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minimum wage

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    If anyone thinks the minimum wage of $7.50 is a living wage and it will support a family of 4 then they should try it and would find themselves on food stamps, living in slum housing and without health care so lets give the U.S. Congress members the minimum wage and see how long it takes them to raise that minimum wage, of course, if those representatives are millionaires which many are this approach would be meaningless.
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    Well, assuming full time employment (not guaranteed by a long shot, and working 2 jobs is a lot harder), $7.50/hour is a little over $15k/year. After payroll deductions you're down to about $13k.

    Now let's break down expenses; let's start with health insurance:

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2009-09-15-insurance-costs_N.htm


    "Average family health insurance policy: $13,375"


    OK, so you can't afford health insurance, so you go without. Hope you don't get sick!

    How about food:

    http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2011/CostofFoodMay2011.pdf

    "
    Monthly cost
    Low-cost plan
    Family of 4:          
    Couple, 19-50 years and children ⎯ 2-3 and 4-5 years

    678.50
    "

    So, there's $8000 just in food, assuming that you don't eat much meat, and even assuming that you can get food stamps (will you have the time to spend 2 days sitting in the DHS office without getting fired?), they have been cutting benefits and you will be lucky for them to cover half of that.

    Rent: Forget it! Even in the middle of nowhere, a 2-bedroom apartment (hope you have 2 girls or 2 boys, because many places make it illegal for different genders to share a bedroom, even when they are very young) starts at about $600/month; $7200 plus utilities.

    And I still haven't addressed transportation, clothing, toiletries, etc. What I have discovered is that most of the people who are critical of the poor have absolutely no idea what it is like to not know where their next meal is coming from, or to have to choose between going to the doctor and paying rent.

    Romney says that "anyone can borrow $20,000 to start a business." This guy was born with a silver spoon shoved up his....
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    Codejack Wrote: Well, assuming full time employment (not guaranteed by a long shot, and working 2 jobs is a lot harder), $7.50/hour is a little over $15k/year. After payroll deductions you're down to about $13k.

    Now let's break down expenses; let's start with health insurance:

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2009-09-15-insurance-costs_N.htm


    "Average family health insurance policy: $13,375"


    OK, so you can't afford health insurance, so you go without. Hope you don't get sick!

    How about food:

    http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2011/CostofFoodMay2011.pdf

    "
    Monthly cost
    Low-cost plan
    Family of 4:          
    Couple, 19-50 years and children ⎯ 2-3 and 4-5 years

    678.50
    "

    So, there's $8000 just in food, assuming that you don't eat much meat, and even assuming that you can get food stamps (will you have the time to spend 2 days sitting in the DHS office without getting fired?), they have been cutting benefits and you will be lucky for them to cover half of that.

    Rent: Forget it! Even in the middle of nowhere, a 2-bedroom apartment (hope you have 2 girls or 2 boys, because many places make it illegal for different genders to share a bedroom, even when they are very young) starts at about $600/month; $7200 plus utilities.

    And I still haven't addressed transportation, clothing, toiletries, etc. What I have discovered is that most of the people who are critical of the poor have absolutely no idea what it is like to not know where their next meal is coming from, or to have to choose between going to the doctor and paying rent.

    Romney says that "anyone can borrow $20,000 to start a business." This guy was born with a silver spoon shoved up his....

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    Wow. It sounds like the minimum wage to have a small apartment, health insurance and food and no car would be about 30,000 dollars a year!
    And in the United State we get short changed on vacations compared to the rest of the world. Add about 8 weeks vacation to get close the rest of the world.  So minimun wage should be closer to36,000 a year.
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    I have to say that you nailed that right on the head. I was laid off from my job in October. I received a 270.00 a week unemplyment check, I have paid taxes for many, many years. I 

     have never asked for any assistance and then when the time came I need some help "I am not eligible" I make to much money. Ok... Well now this has run out...Still NO job. I fill out

    applications and look for jobs. I look even have gone to McDonalds. I am over qualified so, NO hire here either.  They say the unemployment rate is down. Well where are the jobs?

