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Minimum wage

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Many states have a higher minimum and several states include an automatic COLA. The great debate is now about raising the federal rate. For some reason many people feel that the supply and demand for generally minimal or low skilled work cannot fairly determine the minimum wage. Hence the push to have the government determine the minimum. Others claim there is a need to raise the minimum because the rate has not kept pace with inflation.

That is not correct. In fact, taking the minimum wage established in 1938 by the Fair Labor Standards Act and adjusting it for inflation to 2013 you find the inflation adjusted wage if considerably less that the actual wage.

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A full time worker earning the minimum wage makes $15,080 which clearly is poverty level especially for a family. However, most minimum wage earners are part-time, young and not the main breadwinner for a family.

So isn’t the real issue not merely raising the minimum age, but rather finding more ways to help those earning the minimum and who want to, to raise their skill level and thus their potential income? It seems we tend to frequently focus on the symptom of a problem and not the real problem itself. Doing this means we only perpetuate the problem.

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5 replies »

  1. OK Mr. Quinn, I’ve read enough of this far right-wing ideological drivel – you and the Tea Party racists make no sense at all!:
    1) You oppose any increase in the minimum wage and, in fact, want to eliminate it entirely when history and economic experts demonstrate and proclaim that it will improve our economy
    2) You and your right-wing ideologues refuse to extend long-term unemployment benefits which will also improve our economy
    3) Your right-wing ideologues in the House refuse to vote on an infrastructure repair jobs bill proposed by POTUS which will improve out economy, reduce unemployment and reduce dependence upon food stamps
    4) Your right-wing obstructionist ideologues in the House have repeatedly and blatantly created circumstances to crush our economy that is struggling to recover so they can run against a poorer economy in November of 2014 – a la the government shutdown
    5) Your right-wing ideologues in the House have voted to drastically reduce programs that feed the poor and the unemployed – their cure for poverty is starvation, I guess
    6) Your right-wing obstructionist ideologues in the House have repeatedly attempted to deprive American citizens of Affordable Health Care – and dozens of Republican governors had refused to assist their citizens with expanded Medicaid – that is immoral, at best
    7) Far right-wing state legislatures in dozens of states have created huge road blocks to suppress the voting rights of the growing American citizen majority because they (and you) are on the wrong side of existing American beliefs and evolving American history
    8) Welcome to minority status Mr. Quinn – elderly rich white males will no longer run this nation – no matter how much money they spend on political campaign advertising and voter suppression legislation
    Wake up and smell the coffee, Mr. Quinn, and live out your life with full realization of the realities occurring around you – don’t fight it – understand it and realize reality!

    • Well Mr Wilson, I hope you are much younger than I so you get to reap the benefits of the changes in our society you so embrace. Sadly it appears you are so obsessed with your ideology you are not able to make a distinction between a right wing ideologue and someone like me who is admittedly right of center and champions personal responsibility and accountability and fiscal prudence. Look around the world and see where the extreme left has gotten people. There needs to be a balance between helping those who truly need help and creating a society dependent of the largess of government which in turn is dependent of taxing, taxing, taxing.

      I am also disappointed that you go off on your soap box but miss the fundamental points I try to make. Disagree if you will, that’s fine but at least consider the facts as opposed to simply accepting the political rhetoric as truth. This post on the minimum wage is a good example. Address the real problem. Comment on the misinformation about the wage keeping up with inflation. Talk about who is paid the minimum wage. Think about a constant minimum wage increases impact on all wages above it and that long term impact on jobs and ultimately on the price of goods and services we all buy, especially lower income people.

      I hope you will share this blog with your friends of a like mind. I would surely like to hear more of the left point of view and see if I can address those perspectives.

      PS the fact is that white European men built this country, took the risks, created industries and more. Granted they did it in many cases with great abuse and taking advantage of others, but they did it nevertheless and the benefits of living in America today are directly related to the accomplishments of these reprehensible men.

      • We are about the same age, but sadly, you are still living in and clinging to the past. You are certainly entitled to your own opinion and ideology, but you are not entitled to your own facts. Nothing you have written contradicts or belies the facts that the right wing Tea Party racists are dedicated to destroying our economy and middle class society so they can campaign against it, as I have detailed. We must elect Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate in 2014 to return this nation to economic greatness!

    • I wish you would get off this Tea-Party stuff, I have nothing to do with them or the extreme right for that matter. I see you speak for all of American when it comes to existing beliefs, that is as wrong as the Tea-Party. If I am on the wrong side, then tell me what the right side looks like, what is the perfect America in your vision?

      All I want is personal responsibility and accountability, a fair shot at a better life for all, fiscal responsibility both personal and government. More and more government and more people dependent on government programs is not the way to success for America in my view. It leads to mediocrity and complacency, just look at other countries in the world who have followed this model.

      Each month I send a check to a school in the inner city. This is a private school that takes motivated minority kids (and families) and gives them a free education for grades 6,7,and 8 and then gets them full scholarships in the best private high schools in the state, schools that 90% of all students could not afford. Most then go on to college. It seems to me this is far more productive than me paying that money in federal taxes so the left can claim I am paying my fair share. These kids get a fair chance based in large part on their own motivation, in fact, more of a chance than many other average people. Do they deserve more? What more should government do?

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