money.

Why stop at $15? Why not $25 ... why not $50? Why not go ahead and raise the minimum wage to $100/hr? If these workers don't like the wage they're offered (and many took as an act of their own free will), then they're welcome to work elsewhere that will honor the immense value a fry cook or a burrito assembler brings to a fast food restaurant. They're so difficult to find ...

Couldn't the counter argument be why not lower the minimum wage to $2.00 an hour or get rid of it completely?

Be careful, moth ball, there are some on the right who want to do just that - get rid of it completely. If people don't get off their butts and get out to vote that could happen one day and people will be working for $2/hour.

Yeah, having a minimum wage ensures that we don't become some corporate owned backwater like Switzerland. Oh, they just voted to continue to not have a minimum wage. Hmmm...

even if minimum wage is increased, the cost of living will go up. Therefore, we can never get ahead. Even with working multiple jobs.

Cost of living is based on supply and demand, not on wages. In fact if the minimum wage is increased in a balanced way the money going back into the economy could increase supply even as the increased amount of money people have to spend increases demand for certain things. There would likely be a rocky period as the wage increases where the economy would need time to "catch up" which is why I think it's important to make it a gradual increase rather than an all-at-once increase. As it is, cost of living goes up with inflation anyway, so keeping the wage as-is doesn't really do much good either.

I would like to see some kind of tiered minimum wage system. A teen living at home and working on the weekends really doesn't need to make 10 dollars and hour but people with limited ability to get education (weather due to time, physical, financial, or intellectual limitations) deserve to be able to support themselves.

Every one that can do the job whether teen or other wise should get $10.00 an hour if it is offered . Just because they live at home or not.Every one should be treated equal regardless of age or handicap.

It's not about job performance, it's about finding a way to allow employers to make ends meet while paying people what they need to survive. And also about finding a way to do it that doesn't just cause more inflation and issues (as any economist will tell you raising the minimum wage outright will surely do) I'm not saying my proposal is a sure-fire winner or anything lol. I just don't want to give the impression that I'm bagging on teen workers, I was one and I worked very very hard!

Oh okay I understand kinda your point now but I have an 18 year old and a handicapped husband so I was a little defensive at the time.

That's an interesting thought, but that could just open up a whole mess of worms. I am not sure if you mean minimum wage itself or differing pay for the same job. If it's the former, I can sort of see that maybe working, but then I don't think a teen would be as motivated if they weren't getting the same pay. If it's the latter that is where things get sticky to have 2 people doing the same job, but paying one more because they're older or live on their own or something.

I can see how that hit a nerve Susan. I'm sorry for your troubles and I know a lot of teens are in a situation where they do actually need the money! Some to support their families and some because they have children of their own, and some (like me) are already out on their own and in college when they are 17 :-) I meant no offense.

I know it might be a logistic nightmare to implement. People do get paid different wages to do the same job all the time though, granted, it's usually due to experience at that specific job (or other credentials such as certification or a degree) not years of age :-) There are a lot of constraints when you employ teens as it is (hours they are allowed to work in a week or in a row times they can't work past etc.) So it actually might motivate companies to employ more teens...which might not be a good thing either lol.

That's very very true, but I think that making it a system vs a 'behind closed doors and discretion' kind of thing would make it the nightmare. I think there would have to be more thought on this, but you do bring up a good point. Although for me that wouldn't have been great as I was out of the house pretty young too

For about 2 years it wouldn't have mattered for me because I lived at home and worked, and for a year or so between moving out and turning 18 it would have been a total bummer lol. Maybe an exception could be made for emancipated minors and university/trade school students or something :-) I guess I'm not quite ready to bring this plan before the legislature lol.

Those teens that "don't need" $10 an hour are typically the ones trying to save for college, an apartment, et cetera and so forth. I'd say $10 an hour is fair unless you want them to live with their parents for an inordinate amount of time. Everyone pressures kids to get a job and move out as soon as they're able, but that's not exactly compatible with the idea of restricting their pay.

I think it's an interesting thought, but it would backfire for those people who truly do need to support themselves. What would stop an employer from simply hiring teenagers and not adults out on their own paying their own rent and mortgages. I see what you were getting at though.

I totally agree with Lewis and just is common sense to me. If you start at the bottom (kids) and give them a better wage they will in turn be able to help pay for their education for a better job down the road. Also will not be in much debt if at all when they graduate. That money goes into the economy instead of student loans. Example car, housing, food, etc. Its a win win in my opinion

I understand why we need a minimum wage. Those are the jobs are youth are suppose to start out to get experience before moving on to more profitable careers. or for those who only want to work part time jobs. The sad part there seems to be an abundance of these type of jobs. But not enough for people to gain skills to move forward like their use to be without a college education. It is in a way to keep the rick, rich and the poor, poorer.

