Minimum wage

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Minimum wage

I did not watch the address last night, but I have seen a lot of talk this morning on the minimum wage. Do you think it should be raised? Why or Why not?

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Yes I do. Although 9.00/hr is hardly a living wage which is what I would rather see. It's better than what it is now.

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I do not. Raising the minimum wage raises the cost necessities. For example, If you could for $10 fill three carts full of food, verses for $100 you could not even fill one cart of food, do you really have more money? I do not believe raising minimum wage will solve the problem.

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No. All it will do is cause more people to be out of work. An employer only has a certain amount of money to spend one way or the other. If the minumum wage is raised they will either have to hire less people or reduce their hours. It won't solve a thing. They are already doing this because of Obamacare another reason won't help. It will also just cause MORE employers to send work overseas.

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So again I ask, you two think it is appropriate that full time working people have to be on government assistance because they cannot afford to live? Does that make sense?

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"Jessica80" wrote:

So again I ask, you two think it is appropriate that full time working people have to be on government assistance because they cannot afford to live? Does that make sense?

Sorry you don't like the real world. That is just the way it is. If you raise the minimum wage there will just be more people without a job on assistance. And more jobs in China.

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I think minimum wage should be raised. While some of you say that it'll hurt businesses, I don't agree. If you can increase the money a person has a)they should be able to get off government assistance, thus not costing taxpayers and b)they will have more disposable income to put back into businesses.

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"mommydearest" wrote:

I think minimum wage should be raised. While some of you say that it'll hurt businesses, I don't agree. If you can increase the money a person has a)they should be able to get off government assistance, thus not costing taxpayers and b)they will have more disposable income to put back into businesses.

Where is the money going to come from to pay them? Businesses are already laying off people at the current wage. It is just robbing money from Peter to pay Paul.

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While on the surface it may seem like a way to increase the standard of living for lower-income Americans, in reality the policy is likely to backfire. For instance, research by economists David Neumark of the University of California, Irvine, William Wascher of the Federal Reserve Board, and Mark Schweitzer of the Cleveland Fed shows that that minimum wages increase poverty and hence poverty reduction certainly shouldn’t be expected as a benefit of raising the minimum wage.

That’s because, contrary to common belief, the relationship between low wages and poverty is extremely weak. In fact, as Neumark writes in a 2009 piece in the Wall Street Journal, “The principal sources of an individual’s higher earnings are more schooling and the accumulation of experience and skills in the labor market,” both of which are discouraged by increases in the minimum wage.

Neumark, who has done extensive research on the issue, summarizes his results the following way: “Based on 20 years of research, I doubt there is ever a good time to raise the minimum wage.” And the negative consequences are worse when unemployment is high. He adds that, with a few exceptions, “The bulk of the evidence — from scores of studies, using data mainly from the U.S. but also from many other countries — clearly shows that minimum wages reduce employment of young, low-skilled people.”

Raising the Minimum Wage: A Tired, Bad Proposal - By Veronique de Rugy - The Corner - National Review Online

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People making more money stimulates the economy, especially the local economy. If I make more moneyI am more likely to spend on things I couldn't before, or spend more often. If more people are going to a local restaurant because they have more income, the owner is making more money and able to keep up with the increase in minimum wage to his employees.

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9.00/hr works out to be what...17-18000 a year give or take (not pulling the calculator out right now and my math is bad). That's nothing. 2 people making that are still eligible for assistance when they have a family. I find that sick. I call b.s. on companies not being able to afford it. Either you have a decent company that can afford to pay its employees or you don't.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

Either you have a decent company that can afford to pay its employees or you don't.

And what if you don't? Just go out of business and don't hire anyone? That will help.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Sorry you don't like the real world. That is just the way it is. If you raise the minimum wage there will just be more people without a job on assistance. And more jobs in China.

There's no need for the attitude. I'm quite sure she's living in the real world.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

And what if you don't? Just go out of business and don't hire anyone? That will help.

You either have to produce so much in your business that you need to hire people or you aren't producing enough to hire. Say I started a business tomorrow. It would probably be just me and maybe someone else as a partner. If we do enough work or produce enough goods for me to need help...then I'm making enough money to support myself and an employee and this goes on and on, more products, more money, more need to hire people.

