At Work

You may be for raising the minimum wage … but

IMG_0140understand that the rhetoric about living wage and lifting families out of poverty is mostly that; rhetoric and Old Bernie is the best at it. One national minimum at near $15.00 an hour is not appropriate or affordable in all area of the Country. The majority of minimum wage workers are not heads of families, nor do they work full-time. They are mostly young people working part-time or trying to get a start with minimum marketable skills.

Real help is not making them temporarily more comfortable in such jobs, but getting them out of those jobs, which by the way in many cases are going to disappear. Getting them out of those jobs first of all requires their own motivation and initiative and then skills training and education.

The simplistic and short-sighted approach the likes of Bernie Sanders takes to solve complex problems never ceases to amaze.

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15 replies »

  1. Dwayne, you can think what you want but here are some facts for you and everyone else who thinks the minimum wage does not need to be raised.

    There is a shortage of truck drivers in the United States. Unsurprisingly, that’s leading to a bidding war for qualified truckers among the big companies. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the need for 48,000 truckers in an industry of 800,000.Oct 23, 2015

    In 1976 minimum wage was $2.10 = $4,784 per year and the price of a new car was $4,100.
    in 2016 minimum wage is $7.25 = $15,080 and the price of a new car is $33,500.

    When my pension went up $26 in Jan 2015 (no minimum wage increase) I went into Sam’s Club on Jan 3rd and the price of Milk, Eggs, Coffee, Bacon and Bread all had price increases.

    Prices are going up anyway I would ;like to see some of the increase in costs go to the workers, so far in the last 8 or more years it has not.

    I am not saying it need to go to $15 per hour overnight but, $7.25 per hour in 2017 is too low.
    50% of workers make less than $30,000 per year, no wonder Social Security is under funded and many do not have enough to save anything for retirement and are in debt for basic needs not wants.


    • A bidding war for truck drivers is how it is suppose to work to drive up wages, not government mandates. Those who have the skills will get the pay.

      Do you think that prices will stay stable if 42% of the US gets wage increases? Who is going to pay the business the difference, the other consumers just not you? That is just what the politicians think about who is going to pay the taxes to cover the entitlements. It is always somebody else.


      • The prices are going to go up anyway. Maybe if wages go up people will not need government assistance, but we cannot have any of that going on. I find it funny that most people that are against raising the minimum wage, sure want their wage that is above the minimum wage to go up.


    • Mr. JRatt1956, with no disrespect and I do value your input; but I am not sorry that I would want my pay and compensation to remain an equal percentage from those who did not want to do the work and only want a hand out. I have a skill that exactly only 54 people in the United States currently have, which took 5 years of classroom, on-the-training, and testing to get the required federal license, and yet I am still very, very, very replaceable by the company, in a heart beat, I have seen it done several times. Nor do I feel that a burger flipper should make the same money as a truck driver or a store manager for the they have a skills over a burger flipper. Any job that uses picture grams to instruct employees are not of the same skill level as a person who has to read, write, and enter data correctly. There is also some responsibility that comes with taking 40 tons of truck down the highway at 70 mph. Safety of the public and the cargo comes to mind.

      The only group of people that should be paid minimum wage that I don’t believe are being paid that low are TV weather forecasters. They can be wrong 50% of the time and still keep their jobs. Can you imagine if an airline pilot was wrong on 50% of his landings? But I guess pilots and weather forecasters should be paid the same too?


      • I have a background in Avionics, with 10 years experience as a electronics shop supervisor. and cannot find a job. And I delivered newspapers door to door for 22 months in MT,32 to -27 below many days for $6,500 in 2005 and 2006. After paying expenses and income and SS taxes, I figure I made about $4 per hour. The local paper had not raised what they paid their paper delivery subcontractors since 1990. But the cost of the daily paper had gone up quite a bit. I quite looking for work in 2006, because I have a small military pension and do not feel any company is paying their workers a fair wage compared to what the worker makes for the company. Why does the owner of all 3 McD’s in my town live in the best house, but pays his workers so little??? Why do CEO make 300 to 500 times the average worker today, but in the 1970’s they only made 50 to 100 times what the average worker made? Everyone says get an education and you will succeed, but why are 52% of 2014 college grads working in jobs that do not require a degree???
        I stand by my other posts that the minimum wage needs to be raised, in fact all wages need to be raised, when compared to the value of the dollar today.


      • That McD owner took the risk, probably works 60-70 hours a week. It’s a myth that CEOs earn hundreds of times that of their workers. That is only near true for the top 200 CEOs and then it’s not salary, but total compensation with the vast amount in stock and at risk.

        I agree the MW should be raised somewhat and then indexed. Somewhere between $9 and $11 could be justified, but $15 is ridiculous because at that point you run into a great deal of pay compression. In addition, many small business owners working many hours barely make $30-40,000 a year.

