A few things you should know about minimum wage

Pin It

The principle of a minimum wage comes with an inherent debate: Some argue that it contributes to an increased unemployment rate; others say that the minimum wage is crucial in keeping poverty levels low. It’s a debate that’s been going on since the establishment of a federal minimum wage  in the 1930s, but it has become even more relevant  during these difficult economic times.

Many economists now argue that eliminating the minimum wage would allow cash-strapped companies to create more jobs. While this side of the argument does raise logical pointsan article by The New York Times highlighted a recent study that makes a strong case for the opposite.

Bing: Which states have the highest minimum wage

The study, called “Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties” not only found that the minimum wage has virtually no effect on employment levels of low-wage jobs, but that it also successfully increases the standard of living for workers in low-paying industries like food service and retail.

The research was conducted by economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of California at Berkeley, who analyzed 16 years of employment data for low-wage workers. Full results of the study can be read here, or watched in a simplified, video version here.

Though the study presents interesting information, it’s especially compelling given the recent midterm elections, which could have an impact on both the minimum wage and employment.  Here are a few things to keep in mind about the minimum wage:

  • Historically, the Democratic Party has proposed increases to the minimum wage, while the Republican Party has been in favor of capping or eliminating the minimum wage.
  • According to the 2000 Census, there are more than 10 million minimum-wage workers in the U.S.
  • In 2006, nearly half of surveyed economists said the minimum wage should be abolished. Only one-third said it should be increased.
  • Washington state has the highest minimum wage, at $8.55, followed by Oregon, at $8.40.
  • In January 2011, the minimum wage in San Francisco will be raised to $9.92. San Francisco also has one of the nation’s highest costs of living.
  • Five states in the U.S. have no minimum-wage requirement:  Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.
  • Working a job at the current federal minimum wage, $7.25, for 40 hours per week, all 52 weeks of the year produces an annual, pre-tax income of $15,080. If about one-third of that income is paid in taxes and benefits, net annual income becomes $10,556.
  • In Oklahoma City, the major U.S. metropolitan area with the lowest average housing costs, one year of rent averages $8,676.
  • The poverty line for a family of four is an annual income of $22,050.

What do you think about the minimum wage? Do you think it prevents poverty or increases unemployment? Let us know in the comments section, below.

Bing: How to get promoted

    • I think their should be a base line of wages all employers must meet at the same time there has got to be a way of motivating the young work force to be earners of wages and not just their for a paycheck most of the time I see workers just dont give there all and I am not sure by beefing up there paycheck if that would satisfy their spirit to motivate I thank the government should have a day of Jubilee all past debts be wiped clean start over I know that would probably never happen but, America has been using bad business practices for awhile all Americans have suffered the consequence.

      • The problem with wiping out past debt is that it punishes people that have lived within their means. If people got wind of this ever happening they would buy anything they wanted.

          • No its spoken like someone who has lived with in their means and is responsible enough to cover their bases by setting aside a nest egg in case they can’t work. As well as bought not just bargin basement health insurance but health insurance that means something even if that means buying from an additional carrier.

              • I totally agree with you. I live in Florida and minimum wage @ 40 hrs per wk is not enough to even cover the very basic living standards for a family of four. And there are not enough jobs even willing to give pay raises to those who do deserve it. Sometimes bad things happen to people who know how to live within their means. And in my case it is impossible to recover from that loss when you don’t even make enough money to afford basic living costs. Yes there are people out there that have no scruples and abuse the system, but what this country needs is to find a way that will help and protect those who are trying to do the right thing. Not everyone who lives under poverty level are there because they are irresponsible or lazy and undeserving. We all should make at least enough to afford the necessities that are required by law to have. The truth is most companies would rather get richer themselves than filter that extra profit back to there employees. And there’s nothing in the laws (because the lawmakers are just as guilty) that require these wealthy companies to share their economic success with those who contributed to their wealth and success. What company could survive and achieve any form of wealth without employees to help with the duties of running things. “Big Business” wouldn’t be so rich if they had to do everything it takes to run their businesses by theirselves.

                • I’m so tired of the entitlement attitude. If you’re an adult and still making minimum wage that’s your responsibility. You can make all the excuses you want, but I’ve had to overcome my share of obstacles. I started with nothing, working full time and putting myself through school, and building a career through hard work. You are exactly where the choices you’ve made land you. Quit whining and expecting the government to take care of you, turn off the TV and do something with your life!

                  • These are different times. I’m a master’s level teacher and I did improve my circumstances in light of bad times. That being said right now is much worse than when my generation was trying to improve their lives. Don’t judge others until you have walked a good distance in their shoes. There will always be people who suck off of the system but others should not be judged or denied because of them.

                  • I’m glad that you have been able to work hard and become successful, but you are probably of the minority. I have a Master’s degree, have often worked multiple jobs at one time, and still have financial difficulties. Part of this is because my health insurance is over $400/month (I can’t qualify for cheaper coverage that will still take care of my needs), but a lot of it is that there just aren’t enough jobs with decent salaries/wages out there. And I think I only know two or three people who AREN’T working hard for the money … at the restaurants and retail stores I’ve worked, most of my coworkers had second or third jobs and were working 50-80 hours a week to make ends meet. Plus, being an instructor at a community college, I’ve seen how difficult it can be to complete your schooling when you have children, housing issues because you live in a low-income area, and the challenges of friends and family who aren’t as dedicated to their futures interfering. Yes, it can be done, but it takes a special type of person (like you), to actually do it. And even if you do, that degree’s no guarantee of a good-paying job (I’m a perfect example).

                    I’m not saying that the government needs to give handouts, and that’s not what the minimum wage argument is about either–it’s about holding COMPANIES responsible. The fact of the matter is that most members of the upper management in most U.S. corporations do not have an income even in the ballpark of the work they do (the income grossly exceeds the difficulty of the work), and as a result, the top 10% of Americans make more than the other 90% combined. That’s ridiculous.

                    I’m also not blaming small companies, and I can see how lowering or eliminating minimum wage could help those companies; they are doing what they can to compete with conglomerates like Wal-Mart. But changing minimum wage isn’t the best solution for that situation either. Stricter regulation of big businesses is the first thing that needs to happen to help small businesses. And why give tax breaks to companies already making tons of money? Or, how about this–only give the tax breaks to big companies if they do something good for their lower-level employees? Some sort of good business practices tax break? Don’t give the tax breaks to companies that make their profits at the expense of hourly employees.

