Minimum Wage Needs To Be Raised

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Editor:

Republicans have refused to allow legislation to raise the minimum wage to come up for a vote, even though the American public supports the increase. Corporate profits have gone through the roof, while the wages of millions of struggling Americans stays the same. And the burden on taxpayers for these workers that cannot live on the amount their extremely profitable employers pay them continues to grow. Congress is very quick to de-fund the social programs that help the working poor to survive, but will not act to guarantee that they are paid enough to lift them from poverty.

Opponents of raising the minimum wage say that minimum wage workers are young and inexperienced, but statistics show that the average age for fast food/retail workers is actually in their 30s and they have families to support just like the rest of us.

And then they say it will hurt the economy — but leading economists agree by nearly a 4 to 1 margin that the benefits of raising the minimum wage outweighs the cost. As a matter of fact, the cities and states that have raised their local minimum wages have some of the healthiest economies in the country. And if employers would begin to share the cost of wage increases from their profits and their huge salaries, rather than passing it on to the American consumers, there would be an even better outcome.

I never understood why athletes deserved obscene salaries until someone told me that they weren’t being paid that much because they are exceptional ball players but because they are making their team owners boatloads of money. And they have strong agents and unions that make sure the profits are split with them.

So, when faced with those opponents who say that people that flip hamburgers or operate a cash register do not deserve to make more money, perhaps we can use the same logic they use in professional sports. Those minimum wage workers are not just performing a menial service, they actually are making their employers boatloads of money, which makes their work of great value. It is those same workers who have built an empire that allows McDonald’s CEO to make over $7 million yearly and for the company’s profits to have increased 135 percent between 2007 and 2011. And it is those same workers that have made the Walmart heirs the richest family in America.

So, who are the real “takers” in this picture?

Wendy Trainor

Comments

Mel Mevis 7 months ago

One of the things our founding fathers did not want in this country was an aristocracy ...... Today we have an aristocracy in the wealthy who have inherited great wealth. Of the top ten wealthiest individuals six made it the old fashion way ...... born with a silver spoon.

When you look a little closer at who they are and their political affiliations and leanings it is interesting how different the "self made" billionaire and the "aristocrat" billionaire look at the working poor.

Bill Gates is self made. He has pledged to give his money away and is already started.

Koch Brothers inherited. Look at what they have been doing to support the working man.

If you think the Republican party is the party of the working man you are deluded.

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Donald Cline 6 months, 3 weeks ago

If you think any political party is the party of the working man you are deluded.

You know, Mel, I have a great deal of respect for Bill Gates, although I have reservations about the Gates Foundation investing its assets in companies that have been accused of worsening poverty, polluting heavily, and pharmaceutical companies that do not sell into the developing world, and his Millennium Scholars Fund excluding Caucasian students. But I give Bill and Melinda full marks for trying to improve the world through education and charitable works, including their pledge to donate 95% of their net worth to charity over their lifetime.

You suggest we look at what the Koch Brothers have been doing to support the working man, so I did: They have donated more than $196 million to dozens of free-market and advocacy organizations to enhance the liberty of the working man to work, to keep what he earns, to conduct his life as he sees fit not, as some central planner would dictate from his lair a thousand miles away. Their advocacy organizations, and the political candidates they have supported, are committed to getting government off the backs of both the working man and the entrepreneur and the businessman, so the economy can thrive and all can not only prosper, but keep what they earn and fulfill the fundamental promise of the American liberty ideal: Keep government off the backs of the people.

What it boils down to, Mel, is that Bill Gates wants to educate the working poor so they can improve their living standard. The Koch Brothers want to provide jobs for the working poor and give them the liberty from government interference so they have the incentive to improve their living standard and move up the economic ladder. Both Bill Gates and the Koch Brothers are doing great work to improve the economy of the world and the living standard of those who work to create that improving economy.

This is all in contrast to your thesis, and the thesis of the political party to which you and Wendy Trainor belong, who seeks to keep those working poor -- and non-working poor -- in the shackles of poverty in exchange for their votes.

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Meria Heller 7 months ago

Congress makes $211 an hour, and refuses to raise the pathetic minimum wage. Let's pay them minimum (since they do minimum) and see how they like it.

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don evans 6 months, 4 weeks ago

$15 per hour for illegal aliens to flip burgers? Not......The SEIU (Service Employees Intl. Union) is the mover behind this phony what is fair media ploy. They want to unionize all flippers and their associates take their dues, and feather their nests and those of their political hack allies. More bogus class warfare for the low information voters to consume. If you don't know the democratic party is all about keeping you dependent on them, you are brain dead.

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Donald Cline 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, Wendy, we've been over this before and apparently you are not paying much attention. You resolved your own issue in the second to last paragraph: "... they weren’t being paid that much because they are exceptional ball players but because they are making their team owners boatloads of money." Exactly right. When hamburger flippers start making their restaurant owners boatloads of money, they will get paid more.

It's the law of supply and demand. If a hamburger flipper could produce three times as many properly made hamburgers (and assuming the demand for three times as many was there) then he would be worth three times the wages. But he can't, so the restaurant owner has to hire three hamburger flippers to accomplish the same thing, and he pays three times the wages, but he pays the wages to three people.

If government sticks its beak into the equation, then the restaurant owner is forced to either cut back on the number of hamburger flippers (people lose jobs) or raise the price of hamburgers to the point that no one will buy them and he has to let everyone go and close his doors. We are not talking about a sweat shop situation here; hamburger flipping was never designed to be a career: It is designed to tide a young person over while going to school to make something of himself or (lately) to supplement a retiree's retirement income.

If you want a decent wage, get an education in something employers need, or get an education in how to run a business efficiently and economically. Stop encouraging government to interfere in the marketplace; all you are doing is encouraging graft and corruption and ruining the economy in the bargain.

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Andy McKinney 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Citizens, There is another thing that has yet to be mentioned. There is a trade off between wages and employment. In some other countries the minimum wage is higher than it is here. Their rate of employment is lower, in some cases dramatically lower. If the cost of materials to a business goes up, profits go down. It the cost of rent goes up, profits go down. It taxes go up, profits go down. The business will use the brain power of the managers to counter the effects of increased expenses. They might raise prices, they might skimp on quality, they might and have in our country, invest in labor saving devices to increase labor productivity. Increasing labor productivity increased the output of product as it relates to labor input. More profit per paid employee hour in other words.

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Andy McKinney 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Continued If we increase the cost of labor without increasing the efficiency of labor (by raising the minimum wage) we create a dead loss to the business. Our government predicts that one million jobs will disappear if we institute the proposed reform. It is inner city young men, Black Men in short, who will bear the brunt of this disappearance of jobs To advocate this is on the face of it racist. The people who will suffer are young and black. The people who will be best advantaged are the sons and daughters of white middle class people who earn money for school working as waiters, fry cooks and the like to earn money for college. It can be looked at as a method of transferring wealth from the very very poorest to the middling well off. Only a low down racist dog who gives not a farthing for the poor among us would advocate such a thing. I do see that there is no shortage of such people.

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