I hate the minimum wage in my state. I hated it at my last job where they paid me only ten cents over minimum wage, and then gave so few hours.

I think the cost of living is too high for those earning only the minimum wage. I also understand also that for employers it means a lot of money already and with the new laws on paid leave... and other obligations, it becomes difficult to keep your doors open by keeping yourself afloat. You have to fire some employees or find new ways to make money. It's hard out there for everyone. I don't understand how some big companies give themselves big bonuses while the "little man" working in the same company can barely pay his bills. Without the "little man" they would not have been successful. You don't get to the top alone, you need or used others. It is up to you to show your gratitude, share the benefits, give training, offer free classes or daycare... That is also how you keep good employees and become like a family where people enjoy working for you towards the same goal.

It's different now, I used to work several minimum wage jobs and was able to have a new car and a decent apartment, although that's without having any dependents, many though can work here and get government assistance and they have homes and cars plus electronics, so they just have to hope they don't get some kind of disability

Minimum wage is not suppose to be a living wage. It's a foot in the door job that allows unskilled workers the chance to earn experience. If people want to make more money they should gain the experience and skills they need and find a higher paying job. Even better yet go to school (if they haven't already) or join the military. Entry level fast food workers and other unskilled employees should not be expecting 15 dollars an hour.

I like this quote " Don't like minimum wage? If you have minimum skills, minimum education, show minimum motivation, provide a minimum contribution to the workplace, why the hell should someone be forced to pay you more?"

Very well said! If these people want fifteen dollars an hour, they should go get a fifteen dollar an hour job. If they don't qualify? That's what it's all about, for heaven's sake!

You can usually move up the pay scale without too much trouble. If you are limited in that, you need to consider self employment or use of an agency

Yes, that is very true. However I've know people that had worked very hard to not get paid just minimum wage and they just get fired from their company. Then they have to deal with getting paid minimum wage. I don't want the government to raise minimum wage, but unseen events can set people off.

It's hard to leave minimum wage when it's all you get; you can't afford school on minimum wage, so how are you supposed to get the skills to get out of it?

It sounds like you're saying that laborers don't deserve to survive. Not everyone with a minimum wage job is a teenager living with their parents.

I support a basic income for all citizens.

Very well put Amalthea! For some people it's impossible to get the skills they need to get a better job. It's sad to see people trying to feed their family and pay bills off of a minimum wage job because it just can't be done.

I think that there are many things that can be done for more than minimum wage. Minimum is for grinding out and making a base to branch off of, you should not get comfortable making minimum wage.
That being said, you can live off of it if single and frugal.

There are student loans, grants, and scholarships to pay for school. They could also join the military and have it completely paid. These types of excuses are exactly why people never motivate themselves to do anything better.

I am not saying they don't deserve to survive. What I am saying is raising the minimum wage is not the best option. It would cost the businesses more meaning they would probably lay off workers or find ones that are of a higher skill level.

Usually student aid won't pay for your living expenses, just tuition and fees. There's the Pell Grant, but that's only a couple thousand dollars per semester. Also you need to pay for textbooks and school supplies yourself.

So even if people can hustle up the money for school, they'd still have to work full-time DURING school to actually survive. Some people can do that without their grades struggling, but it's the exception.

Kris, your entire paragraph is filled with more excuses. People don't need more excuses they need solutions.Raising the minimum wage, in my opinion, is not the solution.

Student loans will and do pay for your living expenses. I would know considering I took some out while I was attending college. What is the problem with working hard and achieving something great? I am not saying its going to be easy but its certainly worth the time and effort.

L.H., you act like minimum wage jobs aren't "hard work." Labor is labor. It is hard to get a position wherein you can get "skills" to begin with.

Kris is right, it is not normative to be able to hold down a full-time job and be full-time enrolled in school.

I never stated they don't work hard. Some do and some don't depending on the person. However, they shouldn't expect huge amounts of money for entry level work.

There are plenty of people that hold down full time jobs and go to school. However, that is not the only way to advance. They could go to school part time, online, or go to night school while working. There are options out there but some people choose to keep making excuses instead of putting in the work to make the money that they so desperately want.

Minimum wage sucks. It is basically only enough to barley get by and that's if you are good at being financially responsible (that means no shopping every week). I can get by with minimum wage but it would suck.
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