                    My point is that there is a large number of Americans whom you would accuse of “whining” about “entitlement,” when in reality they are hard workers looking for compensation at the level of their efforts.

                  • Not every one is lazy that is at or below the poverty level, if their job goes away, and its is not their fault. The whole reason why the minimum wage was put into effect was that companies were not going to cough up a living wage. It is human nature not to want to pay up. Really we are all at fault, no one wants to hear the truth. We all beleive that if we cut this project and remove this entitlement we will not have to have our pet entitlement cut. Here are the Facts.
                    1. The days of picking up a good paying trade and getting that job at the factory and working till you retire are done those jobs went bye bye to China. Why cause we dont care bout anyone but our selves.

                    2. What jobs that are left are mostly Mimimum wage. to get a good paying position you allmost have to waite till someone dies to get a position.

                    3. I resent the statement form the Ignorant fool that thinks we all live outside our means when in fact my wife and I both do we have no credit cards (dont want them) we are one of few the lucky ones we make good money we pay our bills but we do have feelings and know that there are those that do not. We allso know that because of rising costs Fuel, Food, Medical Insurance to name a few we do not have the savings we once had.

                    4. We fail to understand as a society that we are all just a few pay checks from being out on the street. That no one is safe in their jobs, that what we think are safe bennefits are not so safe

                    5. The US is only maybe 5 years from being just like europe where we have to tighten our belt and raise taxes to take care of our debt. We spent like a bunch of drunk of Teenagers with mom’s credit card and its all gonna soon come home to roost. This is not just one party’s fault its not both party’s fault is ours all ours for falling for the line that we can have all of the goodies an not have to pay for it.

                    Its not allways wise to tax and spend and its not wise to spend and not tax. this was all our doing.

                    • We are a military power, we know other things but to the rest of the world we are only a military power. We spend more on the military than all the other nations in the world combined. Education is not for everyone, with out the un-educated people of the USA we would be nothing. The minumum wage is there to only give hope that you think we can survive on it. I say let the republicians repal the Min. wage as a great social experiment as it will not effect anyone they know because they don’t know anyone that poor. I myself don’t need the government for anything other than for shooting at everyone else so I can live here in the great USA. I am a 51 year old white male republicain that voted for Obama. Since everyone hates this guy he must be doing so many things right.

                    • Why is the answer to government over spending always to raise our taxes? STOP SPENDING our money on foolish programs. Cut spending on every line-item in the budget until it is balanced.


                    • Wow … I don’t know where you live, but I don’t know any “illegals” making decent money, let alone “more than us” (whoever “us” is). What happens in the cases of most illegal immigrants is that they get paid LESS than minimum wage, because companies can get away with doing that since the illegal immigrant can’t go to the authorities to protest unfair treatment.

                      And you cannot always have a career, let alone the one you want, no matter how hard you work. As I said in an above comment, I have a Master’s degree and am still working part-time and temporary jobs. That has nothing to do with qualification and more to do with not knowing the right people and the current economy.

                      Finally, YOU HAVE TO PAY BACK MOST OF THAT MONEY YOU TAKE TO COVER YOUR SCHOOL COSTS. Yeah, maybe you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay for it when you start, but how are you going to pay for it when you get finished and there is no job for you?

                      Seriously lady, that was one of the most ignorant posts I’ve read on here. You must be leading a charmed life; that’s the only possible explanation I can come up with for your ignorance to the realities of the U.S. today.

                    • The only people who are not native to this country are indians. Illegal emigrants are as small a problem as the jews were to hitler. I guess if we just gassed them all we would not have that problem of them coming back when we do catch one and send them back.

                    • It’s not as easy as you think to get help in order to go back to school. My husband has been trying for years to go back to school and has not been able to find “those kinds of resourses” that would help make that possible. And yet I’ve have been able to go back twice and we have the same backgrounds. Explain to me why I am able to get the opportunities he has been denied. I am currently in school for the second time because the the rise to minimum wage put me back to square one. Which was exactly why I sought an education the first time. And the truth is my degree is still no guarantee that I will get what I’m seeking.

                  • I think you miss understood me. I’m not one of those types who expect the government to take care of me. I too have worked hard and I am educated. I started off working for 4.25 as a housekeeper and in the time I earned myself raises on three occassions, which was underminded by the raising of minimum wage. Seeing that I needed better opportunities, I went back to school and earned a professional license in cosmetology. I have been fairly successful in this career for 13yrs, but the weak economy has taken it’s toll on my profession and the demand is no longer there. Not to mention since the raise of minimum wage in my state I now make the same amount as someone with no real skills. Because there is no way for me to grow any further in this industry, I have returned to school (for the second time) in order to earn my BA degree. I am not beyond making sacrifice or hard work. I just want that hard work to be recongnized for what it is and be respected for it. I want to be able to give my children the opportunities they deserve. Please understand I’m not saying we aren’t responsible for our own lives, but our government is responsible for maintaining and structuring the conditions in which those lives need to survive. Our government officials forgot what our taxes are suppose to be paying for and it’s not so they can fly all over the country and live in huge houses. It’s to pay for the supplies and cost of running our country. They don’t need to drive expensive cars, wear fancy suits, live in huge houses and eat at expensive resturants to do thier jobs.

                  • You’re so tired of the ‘entitlement argument,’, huh? Do you mean the argument that human beings are entitled to HELP from other human beings when they need it? Yeah, I know a lot of people who are tired of that argument. Of course, theose people are pr!cks.

                    If you think that all poor people are just lazy, you clearly don’t know many poor people.