I don't understand how owners of companies can hire full time workers and not pay them a living wage and still sleep at night.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Sorry you don't like the real world. That is just the way it is. If you raise the minimum wage there will just be more people without a job on assistance. And more jobs in China.

That is not the reason why jobs went to China. The "real world" reason was the owners of businesses wanted to scarf up profits and make OBSCENE amounts of money while their employees either got paid crap or got laid off. Ridiculous.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

So again I ask, you two think it is appropriate that full time working people have to be on government assistance because they cannot afford to live? Does that make sense?

Minimum wage jobs are not the jobs that should be supporting families. Minimum wage jobs have their place. Teenagers, people who are retired, people want to pick up some extra, people wanting to get job experience, people between better paying jobs. The answer to poverty is not to raise up minimum wage jobs, but to create more better paying jobs. If someone drops out of high school as soon as they can, and works at McDonald for their whole life, do you really think that they should make the same amount of money as some one who work their tail off. Graduated top of their class, went to college and became an engineer? There will be low paying jobs and high paying jobs. Making minimum wage jobs pay more, raises inflation and brings down the pay of others that have worked hard to get where they are. It is no different that a restaurant making a waitress share her tips with the waitresses that give poor service.

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Of course there is high paying jobs and lower paying jobs. My friend is a pedi. endocrinologist. I work for a health insurer. She makes a heck of a lot more money than I do but she has the education to reflect it. I have a bachelor's degree and she went to medical school.

There are so MANY full time positions that are paying minimum wage because the employer CAN get away with it. People still need to live and it shouldn't be a requirement to have advanced degrees to be able to feed your family!

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"Jessica80" wrote:

Of course there is high paying jobs and lower paying jobs. My friend is a pedi. endocrinologist. I work for a health insurer. She makes a heck of a lot more money than I do but she has the education to reflect it. I have a bachelor's degree and she went to medical school.

There are so MANY full time positions that are paying minimum wage because the employer CAN get away with it. People still need to live and it shouldn't be a requirement to have advanced degrees to be able to feed your family!

Agreed. I don't have a problem with the fact that some jobs pay more than others - of course they should. But on the other hand, I do think that anyone who works a full time job should be able to reasonably support themselves and their families, especially when we see the same companies who pay minimum wage paying their CEOs mega millions and pulling down literally billions in net revenue. I don't agree that these companies simply can't afford to pay more, I just think they can currently get away with paying less, and so they do. Easy peasy.

I've said this in another debate, but I'll say it again. If my business model was that, in order for me to maximize profits and keep prices low, I would simply not pay my workers at all and the government could provide for ALL of their living expenses, you guys would probably think I had a pretty dumb, unworkable business model. I bet you'd think "They're YOUR employees, why should MY tax dollars go to pay YOUR employees so you can make billions?" Right? Yeah. We're already like halfway there when minimum wage employees make about half (or less!) the living wage in their area. Basically those company's business plans are "In order to maximize profits and keep prices low, we will pay our employees half of their living expenses, and the government can pay for the rest." And I'm still thinking "They're YOUR employees, why should MY tax dollars go to pay YOUR employees so that you can make billions?"

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I do think that anyone who works a full time job should be able to reasonably support themselves and their families

So you think someone working full time should make more per hour then someone working part time, or that all jobs should pay a living wage? I have learned from experience that the more requirements put on full time employees, the less full time employees a company will have. DH works full time in a school and part time for another company. This company has stopped having full time employees outside of management. They have a center in just about every major city in the US, so they hire a lot of people. In the center here they have roughly 50 employees. Almost all of them are part time. Working just under the number of hours that they would need to be full time. Now this is still a great company and you can make a living wage with part time hours as long as you have a spouse that can provide your insurance, but I can see more companies doing this to get out of all of the extra requirements put on having full time employees.

What I am doing a bad job of saying, is that you can't have the minimum wage for part time employees be $7/hour and the minimum wage be for full time employees be $25/hour. No one would hire full time employees.

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Raising the minimum wage will get some people off of assistance (yay) but they will still be struggling. Prices will be driven up, effecting all of us.

I do not see this as a solution to a problem.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

So you think someone working full time should make more per hour then someone working part time, or that all jobs should pay a living wage? I have learned from experience that the more requirements put on full time employees, the less full time employees a company will have. DH works full time in a school and part time for another company. This company has stopped having full time employees outside of management. They have a center in just about every major city in the US, so they hire a lot of people. In the center here they have roughly 50 employees. Almost all of them are part time. Working just under the number of hours that they would need to be full time. Now this is still a great company and you can make a living wage with part time hours as long as you have a spouse that can provide your insurance, but I can see more companies doing this to get out of all of the extra requirements put on having full time employees.

