I've said it before and I'll say it again, there should be no minimum wage. It's bad for business and it's bad for everyone else. It dilutes available money for living wages. If someone doesn't like their hourly rate at the low end, they should learn a skill that demands higher pay and benefits. Minimum wages are especially bad for small business. Employers know where they can draw the line for wages. They have to offer enough for people to takes the jobs, but they shouldn't be forced to offer a minimum hourly wage.
Today's Poll: Should the state's minimum wage be increased?
For the people giving me the negative votes, tell us why a minimum wage is a good thing.
Fair enough, Doug. I will play devil's advocate here because everyone has an opinion about people who live on "the system." Some of those people work jobs at the current minimum wage. Food workers, grocery store employees and big box stores among others do not hire full time. There idea of full time is less than 30 hours a week. Tops in particular will not hire you if you have another job, they will not hire you if you need to work specific hours (unless you are in high school or college) and they tell you that you might get 17 hours per week if you are lucky. With those hours there are no benefits offered.
Another problem even if the person works 40 hours for minimum wage I believe that gives them less than $300 per week to bring home. If you look at the prices of apartments around here, 1 bedrooms start at $500 and work their way up. Add in electric, water, groceries, etc. and that person cannot survive on that wage alone and maintain a household.
On the other side of this how about thinking about what these people do for minimum wage. It is a little disgusting and I give them all of the credit in the world. I spent 3 weeks working for a McDonald's while waiting to begin the job I moved to Florida for. It was hot, greasy, slippery, smelly and the customers were demanding and rude. They cook your food as fast as they can, pack it and hand it to you in a bag with napkins, straws and condiments. All you have to do is eat it. These people pack the groceries that you need every week, they ring you out at the big box stores, they deal with everyone's bad attitudes and yelling children and they go home miserable and tired. This includes the employees who gather your carts after you are done shopping and push them inside so that when you enter they are there and available all in a neat line. They endure the rain, the cold, the snow, the wind and the heat to provide this service.
Most of all these workers do not get holidays and weekends off which many people take for granted. They work overnight and early mornings to be ready for the rest of the world (fast food workers sometimes start at 5am and do not end until 10pm or later) and they never know what shift they are going to work. On top of it they have to arrange childcare which is not affordable even on most higher wages (these rates can run close to $200 or more a week.)
As for your idea that "If someone doesn't like their hourly rate at the low end, they should learn a skill that demands higher pay and benefits" please explain how you expect everyone to do that. When I was 18 I could not afford to go to college. I did not have any established credit to take out loans and my single mother's credit was ruined when my father ran up joint accounts and filed bankruptcy on her 6 years later. I went to MMI in Orlando. The basic course is 52 weeks and it costs over $28000 to finish. One semester at GCC is $1950 plus textbooks which run anywhere from $600-$1000+ per semester. PELL and TAP cover only portions of this for most people.
Some of the minimum wage workers are there because they cannot afford to go to college and maintain their current home. Some of them have graduated college but cannot find available work in their area. These workers provide services for the rest of the world that take the stress off of us. They are a vital and valuable addition to our society whether anyone looks down at them or not. Could you do this work for minimum wage and really be happy? Would you do that work for minimum wage or less? No you would not.
Finally let me ask this...If the government decided that everyone should make minimum wage in your industry how would you feel? Could you afford your car, mortgage, gas, utilities, insurance, cell phone, groceries, etc. on less than $300 a week? Doubtful.
Here is my idea for minimum wage. It should be based county by county, state by state and in line with the cost of living for that area. It should be set at a rate that an individual could reasonably work that job and maintain a household without added assistance. Then there would be less workers on "the system" and these workers might not be so miserable when they see the lines forming. Maybe they would also be able to afford to learn skills that open them up to jobs that pay higher wages...food for thought
The problem with trying to make the minimum wage a "living wage" is that it never works. When the minimum wage goes up, business has a few options.