                    • I not only know many poor people (most in my family) but i have been one most of my life. Do you actually believe anyone who thinks you are not owed anything in life and that sometimes life is not fair is hates the poor and doesn’t help anyone? If so you are an ID10T. Other than a few Liberal celebrities, most charitable giving comes from Christians and Conservatives. Remember, what the Government gives is in no way charity because it was provided thru funds taken by force by a government who believes what you earn is not your personal property but first belongs to them to spend as they wish. They don’t use entitlements to help people. They use it create dependance and ensure future votes from people who no longer know how to provide for them selves and want to make sure they continue to “get theirs” from the government. If even half of the mony that the government takes in went to real charities, it woudl acomplish twice as much as the government does with it. With administraton fees comeing out 3 ro 4 times prior to it ever being spent, pork going to buy votes and keep weeds out of Nevada or build a bridge to nowere, the fraud of contracts going to companies with big lobby funds at higher cost than it woudl have been thru private sector bidding and then doubling even after that. Point is the Government is the most inefficiant methode of providing assistance to the needy. Thier are plenty of needy, but when we have a system that gives a family of 3 making 15K a year enouph binifits thru housing credits, food stamps, free lunches ect to make their disposable income more than a family of 4 who make 60K after federal, state and local taxes the “Entitlement” system punishes those who have worked hard to achieve and provide for them selves and creates an incintive to make less.

                    • Tom,
                      The problem we currently have is that we are the only country in the world that has fat poor people. If we really want people to go to work for any wage take away the government handouts completely, no food stamps, no housing vouchers no welfare, no medicaid ect… It is these programs that allow people to get hungry, reproduce like rabbits and have no responsibility for their own lives. I have personally worked my way through school (working minimum wage jobs on a farm in high school), worked my way through college, with $22,000 in student loans, have worked temp jobs and now have finally gotten a good paying job at a great company. What people need to do is figure out what they are good at and do that. The inner city is a prime example where the parents will tell their children to ignore the teachers and not to do the work. This in itself is a problem.

                  • Based on inflationary rates for the past 50 years, someone making 7.25 an hour for 40 hours a week has a suustainablility in 1982 dollars. Just because you have a job that pays well in your field now, doesn’t exclude you from not getting laid off in the future. Automation and outsourcing will effect every type of job in this country. Healthcare and Lawyers used to be immune and now are being outsourced to India, because while we sleep, they are working, for less than a quarter of what we get, too. Dim prospects for everyone is onb the horizon my friend.

                • I just want to say that the conversation about this has been really great. It’s nice to see people being sharing opinions and not being hateful. I think there are actual solutions in the conversation. I don’t care what political party you are affliated with, the decisions of our politicians (that we all elected), over the last 2 decades have put our country in the pain it’s in now and it’s going to take us coming together to get out of it.

                  First and foremost, it will hurt alot, but we have to bring manufacturing jobs back home. That means higher prices, but it means our families will have income! Who cares if we have less electronic toys…maybe it will force us to spend some time enjoying each other! Companies need to be severly penalized for taking the jobs out of the country, if you do we will tax the goods reentering so bad, it will cut deep into profit margin and not make it worth it!

                  We have to make the US our number one priority, it’s important to help other countries, but after we have our home straight.

                  On the minimum wage, read some of the self-suffiency data, employers need to try to pay wages that allow families to pay for the basics (healthcare, food, housing). Also, if we really want to begin to produce a strong, happy workforce then we need redefine the American dream. Our death rates are up, heart disease is up, cancer is up…we are getting obese and sick, because we are running so hard to keep up with the Jones, let’s redefine what it means to live in America…let’s make it the dream to have a “quality” life, which in turn increase the quantity!

                  Let’s do this America!

                  • “the decisions of our politicians (that we all elected), over the last 2 decades have put our country in the pain it’s in now”

                    This is where you are wrong. Our country was screwed from the start by one sentence; “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.”

                    No one in life is equal. People with superior DNA will succeed. So is the way of suvival of the fittest.

                    • To the person who said the people with the best DNA would win…………….
                      you sir sound very much like a person who belonged to the Nazi Party in the 1930′s in Nazi Germany. Shame on you.

                    • Not much of a biologist, are you Travis — just interested in the Social Darwinism, is it?

                      The human ancestors who survived did things like…share their food when others in their family or tribe couldn’t hunt for themselves. In social species, it’s not a case of “the fittest” surviving. It’s a case of the “lucky and the good enough” surviving. (Kind of like in the business world!) And frankly, any human too selfish to share extra food back in the day would’ve had himself ostracized and out hunting mammoths all on his lonesome. Good luck with *that*, no matter how awesome your “superior DNA” happens to be.

                    • I believe I have heard the superior DNA argument before. Yes, it was the Nazi’s and the KKK spewing this kind of distasteful nonsense. The difference between humans and the rest of nature is higher brain function and its obvious potential. Therefore, survival is contingent upon developing your own ability to learn factual information and apply it within the confines of your life’s work. While I am not defending those who are blissfully ignorant, I do realize that, on average, this was a personal choice. Therefore, I must say that personal choices have consequences, or should, and that by eliminating the consequences (welfare, WIC, Minimum wage standards) we have created the current entitlement state. We are all at fault, as are our parents and theirs.

                      In the past, this currently disastrous type of policy was sustainable due to the readily available American spirit of hard work, and the innovation that it spurred. Innovation is the keystone of success. However, success leads to complacency, which is where we are today.

                    • Scientificaly proven…people with more symetrical faces are more likely to gain employment. Physical strength, endurance, intelligence, and favorable appearance are all more likly to excel in a work environment. Attractive people are more likely to be hired. If your parents were fat and ugly and you are fat and ugly its alot harder to get a job.

                  • I agree with you. If we all gave up a little bit of the extra “stuff” paid a bit more for a more quality and “safe” product we could provide more jobs paying a livable wage. As a country we have to get out of the “me” way of thinking and get back into the “we” mentality. We are all in this together. As voters we need to vote out every single politician who is being bought off by the big corporations and mean in both parties. Get rid of corporate campaign contributions hence lobbyists and maybe we can get some honest people back into government.

                    • I agree with you and know many who feel this way too. The problem is how do we differentiate between the two. Just because they say it’s what they want doesn’t mean they’re going to deliver. Florida just elected a man who has a reputation for corruption and unfortunately the other choice wasn’t any better. We need to drop the mentalty of voting for the lesser of the two evils and demand better options. If the canidates are unacceptible we need to demand for new choices and not just accept the choices the government allows us. We as a people have lost our voice and there are to many policitans out there speaking for us.