What I am doing a bad job of saying, is that you can't have the minimum wage for part time employees be $7/hour and the minimum wage be for full time employees be $25/hour. No one would hire full time employees.

I'm not talking about having the minimum wage be different for part time workers than full time workers. I think that the minimum wage should be based off of what you would need to live reasonably in your area based on a 40 hour work week. So I guess the company could technically pay 2 employees (for example) $15 bucks an hour and have them each work 20 hours (at $15 an hour) or they could pay 1 employee to work 40 hours at $15 an hour, but assuming that they have 40 hours worth of work that needs to be done, they are still paying $15 x 40 hours a week, so I guess I don't really see the big benefit to them to hire two part time employees instead. Of course, then we get into other benefits like health care, and whether employers should have to pay for part time employees to have health care....but my thought is that's fixed easily enough (although not through Obamacare.) It's called a Single Payer System. Wink

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So to clarify, you think the minimum wage should almost double? Do you think that would inspire job growth?

ETA - Sure, maybe Walmart and McDonald's could handle the for awhile, but what about the thousands of other companies that a bairley making it that would go under? Yes, you might bring some people's wages up, but a massive amount of people would loose their jobs and be out of work all together. Sure it would be nice if money grew on trees and everyone made tons of money, but in reality it does not work that way. I am thinking of my grocery store Bilo. There is no way they could have a $15 minimum wage without charging a ton more for their groceries.

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Seeing all companies as having a CEO that sits at the top raking in the bucks is such a gross generalization. There are SO many small-mid sized companies that don't have any high ranking executives that are 'stealing all the dough' while they purposely pay their workers as little as possible. Partners/Owners that barely make ends meet, or struggle every day to figure out how to be profitable at all or not have to lay off more people.

I also don't even get the overall hatred of CEO's and how much they make. The majority of them make what they do because they are the primary reason the companies under them are successful. The CEO of my company makes a ridiculous amount of money and good for him. He is one of the main reasons my company is so profitable and I have been here for over 10 years not once having to worry about my job, regardless of the state of the economy. I know not every CEO is like this but many CEO's get paid the big bucks because they deserve to...the company's success, and the livelihood of everyone who works there, rests on their shoulders.

And I agree with Lisa, raising it is not going to solve the problem.

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I actually don't have a set number in mind, although I think that $9 an hour would still be too low in my area. I almost think that it makes more sense to set it at the state level, since the cost of living can vary from state to state. $9 an hour in Denver CO isn't even close to enough to support a family, although I can say that a young 20 something can live with roommates on $9 an hour(that's how much I made at my first "real" job as an Admin Assistant when I was 20) or could about 12 years ago. Smile

Like others, I believe that if people have more discretionary money to spend, they will stimulate the economy which is good for everyone, including businesses. The economy is kind of like an ecosystem in that way - when you starve off on peice of it (like people's buying power) it all starts to collapse.

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"SID081108" wrote:

Seeing all companies as having a CEO that sits at the top raking in the bucks is such a gross generalization. There are SO many small-mid sized companies that don't have any high ranking executives that are 'stealing all the dough' while they purposely pay their workers as little as possible. Partners/Owners that barely make ends meet, or struggle every day to figure out how to be profitable at all or not have to lay off more people.

I also don't even get the overall hatred of CEO's and how much they make. The majority of them make what they do because they are the primary reason the companies under them are successful. The CEO of my company makes a ridiculous amount of money and good for him. He is one of the main reasons my company is so profitable and I have been here for over 10 years not once having to worry about my job, regardless of the state of the economy. I know not every CEO is like this but many CEO's get paid the big bucks because they deserve to...the company's success, and the livelihoods of everyone who works there, rests on their shoulders.

And I agree with Lisa, raising it is not going to solve the problem.

The average CEO makes about 380 times what the average worker makes. I'm not saying that don't contribute more and shouldn't make more....but 380 times more? Like, they couldn't make 50 times more and still be considered well recognized for their outstanding efforts? Do you really believe that your CEO does such an outstanding job that he's worth 380 of you to the company (assuming you are an "average worker?")

