A higher minimum wage gets you nowhere

Senator Sanders and others call for a living wage and to that end wants a $15.00 per hour minimum wage. That gets you $31,200 per year for full-time employment.

Sanders also calls for free college.

A higher minimum wage is a short-term mediocre fix, but not to the problem faced by minimum wage working adults.

You can’t get far in this world without a command of basic skills and that includes communication skills. Think about your initial interaction with anyone. How much are you affected by the words out of their mouth, their use of language, the message their body language sends, their attitude?

As a nation the majority of our high school seniors are not proficient in basic skills such as reading, writing, math and in important knowledge about civics, history, science and economics. Following are national averages, many states are far worse.

Free college, higher pay in low skill jobs mean little in improving the long-term prospects for individuals with minimum basic skills to assist them, not to mention the 12 to 15% who do not graduate high school or the variables that affect graduation criteria.

And yes, there are great differences in skill levels and graduation rates based on race.

The goal is to get full-time employed adults out of minimum wage jobs, not just make them more comfortable in them.

4 comments

  1. The NAEP report card screen shot is very interesting, although it is slightly different then the one I just googled. I was shocked by “economics” being at 41 (42 on the one I found at https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/) and US history is at 12. With what is going on in the US and the total lack of historical perspective make sense for the history grade. But people do not have basic economic or financial common sense in reality (housing crisis as proof or the current covid-19 crisis) and they can’t do math by this report card so how is the economics grade the highest? Turns out on that the source data is from 2012. In fact most of the data is greater than 5 years old. Yes it is a snapshot in time, but is it really true that most high school students retained only about 1/3 of what they were taught? Maybe they should only get 1/3 of the starting pay. Forget about college, they are set up to fail. Don’t waste public money on a loss cause. I think we need to fix high schools first before free college. Employees need a basic level of skills.

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    1. History has proven that more tax dollars is a failed ideology solution to problems i.e. poverty, drugs, education, racial justice, etc.

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  2. I’m in the “jobs” business and have made a career out of helping companies find good people. The current nationwide minimum wage is irrelevant, and should be. Entry level wages, across the nation, are rising steeply. Today, a typical entry level job, which requires a minimum of skill, pays $14.00 to $15.00 hr. In the Indianapolis and surrounding areas. Burnie gets his wish but not the way he wanted it. The market set these wages.

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