They eat the cost and take less profit. That works if they are making a high profit margin.
They can cut cost to make up the wage increase by laying off employees and/or cut work hours. If the workers are getting any benefits, they can cut them to make up the lost profit.
If they have the type of business that is not community based, they can close and open someplace else.
Or they can raise prices or some combination of the above. Then the workers still can not afford the things they want. They then need another raise in the minimum wage.
I agree with that 100% John and my idea is not perfect but putting minimum wage workers at even more of a disadvantage would cause more problems. Small businesses are definitely at a disadvantage to find a balance. There are not enough ways for them to recover their costs of paying higher wages and there are not enough resources available for the workers.
Michelle, if I had come up with all those excuses 30 years ago, my mother would've dropped me off somewhere and said "don't call me for money." Wait, she DID do that in February of 1982.
Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be paid at a living-wage level. Minimum wage jobs are a foot in the door. They're a stepping stone to larger bodies of water. I don't have a 2 year, a 4 year or a six year degree of any kind. I first worked at low paying jobs and then decided that low pay really sucked. I went to night school for licensing and worked by day. Somewhere in between I slept. I have not been unemployed in 30 years because I was motivated to learn a trade.
Anyone claiming that a lack of a college education is holding them back is just using that as an excuse. Where there's a will, there's a way to get ahead. I wasn't allowed to use excuses like the kinds you listed. No disrespect intended by that last statement, but there ARE opportunities for better paying jobs if you're willing to pull your weight without complaint. You might have to move, I did. If anyone realized how easy it is to be a plumber, everyone would be a plumber making large sums of money.
Before the plumbers attack me, remember that I'm in the trades. I know what your job entails. I can do plumbing, electrical, pneumatics, hydraulics, steam production, AC, pipe fitting, welding, mechanical work on just about anything...I'm the ultimate mechanic with high skill levels in many fields. You may think I'm tooting my own horn, and I am, but these opportunities are open to everyone if you look around.
I'm in no way saying that everyone in a minimum wage job is a slacker, but I'm willing to bet that a lot of them are more motivated by the promise of more money for the same amount of work than they are by learning new skills to earn a larger paycheck.
My mother, both of my sisters and my niece (Hi Tina) have established their selves in the medical fields as nurses. They make fantastic money and they didn't have to go overboard into debt to achieve their licensing. Taking on a responsibility to get ahead isn't a terrible thing. Claiming that it is, is just an excuse.
the minimum wage job is not a career.it is somewhere for a young person to start their journey in life or a place for a retiree to make some extra money..
minimum wage jobs have supervisors and management positions...if you fgeel stuck in your minimum wage job,work hard and earn a promotion..in the old days,we called this,"working your way up the ladder"
if you can't work your way up, you already know there are so many government programs out there for you.there is a program for any and every need you have...and everything is free..
btw..i voted NO
and what doug said
WTG David, I guess you and I come the the generation of "no excuses" and "work 3 jobs or starve" and/or "stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about." Toughen the F-bomb up!
BTW, the government doesn't decide that my field of work demands any minimum wage. I earn my keep with my level of skills and my profession generates it's own wage level. That's the difference between learning a skill/trade and working at a minimum wage job. There should be no such thing as a minimum wage.
My girlfriend is the manager of a well known, small outlet chain. Her payroll budget is $6000 per month, period. If minimum wage is increased, guess what happens to the number of hours that each employee can work?