I don't hate CEOs, but I don't really think that the wage disparity in our country is a fair reflection of who works harder or has better ideas or displays better leadership. I also think the extremity of the wage disparity is harmful to the economy and even yes, harmful to our beloved corporations since it limits the spending power of customers. I think that surely there is a (beneficial to ALL) middle ground between your wonderful CEO making 380 times what the average worker makes, and having the CEO and the average worker make the same thing. I don't know what that number is, but even 50 times more sounds more fair to me than 380. Wouldn't you like to make 50 times more than the average Joe? I sure would. Smile

CEOs earn 380 times in pay more than average worker - Apr. 19, 2012

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

when you starve off on peice of it (like people's buying power) it all starts to collapse.

This is not making more money. This is taking money from one person (the owner) and giving it to another (the employee). There is no new money made. That might work in the very top tier few companies. But would not work at all for all the small Mom and Pop businesses. Do you not think it would hurt the economy for all those businesses to close? Plus, how do you think those companies got so big and profitable in the first place? It was not by paying their employees a living wage. Requiring businesses to pay a living wage would in my opinion collapse the economy because so many businesses would go under. You would be left with only the mega places like Walmart because all of the little fish would go under. $9/ hour I think will hurt, but I think requiring a living wage for every employee would be a disaster.

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I wonder how much more than the average worker movie stars or star atheletes make? Funny how we don't compare them to the average person's salary.

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Bonita, I'll respond when I have a few more minutes. Gloria, I agree, celebrities also get over paid by an appalling amount.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I wonder how much more than the average worker movie stars or star atheletes make? Funny how we don't compare them to the average person's salary.

Well, the average person can't be a movie star or a professional athlete. And when people stop buying movie tickets or stop buying tickets to games, the market will then reflect their salaries. Till then, we are the ones paying them and we are the ones creating the market foe their product, and I fully believe that they deserve what they get (or else I would be against the free market, which I am not!)

I think that the idea of making the minimum wage equal to a "living wage" in any given city is catastrophic. Sorry but when I was a 14 year old unskilled hostess at my first job I neither deserved or made a "living wage". The idea that a cashier should make like 50K (probably a living wage for a family in NYC or DC or SF or other areas) is laughable. It does not make sense.

I do not agree with raising the minimum wage to these amounts some list in this debate. I agree with continuing to raise it on par with inflation, but not to the point where you are talking about ~ first off you put most of those people who arent paying taxes into a tax paying bracket, thus taking a percentage right off the top while killing the employer. Secondly, the idea is not that people get and STAY at entry level jobs. Are we? I mean, we live in a country where you are guaranteed a public education through high school. I don't believe that people who choose not to take advantage of a high school education deserve to enter the market place earning what college grads make!

The idea is nice and fuzzy sounding, but so are baby tigers.

I understand the CEO hatred on a visceral level, I mean I get it why people read those numbers and say ! Hey! that sucks! But again, use your money. Boycott those places. Make sure your portfolios don't include their stocks ! (And good luck with that)......but I don't get it on a very literal level. What would you prefer? do you want to see salary caps? Do you want people to be able to vote on how CEO's get paid, regardless of shareholder performance? I mean, what is your realistic solution to that? I'm so curious.

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I would rather see training to help the couple that both makes minimum wage move up and make more. I think the real problem is not that the minimum wage is too low, it is that the couple does not have the skills to make more.
I always think of the minimum wage jobs as being specifically for young people (teens and college kids) or for people just starting out in the work force.
My first job started out at minimum wage, within my 60 day probationary period I received a raise, and within 120 I was making almost 2x minimum wage. That was in 1994

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It`s funny Alissa mentioned CEOs and what they might earn, because the CEO of my company makes close to $4 million in bonuses alone, which is exactly 50 times my salary!!! And no, I don`t get all excited about my salary because the cost of living here is almost prohibitive. At a combined salary of over $200K my husband and I must both work to maintain our financial commitments and lifestyle. Our minimum wage, the lowest in Canada, is $9.75 per hour. The average is over $10. People who serve liquor have a lower wage because they are expected to earn tips. At my last waitressing job that I started in 1998 I was making $8 an hour, and that went up to $10 when I was a supervisor. I still claimed tips so that I would owe at tax time. However, now we get back more than $10,000 in refund because we max out our deductions and pay over $14,000 per year in childcare expenses.