                  • Why doesn’t this report say how the people in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee without a mimimum wage are doing? Making the right decisions call for all of the fact.

                    • In a free market economy, there would not be a minimum wage. How are people doing where there is no minimum? On Long Island, N Y you can not live on 10/per hour. Unemployment pays close to that for many folks, and that is why the unemployed do not want a 10/hour job, that matches the dole. In a free market(MYTH?)economy, food ,rent, health care would meet demand and wages would go back up, or prices woud come down. When supply and demand are tampered with; the result is queer anomolies.

                • You go girl i agree whole heartedly. my husband works for such a company that only wants to pay minimum wage. it is hard to pay bills and still buy groceries on his salary. it truely is a good thing i work to and make above minimum wage. It is ashame that big companies dont care about there employees.

                  • I would be more than happy to work, go to school and take care of the home, but he doesn’t make enough for us to fix or replace our other vehical. My children are five yrs apart and although my youngest is qualified for daycare my oldest is not. Both have disabilities and can not stay home on there own. There are no organizations that help with our particular situation and I’m forced to live with my parents in a very hostile environment. To generalize everyone who is living in poverty as so many do is a very prejudice way of thinking. Thank you for being such a strong and intelligent women, our future generations need to see that.

                • The main reason that these employers are not sharing with their employees is because the unions have lost their power. Look back at the 50’s and 60’s when the unions had power most families only had one wage earner. The standard of living for the middle class was far better. Now you need two people in one family working just to make ends meet. I have been an electrician for 30 years. In 1983 I earned 16.00 an hour, my job I have now pays 18.50. Look at how much CEO’s made 27 years ago to compare to what they make now.

                  • The unions were useful at one point in our history. After their usefulness ended, corruption ensued. Look at what the unions did to the auto industry. Unions helped destory the competitiveness of our nation.

                • Shouldn’t a family of four have two incomes? No, one minimum wage income won’t support a family of four, but two would put the family above the poverty level.

                  • Yes, but if both parents are working who will take care of the 2 children? Unless they are school-aged the family will have to pay for childcare which is extremely expensive and way out of the budget of a minimum-wage family. The only option they’re left with is to use childcare subsidy from the government to pay for childcare. In many cases it would be better for everyone (the family and the tax-paying public) for mom to stay home with the kids.

                    • That is a valid point, but one with limits. I believe that if you are unable to financially support a child on your own, you should wait for a more appropriate time to have that child. I know the immediate response will be that sometime circumstances arise that are not within your control, but there are always options. With the methods of birth control that are available these days, “unplanned pregnancies” should be extremely rare. More common are “unintelligent pregnancies”. At the worst case, if you have a true unplanned pregnancy, adoption is always an option. Again, not bashing those that are put into cirumstances that are outside of their control, because things change, but more common those are the exception, not the rule, and I think a lot of people are tired of programs that help 5 or 10% of worthy people and are abused by the other 90%. With private charity, you are able to easily weed out those 90% and have more to give to those that truly are in need of help.

                  • Mel – 2 minimum wage jobs won’t put you above the poverty level. I make almost twice the minimum wage in my state (I work for a state university that has not raised wages for the past 3 years). We’re a family of 4. My husband has a master’s degree and works as a full time pastor, and yet his education does not garauntee him even minimum wage. With us both working we are exactly $200 above the poverty level.

                    Minimum wage may insure that you’re not being ripped off by your employer, but it in no way insures that even a single person household can survive on one full time minimum wage paying job.

                    Upping minimum wage would help, for a bit, until prices go up. Unfortunately, I have no solutions for the rising cost in everything while pay stays the same.

                  • The answer is no, not just for survival. Two people should not have to work 40 + hours a week just to put a family of 4 at poverty level. Do you have any idea how hard it is to survive at or below poverty level? I do, I had to do it as a single mother of 3. Put yourself on that income level as a budget for 6 months and then ask the same question!

                  • First, I am the mom of 4. Which makes us a family of six. I know a family of four that both parents work above minimum wage and can tell you the wife works just to pay the daycare alone!Get real people, in this wage war, even if you get government help to cover child care it is still more cost effective for one person to stay home with kids. If I was to put my four kids in daycare I would pay $85.00 each for my two schoolage; $103 for my toddler and $130 for the baby lets add this up:$403 per week! Now if you work federal minimum wage at $7.25 for 40 hours you will only clear $290 BEFORE TAXES! I went to college, we own our mobile home in full no mortgage and we still strugle and yes my husband makes a little over minimum wage. People without kids benefit the most in our current system and to tell people that it’s your own fault for getting where you are at because you have kids or a family are people that have stomped out the flame of the american dream.

                  • I don’t agree. 30 years ago my wife and I agreed I would earn the living, she would raise the children. At the time we had nothing, our first winter in North Dakota we had to depend on our in-laws to help heat the house and put food on the table. We did not apply for welfare although we could have. I finally went back to college and earned my masters, afterwards getting a good position paying slightly over the poverty level. We have lived within our means which usually means poorer than the neighbors, saved a minimum of 10% even when things were tight, and are now while not wealthy we do have enough for retirement. By the way, our oldest is working on her doctorate, our middle child is finishing her second degree, and the youngest is just now graduating high school with plans to work for his doctorate. No drugs, no problems. Just good young people raised by thier mother and watching thier father work for a living, sometimes up to 90 hours per week. We are overall very happy and have little to no sympathy for those who live off the system or who do not save for thier old age.

                    • You were very lucky to have family that could help you in your time of need. There are many folks out there that have no one they can turn to and are out of resourses. This is why we have those kinds of institiution out there, to help those who have no one. My family is strugling just as much as I am and can not do such things as you are referring. I have worked hard inside and outside of the home. I hold a professional license in which I have to renew bi-annually with continued education plus I am in school for a degree. I am not above improving my means by any way necessary. However, the cost of living vs. available wages is notconducive to being able to self sustain the cost of living. You were also lucky to have a job that allowed and had available the extra hours for you to work. Believe me if my husband’s job let him work 90hrs he would do it in a heartbeat, for his family. Not all of us Americans expect something for nothing. My husband and I find it very rewarding to work hard for the things we have. We just want what we are willing to work hard for to be of reasonable quality. I don’t want to work my butt off for someone who lives in a mansion while I got home to a run down home because it’s all I can afford because the cost of living is ridicuious. It’s about respect for your employees and acknowledging the contributions they have to the success of your company.