    If we get Romney in office ,I do not think this country will survive, I believe that if congress would let Obama do his job we may get some where.  Blocking his every move does        

    nothing to help our country. Everyone is not rich! If they would get that in their head and work on that level we might get somewhere. Minimum wage is not an acceptable amount for

    anyone trying to live on. It is a slap in the face. Most people are working a manual job that get this payment too and that makes it worse. There are people who do nothing and make

    100,000.00  yr.  This is  "SAD" fact to think.  Their are senators making boo coo bucks.  Somedays, I think they should have to come and see what it is like to have real honest jobs 

     that you have to put your back into to make it in this world.  Not have the ability to fall back on their monies. That would change some tunes . I assure you,
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    How's this for a fact: Back in 1982 I was working a auto parts counter at minimum wage, $5.00 and hour. 30 years later, it's gone up @ $1.18 every 10 years. It's been said that if the min. wage had kept up with the current times, it would now be in the vicinity of $23 - $28 an hour and not the pathetic amount it is. If you remember during the last election, one Sarah "The Hockey Mom" Palin talked about government killing groups knocking off seniors and the poor. It seems to me that as much as we all thought how utterly ridiculous she sounded then, that in a roundabout way, she was right! Sarah Palin was actually able to think something out all by herself and she was actually and sadly correct. I think that we as Americans, that it's time to turn our flags upside down (as I say in my profile). I love this country, but I can no longer place my hand over my heart and say the pledge and feel good about it. Of course it goes way beyond this discussion on the minimum wage. This country has a cancer and is dying a slow painful death and yes both parties are to blame.
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    "While the highest incomes of the rich few keep increasing, the median (average) household income keeps falling. In fact, the incomes of the richest 20 percent of the population grew by 30 percent during the last two decades while the incomes of the lowest paid 20 percent of usdeclined by more than 20 percent in the same time period, and the buying power of the minimum wage declined significantly.

    Americans have been led to believe that the American Dream is about making it to the 'top of the financial ladder' or grabbing the "brass ring" of fame and fortune. Too many people have become tempted and corrupted and think they can make it to the top even if it's by hook or by crook, because they think the end justifies the means.

    But, that's just not true and it's not right. The American Dream has been twisted, distorted, and perverted. It's not about the individual rising above everyone else. The real American Dream is actually about equality and prosperity and happiness for all -- not just a privileged few who think they are entitled to rule.

    We should hold this truth to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, and we are equally deserving to be successful in our pursuit of happiness. We should all be able to be fairly rewarded for our labor and enjoy a reasonable and fair level of prosperity. We all deserve that.

    But, we have been going backwards, away from that, because tight-wing conservative Reaganites and Bushites have claimed that the poor simply deserve their lot because they are lazy. They claim that the poor merely have to work harder and lift themselves up by their own 'bootstraps.'

    In other words, right-wing conservatives blame the victims. But, they are not merely wrong. They are ignorant of all the facts that would fly in their face if they didn’t just look the other way.

    They ignore that it’s not like it was in the past, when it was not terribly difficult for an unskilled high school graduate with little or no means to get ahead. It used to be that they could get a minimum wage job that would pay enough so that they could afford some skills training or even higher education, if they worked very hard and were willing to do their home work, etc. But now it is terribly difficult, especially for those who are not highly intelligent or highly talented, and it’s been getting harder and harder, especially as the minimum wage has had increasingly less and less buying power. In fact, it stopped being a living wage some time ago.

    The Reaganites claim that the working poor simply need to work harder or get a better education to get better jobs to improve their financial situation. However, the fact is that someone has to do the jobs they are now doing! Someone will always be doing those jobs, and they should not be paid less than a living wage, as so many of the working poor are now
    ."

    (Excerpted and quoted from Poverty: America's Greatest Shame.)
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    "While the highest incomes of the rich few keep increasing, the median (average) household income keeps falling. In fact, the incomes of the richest 20 percent of the population grew by 30 percent during the last two decades while the incomes of the lowest paid 20 percent of usdeclined by more than 20 percent in the same time period, and the buying power of the minimum wage declined significantly.


    This is why here in Michigan we have on the ballot a measure to return us to a graduated income tax.
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    The MMT Job Guarantee (JG) is a better buffer stock than minimum wage (MW) or unemployment (UE).

    It's about full employment AND price stability.

    Government fixes the price of Treasury funded wages for JG seekers ($8-9hr) engaged in community service public sector work.
    Anyone who wants a job is afforded the ability to earn the fixed wage  made available by government (Employer of Last Resort or ELR).