Just curious then who will flip your burgers, fry your fries, stock your shelves and gather your carts? I do not have a 2,4 or 6 year degree. I went to a trade school. I busted my butt sweeping floors and working my way up to general manager in my industry. I worked full time in a dealership and part time in an aftermarket shop. I drove 200 miles round trip to school every day 5 days a week. I understand what you are trying to say but you also act like the people who do every job that you take for granted are going nowhere. You talk like everyone has a friend, spouse, relative who can cosign to get them to college. You talk as though everyone should find another way to maintain a house. But some cannot with the restrictions placed on them. Life is not a perfect box doug. My mom did not allow for excuses and that is exactly why i made the choices i did. But i had to take steps to do so. I left this state the night i graduated high school and worked my way up. I have lived in many states as a matter of fact and in each state i have met some of the hardest workers who simply fell on hard times. What i am saying is those people doing minimum wage jobs may not ALL be there by choice but they are there because they have to meet their basic needs somehow. Have you ever considered how you would survive if your physical ability to work in your trade was robbed from you? Many students at gcc are in that position just as i am. Many of them are displaced from their jobs due to downsizing. Yes moving does payoff but where does that money come from when your paycheck is not enough to put food on your table and keep a roof over your head and you are told that you make too much to get any help? The reality is some people fall through the cracks because our system is broken. (Oh and as for a promotion in a minimum wage job i was offered one at that mcds. I would have gotten a $1 an hour raise to $8.50 an hour with no bonuses and benefits i could not afford.)
I think those minimum wage workers deserve just a tad more credit than you give because when the uniform comes off they are still a fellow human being that may shock you with their story. I am also in no way saying there are not those who are complacent and lack motivation. I am simply defending those who do but maybe cannot for a reason none of us knows until we take a moment and ask
in the politically correct," no one can lose" "everything has to be fair" society we have created, if the minimum wage does increase,then mine should too.....just saying
Michelle, those jobs you mention aren't career positions. They'll be filled by people who are willing to earn lower wages and will typically be tax exempt at the end of the year....namely students. McDonald's order taking isn't a career job, right? Minimum wage jobs are what they are..minimum wage jobs. They don't "deserve" any more than an employer can afford to pay them. Read what I just wrote in the reply before this one. I've known many people in the retail/service industries and I know first hand how minimum wage kills jobs and decreases hours worked. It's simple math. Just because a wage is increased, It doesn't mean more prosperity for the hourly worker OR for the employer. In fact, it means just the opposite.
when you fall off the ladder,get back up and climb it again......if you are deemed handicapped from your fall,minimum wages are the least of your problems,and we have government programs that take care of any needs the handicap may have..
I qualify every one of my statements with an explanation of meaning
If only that were true dave. I am in fact handicap. I was on the receiving end of a distracted driver. The accident broke my lower back and i now have 12 inch rods and 2 fake discs in my lumbar spine. Unfortunately i am deemed to make too much on disability to receive any help with prescriptions, insurance, food or basic living costs. Fortunately enough i was put in touch with VESID which helps someone in my position and others who are handicapped to complete college. I am in my second year with a 4.0 average, i am an officer for an honor society and i am working on getting my A.A.S. in Business Admin. When i graduate i can take my degree and use it to return to my industry so that the 15 years i put into it are not wasted. I can also make more money and make a difference.
Sorry to hear about your misfortune, Michelle. Isn't insurance covering costs? I want to know what their excuses are if they aren't.
The accident was in florida. You only need $10k PIP to drive. The rest is optional and the driver who hit me only had the $10k. That was exhausted with the emergency room and two visits for cortisone injections. My insurance was only worth $35k. Take out the 45% in lawyers fees and their$5k filing fees and that left very little. It was $19k for the surgeons fee of my first operation and $15k for the outpatient hospital visit. There is no other recourse in florida in that circumstance. If your insurance and the other drivers insurance do not cover the cost you suffer. I had to drop out of mechanics school because it is all hands on and no accomodations and file bankruptcy. I came home and needed another surgery so in the end i filed on $200k in medical bills.
I am starting over though and finding ways to get back to what i love
I would rather see an increase in the minimum wage then an increase in the number of people scamming the system for unemployment or welfare money. By your beer and cigarettes with the money you earn rather than my tax dollars.