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Well you won't hear me say this often, but I agree with every word of Melissa's post! Wink

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Again, I don't "hate" CEOs. I actually have a picture of myself and the CEO of my company wearing pimp hats and making faces taken in photobooth at a company function hanging on my file cabinet even as we speak. I kept it and hung it up not because I'm trying to kiss up or something (trust me, he doesn't swing by my desk very often...lol) but because a) it's a funny picture b) I look cute in it, and I'm very vain and c) I genuinely like and respect our CEO. He's a freaking hoot to hang out with, and he does a good job that I admire. He deserves to be very well paid for what he does.....but 380 times what the average worker makes may be pushing excessive. Just a little.

To those that say that it's impossible to narrow the wage gap in America, I just wanted to point out that if you look at the historical data, the wage gap actually used to be much narrower. For example, in 1965, the average CEO made about 25 times what the average worker made. Still a lot more, right? But that's part of why people "back in the good old days" were able to live on a one person income. I know you'll all be screaming "People only had 1 car and no iPhones back then!" and that's true, but it's certainly not the whole story. You could live and support your family working at the locally owned grocery store back then. You might not have been rich, but you could survive. Think about what has changed from then to now. It can't ALL be blamed on iPhones, can it? I pay about $120 a month for my husband and I to have iPhones. We're not within $120 a month of living on his teacher's salary. Smile

Research Desk: How has the CEO/employee pay gap changed? - The Washington Post

I would also point out that not all businesses rely on the "pay your employees as little as you can legally get away with" business model to keep prices low. Costco is an example of this.

I think that there is a big disconnect when people talk about how minimum wage jobs aren't supposed to be jobs that you can support a family on. Somebody has to fill those positions if you want to keep shopping at those stores or eating at those restaurants, and it can't just be teens and retirees looking for part time work to get them out of the house. First of all, I'm not certain that we have enough teens and retirees to replace the 20-65 age group in the minimum wage workforce, even if we could put every single one of them to work in our fav fast food establishments and gas stations and box stores, but even if we could, the teens would only be working after school and the retirees presumably wouldn't be working full time (other wise, that's not much of a retirement; why would I retire from my nice cushy desk job to go work the fryolator at McD's full time? If I want to work full time, I would stay at the job where I am comfy.) Somebody has to work those jobs other than teens and retirees, or else those places would close, so if you like having those places open, stop disparaging the people that work there and make it possible for them to be open like "Well geez, they shouldn't work there then." Somebody has to, right? Or else they close.

Melissa, in answer to your question of a practical solution to the ever growing wage disparity problem, I admit that I don't have one. The American Capitalist that I was raised to be also balks at the idea of the government setting wage caps; it's not an idea that I relish either. I guess the Polyanna in me wishes that companies that could afford to would correct the problem themselves, as Costco is trying to do, by voluntarily paying their "average" workers more and paying their C-Level Management less, and that the C-Level was accepting of that. I wish we could change our culture to recognize that you don't have to make $12MM a year plus stock options and bonuses in order to feel recognized at that level, that maybe you could make $400K a year like, I dunno, the freaking President, and that would be considered a really good living. I realize that's all mushy and baby tigers and idealistic, but that's all I've got. I wish we were different.

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I agree. My grandfather co owned a concrete company. Both he and his brother in law supported families. My grandfather had 5 kids, my grandmother stayed home. They owned 1 house and a summer house. They weren't rich by any means and some times were tough if concrete work was scarce but they were able to survive and support themselves. Not even close to what I can do now with 2 incomes and 2 kids.

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No one would argue that there is a huge disparity and that the gap has grown exponentially larger. I look at this recent crisis and see in in action ~ if you have cash right now you are swooping up houses at other peoples losses and someday will recognize huge gains. If you are investing heavily personally or vi your 401K or other investment vehicle you are reaping huge rewards right now thanks to the market ~ but of course if you are living hand to mouth you are not seeing those gains.

I'm not saying that you should be able to raise a family on an entry level salary ~ but that if you are decent at your job you will rise above entry level/minimum wage pay. I did it myself, without a college degree, making the move from a 25K entry level salary to making heavily into the 6 figures before I left my career to raise a family. I know that my experience is not the norm, but I don't believe that a motivated person making an minimum wage with a limited skill set remains at that salary, unless they are not motivated to do more, work harder, earn more etc. Set every entry level position up at a comfy 40K or whaever salary and lose your motivation to work hard, better oneself, etc .