        After all is said and done arbitrarily raising the MW give those workers more money, but not necessarily a better standard of living because all boats rise with the tide and that’s what will happen with prices plus many of these people will lose tax credits, subsidies, etc including in some cases Obamacare subsidies.

        To get a better life these workers need better skills and jobs. And by the way relatively few MW workers are heads of families or trying to support a family. The vast majority are under age 25.


      • RD – My daughter worked for the McD owner and only saw him in any store about 3 times per week, over a 2 year period, she worked at his office, and collected the daily bank deposits from all 3 locations. The office closed every day at 5PM, closed on the weekends. no way he was working 60 to 70 hours per week.

        The only problem with thinking better training is the answer, is there are not enough jobs for everyone to move up to very much higher pay. Why do we value a bugger flipper so low on the pay scale and the CEO so much higher. The recent CEO of Home Depot failed the company, was forced out but, received a 350 million dollar retirement package. That sure is fair. If minimum wage increases it pushes other wages higher and overall that is a good thing. At least if prices go up I can shop smart with the money I do have and maintain my standard of living, that is what I have done my entire life.


      • I assume you are talking about Nardelii who got $210 million package. It wasn’t fair, but that’s the problem of the shareholders and Board, it has nothing to do with the rest of us. Most of the package was in stock options which may I may not be worth anything.

        You can’t simply raise pay without a good economic reason to do so, including productivity. Gradually raising the minimum to a reasonable level is fine, but not $15.00 which starts to impact many other pay levels including many union jobs.


  2. If we vote with our dollars and do not go to restaurants that use robots, their doors will close fast.
    I will not use self checkout or kiosk systems, because I know they cost jobs and no savings on the items are passed on to the customer. Record profits for business, record low wages for the average worker.
    Minimum wage in 1976 was $2.30 = $4,784 per year, a new car cost $4,100. 2016 minimum wage is $7.25 = $15,080 per year,, the price of a new car $33,500. Time to raise the minimum wage.


    • You don’t use ATMs or order anything on line or pump your own gas or use a credit card? Still have milk delivered to your door each morning? The point is that jobs change. New ones are created and old ones disappear. Simply raising the minimum wage, especially to $15 doesn’t help people in the long run because they don’t get anywhere.

      It doesn’t just affect those earning $7.25, but all hourly wages because once it reaches $15 what happens to those at $16, $17, $18 today?


      • $15 per hour in NY City. Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, Washington D.C. and other high cost of living areas can be justified. I have looked at many of these areas and found none are jumping right to $15 per hour, they do it over a period of years and have some exemptions for small business.


      • In those areas perhaps, but people in NYC are not making $7.25 in McD now. This points out the need to consider cost of living and other wages in an area. A flat rate in the US must consider that.


    • The average McDonald’s employee makes $8.26 to 8.47 /hr. They already make more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. If you double their wages then should somebody making $15.50 / hr have their wages double too? While we are at it, lets double doctors and nurses wages. If you think healthcare costs are rising too fast now, just double the wages.

      If you double the wages I’ll have to continue to work instead of retiring this year since I will need twice as much money in retirement. Those already in retirement will now truly be living in poverty and need more government help which will increase the American debt because nobody will raise social security taxes.

      Since 42% of working Americans make less than $15 /hr, inflation cause by higher labor costs followed by layoffs and exporting of jobs are the only thing that you can expect. Remember that the US labor market is competing with the low wages of the rest of the world. At some point the wage costs out factors shipping and Trump’s tariffs.

      The only jobs that will be left in America will be the non-robot service jobs. Even retail stores are closing because that cannot afford to stock every possible size or product and people prefer to shop on the Internet where a computerized robot picks the order inside massive warehouses. Rising the labor cost will only speed this up. Soon the truck driver’s wages will fall because it will be one of the only jobs left and supply and demand for drivers will hold or drive down wages to $15 hr.

      $15 hr is not a one size fits all. NYC costs of living is higher than a city in the south. The supply and demand of the labor market should dictate the wages.


  3. In a recent book, Rise of the Robots, author Martin Ford mentions an inventor who is perfecting a robot who can make hamburgers, not just any old, but gourmet level. From grinding the fresh meat all the way to fixins on the plate, the robot can do it all. Very quickly.

    When the minimum wage increases to a level sufficient to make these robots affordable for the restaurant owner, they will be employed.

    The minimum wage currently is at a level that allows owners to employ the unskilled or low skilled. This may very well change.


    • I have not used an ATM in over 5 years. I get cash from the teller at my credit union, or when shopping at WalMart, no ATM fees. I still write checks for many items. In 1975 I made $9.10 per hour loading trucks for Gallo Wine in Commerce, CA. Right out of high school, no skills, just a strong back. I’m not saying go from $7.25 to $15 per hour, but $7.25 per hour in 2017 is too, low.


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