Im not referring to the above conversation about disability/ insurance. Its more a general frustration about how many people take advantage of the safety nets our system created for those who have truly fallen on hard times. If you can work, do so.
Absolutely howard. My brother was the same way. He drifted through jobs after high school, tried college and ended up working in the oil fields. He is now the manager of a large oil operation. For me i began sweeping floors, planning on going to college for meteorology. I had a 4.0 and when i couldnt go to college for what i wanted because i could not distinguish the radar colors, i chose to stick with what i was doing. I made minimum wage for 2years working my way from floor sweeper, to inventory, to shipping, to the parts counter. I learned i was good at what i was doing and because the money wasnt here in that business i moved to florida and built one heck of a career.
My point earlier was simply this. The people who do minimum wage jobs who are in high school or college are one thing. Thats par for the course. Those who do those jobs so they can take advantage of services that others (like myself) need but cannot get are a whole other subject not related to minimum wage. But those people regardless perform services that each of us takes advantage of on a daily basis. They deserve minimum wage but not less. If they choose not to advance on their own that is there problem. But i was trying to shed light on how some of them are not always there out of choice. Nothing more, nothing less.
For me college was never an option due to finances until i could afford (thanks to my career i built) to take on the expense of loans and supplies. For some that is a reality. I see and hear it every day at the college. Thanks to VESID i now get the chance of a lifetime to reclaim my ability to earn money since being a mechanic is not realistic at
this point with my injuries from the accident.
The work force is ever changing. Most jobs now require a minimum 2 year degree. To work the assembly line at one of the new yogurt plans they tell you that you need it. To sort cabbage in a field they ask for the same. Now with lean manufacturing becoming more rampant those of us without degrees find it hard to be offered jobs no matter what our experience hands-on has been. My mom was laid off in november. She is 56 and worked in manufacturing all of my life and before. She is certified in q.c. and osha, cad design, can set-up, program, etc but when she applies for a job now the first question/qualification has been do you have a degree?
So my point is this. Everyone deserves minimum wage and what they do from there is in their hands.
Minimum wage increases are nothing more than a 'Feel Good' Solution, when you look at the over all picture and the numbers a different story unfolds.
In ascending order of state-ordered generosity, the eight living-wagiest states are:
8. California (unemployment 12.1 percent; minimum wage $8.00)
7. Massachusetts (unemployment 7.4 percent; minimum wage $8.00)
6. Vermont (unemployment 5.9 percent; minimum wage $8.15)
5. Connecticut (unemployment 9.0 percent; minimum wage $8.25)
4. Illinois (unemployment 9.9 percent; minimum wage $8.25)
3. Nevada (unemployment 13.4 percent; minimum wage $8.25)
2. Oregon (unemployment 9.6 percent; minimum wage $8.50)
1. Washington (unemployment 9.3 percent; minimum wage $8.67)
Full story (Link Below), which contains some interesting data on how cost of living, median income and union membership correlate with minimum wage. Although this article was written during the depth of the recession, if you research year by year, the results are similar.
The minimum wage in the State of North Dakota is $7.25 per hour, yet Mv Donalds and Burger Kings there are paying a starting wage of $9-12 an hour.
The reason is simply demand, North Dakota is having a boom due to fracking and and a rise in oil production. ALL businesses are paying more because there are fewer employees to go around. The bottom line is, if you want to help those on the lower end earn more, you have to create an economic environment where businesses grow, and competition for good help raises base wages.
Another example, many people mistakenly believe that Unions and laws brought about the 40 hour work week and shift pay, they are wrong, Henry Ford brought these to the workforce because as new car companies came about, the competition to hire and retain good workers became untenable, this was 32 years before the first auto union was formed.
I am not knocking unions here, not saying that that there shouldn't be a debate, just saying without an environment for businesses to grow, minimum wage increases do not do squat to help the situation. Which is better for the community at large 1 person earning $8.75 an hour or two making $7.25, just saying.