At the end of the day I agree with this:

However, the percentage of minimum wage jobs has declined. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 5.2 percent of all hourly paid workers in the U.S. make the minimum wage, which is a smaller percentage than in 1979:
[INDENT]The proportion of hourly-paid workers earning the prevailing Federal minimum wage or less declined from 6.0 percent in 2010 to 5.2 percent in 2011. This remains well below the figure of 13.4 percent in 1979.
[/INDENT]Even fewer adults work in minimum-wage jobs full time. Most minimum-wage workers are 25 or younger, and 69 percent work part time. The typical minimum-wage employee is a high school or college student with a part-time job, a major reason so many have attended—but not completed—college.
The primary value of these jobs is not the low wages they pay today. It is the on-the-job training they provide. Minimum-wage jobs teach inexperienced workers basic employability skills such as taking directions from a boss and working with co-workers. Acquiring these skills makes minimum-wage workers more productive and enables them to earn raises. Two-thirds of minimum-wage workers earn raises within a year.
The problem with minimum-wage increases is that they reduce access to these entry-level jobs. It is a basic tenet of economics that when the price of something rises, people buy less of it. This is as true of businesses hiring unskilled workers as it is of Americans buying household goods. Heritage economist James Sherk finds that “two-thirds of all recent studies show that raising the minimum wage reduces jobs.”
This is common sense. If someone’s labor raises earnings by $8 an hour, no employer will hire him for more than that. The business would lose money—and would soon be out of business. Raising the minimum wage to $9.80 an hour, as Senator Tom Harkin (D–IA) suggests, would price many unskilled workers out of the labor market.
Is it really compassionate to tell inexperienced workers that they cannot work if they cannot produce $9.80 per hour of value? Is it compassionate to deny them the opportunity to gain skills and experience, become more productive, and earn raises?
Upon first thought, raising the minimum wage sounds compassionate. Thinking a second time shows that it would hurt the very workers its supporters want to help.

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The law was set in place years ago to ensure workers would make enough to live, even minimally. Unfortunately, the minimum wage has not increased like the cost of living has and the "law" has now fallen by the wayside. Minimum wage does need to increase so people can live minimally but still be able to rent an apartment, etc. It doesn't mean they won't work hard to make more but without being able to afford anything it is hard to get to a place above poverty no matter how much they want to.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

But that's part of why people "back in the good old days" were able to live on a one person income. I know you'll all be screaming "People only had 1 car and no iPhones back then!" and that's true, but it's certainly not the whole story. You could live and support your family working at the locally owned grocery store back then. You might not have been rich, but you could survive.

I disagree that it is not possible to live on one income in today's day and age. Obviously I stay home with my three kids while DH works and he makes on the very low end of middle income. I think if you were to even just look at prg.org you would find people from all over who are living on one income. (Not judging one way or the other, just saying it is possible.)

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It is possible but not in many areas of the country unless one spouse has a very high paying job.

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In my experience, States that have a higher cost of living also have a higher pay rate. For example, DH is an interpreter in GA. We have family in Washington, DC and have looked into moving there (decided against it). Yes, it costs more for a house and living there, but the going pay rate is 3x what DH makes now. If we were to move there, we would still be a single income family for the same profession.

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Again, depends on the profession. DH's company makes the same for here as it does elsewhere. I do get a slightly higher rate of pay than someone in a similar field elsewhere but it is no where near the difference in costs to live here.

An example, years ago a cousin of mine worked for a grocery store chain. She was making 20.00/hr. They were bought out and the new parent company was not New England based. They wanted to drop their pay to 10.00/hr because where their headquarters were that was a decent rate of pay. That means nothing here.

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I am not saying it wouldn't be difficult, I am sure it is, but there are single mothers all over the US in every profession that are single income that survive on one income. While I appreciate my husband and love him dearly, I do not believe I would shrivel up and die if I was alone regardless of where I lived. It might mean living in a smaller place and taking help when it was offered, but I do not believe it is correct to say that you can not survive on one income.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

In my experience, States that have a higher cost of living also have a higher pay rate. For example, DH is an interpreter in GA. We have family in Washington, DC and have looked into moving there (decided against it). Yes, it costs more for a house and living there, but the going pay rate is 3x what DH makes now. If we were to move there, we would still be a single income family for the same profession.