                  • Even with two minimum wage incomes it still would not put us above poverty. I think you should look into what constitutes as poverty. And by the way it varies from state to state. In Florida for a family of four it’s like 55,000 annual and below. Two minimum wage incomes is only 20,000, which is considered extremely low for a family of four.

                • I totally agree with Alicia. People working for minimum wage are still in the poverty category. People that work for minimum wage now can be highly educated but unable to fight a job in the field they went to school for. With unemployment so high in Colorado we have 1000 people turn in applications to companies that have 8 openings – and these aren’t even high paying jobs. If the CEOS & all those sitting at the top would quit being so money hungry and give the employees what they deserve or at least open up more positions so that employees aren’t doing the job for 2 or 3 people there would be alot less stress & lower unemployent. These people making millions of dollars need to get off their high horses & appreciate their employees and instead of pocketing so much of the money themselves they should give more to their employees be it benefits or raises. Where my husband works 1 person in management gets a bonus larger than what they pay their employees in a years time. This is wrong. Im not against giving them receiving bonuses but lets be real, if they can afford to give 5 people more in bonuses than what the employee makes in a years time why can’t they give more to the employees and cut the bonus that they pay management? It all comes down to the big guys and all they can think about is their expensive homes, cars, rvs, boats – you name it, if they want it they have it and if they dont have it yet they will get it. Just because they wear suits & ties doesnt mean they are entitled to make so much more money. After all, if it weren’t for the “little guys” they couldn’t live the lifestyle they’ve groown so accustomed to.

                • Remember, socialism requires that the government control wages and pricing. All you have to do is to look at Europe and see that socialism does NOT work. While European countries are backing away from socialism and the nanny state, we are running toward it. We should take the time to learn what works, and placing government controls on everything has not eliminated corruption, poverty, and under/un-employment. Reality is that there are always poor, there are always rich, and there are always people willing to take from one to give to the other to no avail. We must earn our way back from our self-made crisis through hard work, and a willingness to learn from our mistakes. We can no longer afford to base our economy on our ability to take on debt.

                  • Again, the minimum wage argument isn’t about the government paying anybody anything; it’s about companies paying their employees fairly. And to argue that “because socialism requires A and socialism is failing, A is bad” is a logical fallacy–it is entirely possible that A has nothing to do with why socialism is “failing.”

                • The problem with raising the minimum wage is that it spits in the face of those just a couple of steps above that level. Consider for a minute the kid who just graduated from a 2 year college after borrowing $30,000 for tuition. He/she may have a difficult time paying bills on a $25k/year salary let alone repaying student loans. Yet some flunkie high school drop-out should make $10/hour because we want to keep raising the minimum wage?

                  Raising the minimum wage is great if you’re in high school, at your first job, or are just a general societal waste. No hard-working care-givers should even make minimum wage to begin with, and those are the people who really need help.

                  • This is exactly where I am at. I make $15 an hour as a computer repair technician. Do these people think that flipping a big mac is as important as fixing a computer. It’s not! I keep people’s whole businesses running. My $15 wasn’t bad when minimum wage was $5.00, but today $7.50 and tomorrow $10, starts to make my $15 look pretty small.

                  • I agree with you on the one hand about it undermining the person who has skill and is paid a certain wage for said skills only to have someone with no skills make the same. That has actually happened to me twice, which is why I’m in school again (this time because of loans and not a grant). However I also know what it means to work hard and not be equally reimbursed for said hard work. We should all at least earn enough for us to survive on what is necessary regardless of skill or knowledge. If someone is not qualified to do the job their hired for, then A: train them or B: find some one who can and will. I’ve (along with many others) have worked in a place with people who were far beyond incompetence and yet for some reason they held their jobs, making the same wages as those who had to take up their slack. Until the issues finds it’s balance this will be the result. There’s are few people out there with barely any skills making a comfortable living because they have people doing all the thinking and hard work for them. There lies the irony.

                • The only thing guaranteed to Americans by the Constitution is “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. We are not guaranteed anything else by the government. We are not guaranteed a certain lifestyle or income or health coverage or anything else. All men being created equal means that they are endowed with that same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as anyone else in this country. Equality does not mean income or education or anything else except what we are guaranteed by our Constitution. A society, however, that does not care for the weak or infirm is not a civilized society. Society can’t support everyone though, people must take responsibility for their own lives and do what is necessary to get an education or get a job. You do not have a “right” to a cell phone, a wide screen TV, a brand new car or anything else. Unfortunately our entitlement society tells us that we are entitled to them and that’s a large part of our problem today. People can make more through entitlement programs that getting a job. Minimum wage does not get rid of the basic problem that someone can do better not working than they can by working. Tighten up entitlement programs and minimum wage will not be such a big issue.

                • I agree. I was born and raised in St. Pete/Clearwater Florida. When I grew up there, even though we were “poor” and yes, my dad worked 2 and 3 jobs to support his kids…you could at least afford the necessities in life.

                  I thought about moving back, and when I went back, even in the outskirts of the big cities,
                  you could rent a one person travel trailer for about $800 a month. Nice huh?

                  Yeah, we all know things have gone up. Commodities have gone up. Oil has gone up…and so on and so forth. So why is it that wages don’t go up to compensate for the increases in the cost of living anymore?
                  That in itself would alleviate some of the stress off of middle class families.

              • I think a good principle to follow would be:

                Don’t be a burden as best you can
                Relieve the burden of others as best you can

                The key thing here is it’s a personal commitment that you should hold yourself to out of love for your fellow man. The government forcing you to do something they have deemed by law to be moral or helpful is not really the same thing.

                Those who demand government health care tend to hide behind a form of specious compassion. Those who denounce government health care tend to hide behind a form of pride and selfishness. I think the answer is developing a personal responsibility to genuinely love your neighbor, not by force or compulsion, but because he really needs or deserves it. The individual can determine this far better than some distant federal program.