    Government pays the costs of whatever the demand for JG employment.

    The demand for ELR jobs creates a market mechanism for determining the total quantity of government spending and size of the deficit necessary to achieve full employment.

    The floating JG costs are added to the fixed quantities of government spending in the existing budget.

    Minimum wage enforcement is backed by market incentives which reduce the actual need to police violations.

    JG workers maintain skills that the UE reserve army of labor lacks. The deepest troughs of pro cyclical forces is buoyed up without laying blanketed waste to so much human capital.

    Entry level work remains competitive, so you don't get some 'pop off' of inflationary wage pressures, even with a one-time adjustment,  and more workers with better skills would be available for private sector expansion. 

    The end of regressive, flat, and punishing FICA payroll taxes would enable us to let the real economy grow with incomes, instead of relying on private sector credit expansions. 

    We could turn this economy around in less than 90 days.

    It's about aggregate demand.

    LET MY PEOPLE WORK!

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    I remember when President Reagan removed all of the Civil Service Employees from the rolls of Social Security so that we were forced to save our money elsewhere.  I guess he and his administration were trying to kill Social Security.  I put my money in a deferred compensation program, and was able to save most of it. 
    Jobs are not as plentiful as they once were when I was much younger.  The jobs and manufacturing went to China & elsewhere.
    A kid could graduate from high school and get a job for Macy's or May co. or Bullocks' in downtown Los Angeles,.
    In the 1960's the minimum wage was around $1.50-$1.70 per hour, but in the restaurants the pay was $1.25, and in Arizona, the hourly wage was a whopping, .90 cents an hour! OO big bucks, huh?  In the 1970's I got a job that paid $3.50 per hour.  Of course, 1970 the rent was about $95.00 per month; the same kind of apartment costs $1000.  Nowadays, a kid can't find a job so what does he do, but join the Army to fight in a costly useless war.
    Peace, kids!
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    I too remember the $1.25 per hour minimum wage as that's what I made in a summer job in the early 1960s. I was looking for an inflation adjuster to see the equivalent in today's dollars, and came across this article in the Inequality.org website: COLAs, CPIs, and the $14 Minimum Wage

    Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) have been a part of Social Security annual adjustments since 1974. The Inequality staff use that date to determine what an equivalent minimum wage would be today if it also was indexed to various inflation measures.

    "Back in 1974, when COLAs for Social Security were first indexed for inflation, the federal minimum wage was $2.00 an hour.  If the minimum wage had also been indexed to the CPI, the inflation-adjusted minimum wage today would be $9.16 an hour."

    However, annual increases in Social Security benefits are not indexed to the CPI, but rather to an index based on wage inflation, the Average Wage Index (AWI).

    "If the federal minimum wage had been updated since 1974 using the Social Security AWI, it would now stand at $10.74 an hour.  That’s quite a bit more than the $9.16 an hour it would be if it had been updated for inflation using the CPI.  It’s a whole lot more than today’s actual minimum wage of $7.25 an hour."

    However, the AWI has not kept pace with the rising prosperity.  According to Inequality.org:

    "Between 1974 and 2011 the AWI rose a cumulative 17% (adjusted for inflation).  Per capita personal income, on the other hand, rose 57% (adjusted for inflation).  Had the minimum wage been indexed to  per capita personal income growth starting in 1974, the minimum wage today would be $14.41 an hour."

    Productivity gains have resulted in higher compensation at the top of the ladder, but not for ordinary workers. As noted the wages of the Top 1 percent have done considerably better than the average worker.  Continuing with the Inequality.org analysis:

    "At the top 1 percent of the American income distribution, average incomes rose 194 percent between 1974 and 2011.  Had U.S. minimum wages risen at the same pace as U.S. maximum wages, the minimum wage would now be $26.96 an hour."

    Okay, I'm not necessarily endorsing these latter inflation adjusted minimum wages, but rather listing them to show how far out of line the current $7.25/hour minimum wage is. When I made $1.25 per hour in 1963, it meant a lot to me.  Of course I lived at home with my parents, but I was able to save my money and buy my first used car, a 1953 Chevy, for $260.  I drove that car all over Montana until I graduated from college.