Here is an interesting calculator to help you see if you are right.
Cost of Living comparison calculator

Seeing as how the average price in a home in much of TN Is 200K and the average in DC is 550K, its a good thing that his salary would raise 3 times (I admit that I find that hard to believe) but okay.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I am not saying it wouldn't be difficult, I am sure it is, but there are single mothers all over the US in every profession that are single income that survive on one income. While I appreciate my husband and love him dearly, I do not believe I would shrivel up and die if I was alone regardless of where I lived. It might mean living in a smaller place and taking help when it was offered, but I do not believe it is correct to say that you can not survive on one income.

You have a lot more confidence in yourself than I do in me, and I have a background and contacts which would enable me to reenter tha workplace earning more than most! The reason I would feel confident if my DH died would be because we have an life insurance policy which would pay off the remainder of our mortgage, pay for each of the three childrens college educations, and allow me as much time as I wanted time to get things together ~ the last thing I would want to have to do in the event of a huge tragedy like that is scramble or further turn the kids lives upside down by heading straight into work/sending them to daycare.

While I could go back into the workforce and make a salary that could support us comfortably (once the mortgage and their college had been paid), it would take time to find a job, find childcare for my three children and in the interim pay off his funeral and continue paying our mortgage. Oh, and time to grieve, too.

I think that your statement sounds a little arrogant, unless you have excellent estate planning or have a career that is ready to pick up instantly anywhere (perhaps you are a nurse?), local help for childcare or a HUGE amount of banked savings to carry you through that time where you are likely grieving and taking care of your grieving children, not strapping on your big girl boots and running off to a great paying job. You may be better than all the single mothers out there who are struggling and/or relying heavily on their child support/alimony/other assistance, but without you having done it I find this whole bit pretty arrogant.

From your posts it sounds as though you live on a very tight budget. Some families don't WANT to live hand to mouth, and some mothers WANT to work and do very important work, so who cares if you think that everyone could live on a one family income, many people don't WANT to live the way that you do. Who are you to judge them or tell them how they can live?

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"Potter75" wrote:

Here is an interesting calculator to help you see if you are right.
Cost of Living comparison calculator

Seeing as how the average price in a home in much of TN Is 200K and the average in DC is 550K, its a good thing that his salary would raise 3 times (I admit that I find that hard to believe) but okay.

DH has had job offers in GA, and job offers in Washington DC and yes, they pay about 3x more.

"Potter75" wrote:

You have a lot more confidence in yourself than I do in me, and I have a background and contacts which would enable me to reenter tha workplace earning more than most! The only way I would feel confident if my DH died would be because we have an extensive life insurance policy which would pay off the remainder of our mortgage, pay for each of the three childrens college educations, and allow me an annual income that would be solely interest based at a higher number than my current monthly discretionary income.

While I could go back into the workforce and make a great salary, it would take time to find a job, find childcare for my three children and in the interim pay off his funeral and continue paying our mortgage. Oh, and time to grieve, too.

I think that your statement sounds a little arrogant, unless you have excellent estate planning or have a career that is ready to pick up instantly anywhere (perhaps you are a nurse?), local help for childcare or a HUGE amount of banked savings to carry you through that time where you are likely grieving and taking care of your grieving children, not strapping on your big girl boots and running off to a great paying job. You may be better than all the single mothers out there who are struggling and/or relying heavily on their child support/alimony/other assistance, but without you having done it I find this whole bit pretty arrogant.

From your posts it sounds as though you live on a very tight budget. Some families don't WANT to live hand to mouth, and some mothers WANT to work and do very important work, so who cares if you think that everyone could live on a one family income, many people don't WANT to live the way that you do. Who are you to judge them or tell them how they can live?

I do believe that all families can work toward being a single income family if that is important to them. As I said, not judging one way or the other, but that I do not believe it is correct that you can not. The issue is not if you would be rich or comfortable, but the statement that you can not survive is not correct. I am actually very surprised at the idea that you need a man to survive. I did not expect that on this board. If someone wants to have a double income family, that is great for them. I am sure there will come a time in the near future that we will be as well. That said, it is also fine if you are a single income family. Either as a SAHM or as a single mother.