              • The problem with micro-economists is that they are micro-theorists. They separate everything and analyze it. Economics is much more about human nature and social interaction. These are the same economists who want to abolish the minimum wage. To properly analyze minimum wage policy, in my view, we need to see what’s wrong with current tax policy. I believe, we need a stratified flat tax policy. Percentages would be scaled down as income descends and scaled up in the reverse. This would increase the tax base and the wealthy would now pay their fair share.

            • I work in a hospital, and I’ve got to tell you- it doesn’t matter what kind of insurance you have. I work with pediatric cancer patients and even for people who think they are buying really great insurance, like Blue Cross, get stuck with a TON of bills, and actually the “good” insurance companies are the worst ones sometimes- denying all kinds of treatment, etc. I see even families that were once “well off” suddenly needing assistance because one of the spouses had to quit their job, and all these medical bills are piling up. Any one of us is a bad incident away from needing all the help we can get. All this self-rightous “I take care of my own business and too bad for those who are less savvy or responsible” is unfortunately the American Way, and it’s very sad.

              • Just because you have insurance doesn’t mean you won’t have medical expenses. The difference is between having a manageable amount of medical expenses (say $7,000 for a cancer patient such as my boss or my uncle) and having a medical bill of $1,000,000+ that you will never see the end of in your life time (such as what happened to my grandfather who didn’t have health insurance). And telling people to live within their means and take care of their own business is not a self righteous attitude. If you are a good person who has surrounded yourself with good friends and made good impressions on people, those people will help you. But what you want, is simply to steal money from everyone through the guise of taxes and give it to anyone who can’t afford to deal with their own problems. No offense, but when it comes to choosing between some random patient of yours or taking my money and helping one of my uncle’s through a rough time, that random patient of yours can kiss my rear end, because s/he isn’t getting a dime. But because of what people like you have constructed with our tax system, I don’t even have the option to take care of someone I know and love personally. Legal my butt, what you people have done through taxes and social programs that redistribute wealth is downright criminal.

                • Yeah, those lazy, selfish, greedy pediatric cancer patients can just die and go to Hell. I’d much rather spend all my tax dollars killing Iraqis than actaully helping the working poor. Wow. You are truly a right-wing radio zombie.
                  I hope you never get sick and lose your job within the same time period. Heartless.

                  • yeah laura, what you said was completely racist and totally unamerican. You should be stoned for being the witch you are. you would rather be killing iraqis? thats pleasant.

                  • I think what started this line of debate was specifically about the idea of debt relief or elimination for a “fresh start”.
                    Whether its medical debt or frivilous spending, it’s still money spent for a service or product that an orgainization or company spent money to produce or provide. Bottom line, there is no such thing as “free money.” Eliminating a debt, no matter the source of the debt, leaves someone without being provided the payment for their services. Companies take the loss which is then passed along to the consumer in increased cost, increased interest rates for borrowing money, or felt at the unemployment line because companies are forced to lay off workers.

                    • Who are you kidding? Business works because it produces a profit. Insurance companines recieve tax breaks and “write-off” a significant amount of medical dollars requiring hospitals and medical offices to raise rates in order to recieve the amount of money needed to run an office. There is mismanagement of money all the way down the line no doubt because we equate success to a monetary value as Americans no matter what you equate the American Way to be. Though I know the political manueverings to be flawed for the health care bill, I am exteremely curious as to when insurance companies became the champions of freedom.

                    • It’s no wonder that the listed States in the article are are the bottom of prosperity in America. Without the minimum wage, I can employ anyone in my business at this time of desperation on $4 an hour and be making good profit. That is immoral. For some who say wiping out dept should not happen, the dept to the company is “bad dept” and you file your tax and report it as such. In that case your company stil don’t lose.l

                • Who are you kidding? People don’t help people these days. They did when I was growing up, but there’s nothing but a bunch of snobs that think everyone should be responsible for themselves and if they can’t pay, they shouldn’t have, and not expect help (government or otherwise). So if a person can’t afford a meal, they should starve? According to most people these days, yes.

                  As spoken above, those are the arrogant, never had anything happend to them yet kind of hard nosed individuals. I can imagine if everyone were in the same boat, as it was in what? Western days? People would go back to bartering and helping their neighbors, but today’s society is only worried about their own wealth and outdoing someone else instead of caring about other’s ability to to manage life as we know it.
                  Minimum wage earners can’t make a decent living off of what they make. Unemployment isn’t the great handout some of you think it is, either. In my state, the max is $200 a week. That’s LESS than minimum wage.
                  Minimum wage is for young people that still live with mommy and daddy, who are just starting out in this world.
                  People with families, medical bills, etc., could use a helping hand, but instead, they’ll find venom spitting nincompoops barking how they lived beyond their means.

                  It’s no wonder other countries hate America. America harbors the most self-centered, egotistical bunches of DNA walking on this earth.

                  • Yes, a catastrophic illness can eliminate all stability in your life, removing the moorings of your planning, and health insurances can and do limit and refuse to pay basic necessary treatments simply to beef up their bottom line – as a cancer survivor I have weathered that storm. However, there is a difference between medical bills and bills run up buying the latest electronics and simply not preparing for the minor bumps in the road that are the normal passage in life. I have always been a preparer, saving for a rainy day and see very little of that today. On a minimum wage job that is difficult but doable – as far as unemployment being so bad – your $200 per week is 25% higher than my disability check that I cannot do anything to improve. I did not wish to fight cancer and lose my ability to work but now am subsisting on $650 a month – and yes I do indeed pay for health insurance – somehow

                  • I see so many people who say, ” there is no way to make a living on minimum wage.” Exactly!!! A minimum wage job is something that you should not aspire to have your entire life. Minimum wage jobs are for 16 year olds. You save your money while you are young and pay for your own college instead of taking out student loans. Most of these people who are older than 21 who have minimum wage job are people who cannot pass piss tests to get real jobs.

                    Unemployement is at %10. 10 people out of every 100. Out of those 10 people, 3 of them do not want to work, and 2 can’t get a job because they can’t pass a piss test.

                    You want unemployment to go down. Legalize marijuana. Not only does it create jobs, it also legitimizes the job that the impoverished are already doing. It would also increase increase tax revenue and get money circulating again.

                    • Get your facts straight. Unemployment is as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have ACTIVELY LOOKED for work within the past four weeks.[2] The unemployment rate is a measure of the prevalence of unemployment and it is calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of unemployed individuals by all individuals currently in the labour force.

                      There is something called a discouraged worker, they no longer factor into the unemployment count. Another thing that doesn’t factor in is an underemployed worker. Someone who is looking for full time hours but only receives part time hours.

                      Perhaps every person in America should be required to take some kind of economics class before allowed to pass high school because the amount of clueless people on how the world works is shocking to me…

                    • Ah, yes, spoken like a true “pothead”. Legalize marijuana? Really? That has nothing to do with the minimum wage issue.

                    • College tuition can be anywhere from 15k to 40k a year. A well meaning 16 year old is going to get a minimum wage job, save every cent for 2 years,(forget about the expenses of senior year), and know that s/he can only afford to pay for 2 simesters of college NOT including room and board/books and other supplies. Grants and student loans are just about the only way you can pay for college even if your parents are middle class.

                    • It amazes me how self centered people can be. I have a job and make about 40k a year. I’m salary and get paid for 40 hours, despite the fact I typically put in closer to 60. Now this will sound like a lot of money to some and I do feel fortunate to have my position in these times. Take into consideration however that I pay $600 a month in health insurance alone. Then I am the sole supporter of 3 children and a disabled parent. This is food, housing, clothes…all the basic necessities in life.

                      I do not have cable, internet or any other luxury items. Drive a small compact, economical car. Don’t eat out, don’t have family outings that cost money, we make do with family time at the park etc. Yet I can’t make ends meet and due to my income do not qualify for any type of state or government assistance.

                      I cannot even imagine the struggles I would have trying to do the same on minimum wage, which would be less than half of my income and commend those that are on minimum wage and work hard to better their lives. I have been there.

                      Before you say I should have planned better, saved, not had children etc. I used to make much more, had savings put away and planned fo retirement but life happens. I was laid off from the previous employer due to the economy, took in my disabled parent and divorced an abusive husband. Does this make me scum and less wise than you?

                      I do not complain about my circustances but instead live my life put in my time and make the best of it. All those on here passing judgement on those that are not in the same position as them should be ashamed.

                  • I dont know about debt clearing, and I truly am not sure about capping minimum wages, and who it would effect (teenagers making gas money vs large companies increaseing profits by paying the honest workers doing hard jobs less money) but I can comment on what we as Americans say we cant afford. I do know honets hard working people who say they have a rough time paying rent, food bills, insurance, etc, who drive 35,000 touatos and a chevy avalanche, ebery kid has a cell phone, and have tivo in every room, and high speed internet, along with upgraded stereos in thier cars and homes. I think alot of Americans think this is an entitlement, not a previdge. They should be driving hyundia’s or colbots, and saving. They make $32,000 yearly combined and live like those who make $80,000. Not everyone does this I know, but it is pretty common. If I got laid off I could cut almost $400 a month in spending, just like that, (cell phone, cable, eating out, beer, theater movies, and more if I had to)Sooo, it sucks but maybe we need to look at what we all think we deserve, and make a reality check on what is important. I dont want to seam snotty, but those who have $ started off somehwhere, nobody these days wants to start anywhere other than the top.

                    • Minimum wage is necessary to keep the poor from completely collapsing under. The things my family has been through in the last 10 years would make the average “know it all” out there crumble. I quit college to get married and move with my husband who was in the Navy. Yes, I was paying my own way and working my butt off. Then, 4 years later, my husband was honorably discharged with a medical disability. While my husband was trying to find work, go back to school, and get a little help from the governemt he had faithfully served for 8 years, we had to move 8 different times, once to a tent because we couldn’t pay rent and feed our children at the same time.
                      I have choosen to work minimum wage jobs so that I could be the one raising my children and not leaving the responsibility to someone else. We have lived without a lot of basic necessities and learned how to get by. We payed all our bills, and very basic food. We had no money for luxuries. Health insurance was a dream, as was a savings account. We tried, but it’s hard to save when you could choose between buying food for your kids or having two coins to rub together. We choose to care for our kids first.
                      When my husband was finally declared 100% disabled by the government, our standard of living finally went up. The first thing I bought? Shampoo!!! I appreciate the help that our government provides and we might well be lost without it.
                      With insurance finally, I just had to pay 234.60 to talk to my doctor for 15 min (champVA); I am scared. I just found out I am pregnant again and am seriously considering skipping all the doctor’s visits and just showing up at the ER when I go into labor. That should allow me enough time to save some money for the delivery.
                      Just a little picture(minus a lot of other painful details)of what life is like for us “low lifes who are just out for free money and think everyone owes us something.”

                  • you are so correct, we americans care about nothing but ourselves. a person can’t survive off of minimum wage, but you can if you are living home with your perents or shacked up in a house with 15 other people. change will come in a form of civil war in this country again, if things dont change. America right now is turn back into the wild west, people are killing people left and right, it produce of being in poverity. $16,000 a year is big heap of sh**, it’s enough for a teen working, but for someone trying to make it on there own, it is NOT. $800 rent and utilities, you end up with less then $2000 a year to live off. this equal to straight jacking someone in the future.

                  • People help people, but cautiously now. I won’t pick up a hitch hiker or person broken down on the side of the road unless I have my pistol with me.

                  • We cant really regulate peoples salaries in a free market economy. I however have been thinking we should use the census information, find out what the median income is and that is what the people voted into office to represent “we the people” get paid. Keeping in mind that the benifts they are offered are in line with the average person (based on percentage of income). Also making sure that they are not getting “gifts” or “campaign contributions” that would be out of line with average. This might insure that the average person is represented.
                    It was the middle class that made this country great. When the sucess and welth were distributed in a manner in which many felt they were shareing in the sucess. There is alot of information out there that shows the sucess of big buisness in fact is not ” trickeling down”. The unfortunate fact is that it is true that many in the world are worse off, and the same structure that is growing the devide in the economic and social structure here at home knows and is willing to exploit the growing labor pool (trickeling even less down) but for the time being providing a “middle class” other places in the world. Over time inflaton will happen as more people have growing purchasing power. Standard of living will increase and a more consumeristic mindset will inevitbly set in. At which point the workers will demand higher wages and benifits. As this stands in the way of growth and profitability jobs will again be relaocated. Not to mention take advantage of more lax environmental regulations, and play the exchange rate.The problem is with less of the welth being shared amongst the working class the purchasing power for the products being produced continues to deminish. As purchasing power deminishes demand for products shrinks the need for labor to produce deminishes= less jobs. The more people not working the higher the rate of poverty, the higher the rate of poverty the lower the demand for products.
                    Look at history and what happened to societies in which there became a great imbalance of power, what happened? Now look at how we are becoming a global community. What do you think will happen if we as a global community make the same mistakes that many societies have in the past?
                    So the many are not left without representation, have the representing body composed of those the same as the many.