I belong to several active homeschooling boards and this is a question that comes up often. Can we afford just one income? There are people from all over the world just like on pg.org, and there are salaries varying from factory work to corporate. They all find a way to do it. I am not saying that this is what everyone should do, or would want to do. Only that it is possible.

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I didn't say I needed a man to survive but we do need a double income in order to afford our house (which is tiny!) and all the other things we need to pay for.

I know many single moms and most of them receive some type of assistance including reduced cost housing.

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Lol -I'm certainly not saying "you need a man to survive." Lol Goodness! If we were going to become a one income family, it would make a lot more sense for that one income to be mine.

You were arguing that its not possible for some companies to pay their employees a living wage. Apparently, your DH makes a living wage. I'm guessing he doesn't make minimum wage then. If he does make min wage and you are still able to successfully survive on just that (and no other assistance) then my hat is off to you guys! We couldn't do it, but maybe I'm just a terrible Spendthrift. Wink

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Alissa - Yes, DH makes a living wage. I was just thrown by the idea that you can not survive on one income in today's day and age. I do not believe that to be true. If being a SAHM is important to you, then it is possible. Is everyone going to want that choice? No, of course not. I do think it is very hindering though to tell people who either have to be a single income family, or want to be a single income family that it is not possible to accomplish this. I think it is a huge insult to single income families to say that you can not survive on one income. To me, survival is primitive. Food, water, and shelter. You can survive.

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But shelter can be expensive...my mortgage is just slightly higher than an apartment would be that could fit us and the children. DH makes a decent wage but it is not feasible for us, around here, to have me be a SAHM. Trust me, I would love to be and we've tried all different ideas to make that a possibility and it wouldn't work. We wouldn't even qualify for assistance due to dh's wages. It's insulting to those living in areas you don't know anything about, deciding that if we wanted to make it work we could when in fact we can't.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I am actually very surprised at the idea that you need a man to survive. I did not expect that on this board.

Who on EARTH said that? I supported myself quite nicely from 18 until I married and my husband moved into MY home at 30. That said, no, I could not support our lifestyle at this moment with three young children and a big mortgage and whatnot immediately if my husband died. Thats why we protect ourselves. Do you?

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Alissa - Yes, DH makes a living wage. I was just thrown by the idea that you can not survive on one income in today's day and age. I do not believe that to be true. If being a SAHM is important to you, then it is possible. Is everyone going to want that choice? No, of course not. I do think it is very hindering though to tell people who either have to be a single income family, or want to be a single income family that it is not possible to accomplish this. I think it is a huge insult to single income families to say that you can not survive on one income. To me, survival is primitive. Food, water, and shelter. You can survive.

I don't WANT to survive on food and water and basic shelter. I want to provide my children with lots of experiences, travel, camps, college paid for etc. I want a comfortable home. I want to eat out when I feel like it. Many people want more for their children than just living at home every day with few opportunities. I don't blame them. If my husbands income could not provide us with the lifestyle we want I would work. I'm lucky that his does. To say that it is insulting to single family income homes when you live in a very cheap area of the country and may have very different lifestyle goals than others is really ridiculous. I would never feel insulted by someone elses family/income choices. Obviously what we are doing is working for us, but who on earth am I to call another woman either a liar or too stupid to know how to live on one income. Maybe they just have no interest in living like you do.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Thats why we protect ourselves. Do you?

Do we have life insurance? Yes, we do.

"Potter75" wrote:

I don't WANT to survive on food and water and basic shelter. I want to provide my children with lots of experiences, travel, camps, college paid for etc. I want a comfortable home. I want to eat out when I feel like it. Many people want more for their children than just living at home every day with few opportunities. I don't blame them. If my husbands income could not provide us with the lifestyle we want I would work. I'm lucky that his does. To say that it is insulting to single family income homes when you live in a very cheap area of the country and may have very different lifestyle goals than others is really ridiculous. I would never feel insulted by someone elses family/income choices. Obviously what we are doing is working for us, but who on earth am I to call another woman either a liar or too stupid to know how to live on one income. Maybe they just have no interest in living like you do.

If you don't want to, that is fine. You could SURVIVE if you had to though. You would not starve or freeze to death if your DH was incapacitated and could not work for some reason. You would figure something out. I am not judging anyone's choices. If you want to be in a double income family that is fine. That said, if you want to or have to live in a single income family, that is also fine.

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