                • Yea isn’t it a shame: We Americans are the only industrialized country in the world that doesn’t have NATIONAL HEALTH CARE! Why is that? We claim to be so great, but can’t seem to afford the very basics for all our citizens that all the other industrialized countries provide without debate. Shame on us!!! It is just greed pure and simple! Christian nation? Not with attitudes like we have of the “I got mine and too bad for you!!! What a shame the rest of the industrialized world has it better than us and at the same time the standard of living for citizens in those countries keep passing us and leaving the average American falling further and further down the ladder. How do you justify that? How do you justify the fact that the wealth in America keeps moving to the top few while the rest keep falling?

                    • Free to move WHERE? I live in the lowest income, therefore, lowest cost of living state in America! If I move, I’m paying more for the same ammenities that I have here.
                      That statement is neither necessary nor intelligent.
                      You’re always free to think too, but you don’t, do you?

                    • Interesting comments here ,

                      I ‘d like to move too. about a million miles from
                      my selfish family members.
                      Ah, but where do we go? My uncle left ( died on a Submarine in the
                      Pacific – 1944 ) Can’t live with any Japs. Or Germans.
                      Tax structures are crappy, but I guess it ‘s all part of a big plan.
                      Rob from the rich & Give to the poor / Or is it steal from the……
                      All I know is I ask the man in the Sky about this thing called Love;
                      it s supposed to conquer all. Yea right ! But he keeps telling me to
                      look into my heart & show compassion.
                      As for our government, how can any business take in a trillion dollars
                      yet spend 1.34 trillion and expect to survive. Think about this next time
                      you cast a Vote. Tis like a person with a bad credit card problem !
                      Only banks & foreign countries are profiting now /
                      Oh , yes did I mention Insurance companies, doctors, & Lawyers ???

                  • Have you ever considered that, just maybe, the reason America is so far ahead of all those countries you speak of is because we DON’T have socialized health care? Maybe it is because we allow smart business people to do what they have to do to attract the best employees that we are the envy of the world. Maybe if we allowed the same smart business people to establish a competitive wage scale instead of forcing them to continually pay the bottom feeders more we would see more motivation to get quality education and to advance in a career rather than flip burgers all day and be guaranteed an increase in pay by the bleeding hear liberals. In California, there wasa a stretch in which the minimum wage increased almost 50% in a 4-year span. That money was taken out of middle managemnt’s pockets and out of the consumer’s pockets to pay people who, in majority, are kids still living with their parents or are second income-earners for their home. I had teenagers working for me in 2001 who had nicer cars, cell phones, etc. than I had because they had no rent, utility, etc. May pay was frozen because of the increase in minimum wage and I had three kids to feed! Minimum wage is nothing more than redistribution of wealth forced on us by the government.

                    • So far ahead…WTF!!! So far ahead of China who is eating our lunch! So far ahead of Germany who is making us look pathetic! Stop getting your news from places that feed you the garbage that we are so much better than everyone else. “Nationalism” has always seen bad results in the past.

                    • That’s not true. If your pay etc. was capped because of minimum wage, you wouldn’t have a business. You take advantage of good workers by hireing the teenagers who do have free rent, food and utilities. It keeps you from having to let go of that almighty dollar.
                      I’m not talking about me. I have no children at home to feed. I’m actually here taking up for the people who could use allies, because there are so many out there who condemn them and say they are worthless because they are a low income earner. That doesn’t make them bottom feeders. That makes them victims of a greedy economic system.

                    • If you studied history,real history with all the facets,if you understood the fact that europe ran out of many of the basic natural resources centuries ago,if you studied colonialism,( which the english,french,dutch,portugese,spainish used to supply those natural resources0,and which we are now involved in in south america,africa,Iraq,Iran,india,than you would understand to a large degree why the usa is so wealthy why those places have such absolute poverty,and why ,on its present course the USAis failing( as evidence,Rome,egypt,the Incas,myans and Easter Island).the arguement that america is the greatest would seem a little more arrogant and ludichrist

                    • After living and working in health care in other countries as an American, I can tell you that our health system while flawed, is superior to theirs. There, the physicians make a standard rate no matter what they do, so they are not motivated to do much, testing and procedures are so backed up you can wait 5-7 years to get an MRI, because the country providing the Nationalized health care can not afford to have the equipment they need to provide what they are “providing” in their health care system. Their equipment is often out of date and their sugery procedures are archaic because no one is pushing for research to be done, thus the health care workers have no motivation to make things better… so say what you want, yes our health care is expensive, yes it causes debt for people who don’t have insurance, but medical debt does not affect your credit score, nor your job security, and the alternative is earlier death, more suffering, and more pain. You choose!

                    • Don’t you dare blame teenagers for taking your wages. Ive got news for you, we work our asses off for what we get. In Minnesota the minimum wage is $6.15 an hour for small businesses. If you look at a $10,000 car, that is over 1600 hours, and that’s before taxes!!! We pay our taxes and for our own gas and fun just like every other person in this country. Guess what, we even have a full time job…education. And after high school we get to pay for that full time job!!

                    • Those smart business people are hiring people from other countries. smarter higher educated people who didn’t have to wory about health care because their governments took care of that for them. They moved here make more money than the average American citizen and pay less taxes. Or they open a business and it’s tax free. Those trillions of dollars that we are in debt could easily be paid by making EVERYONE pay taxes not just those who were fortunate enough to be born here.

                  • You are absolutely correct. I think I will start looking into moving to one of those utopian societies that provide for all of their citizens, have a better standard of living and are so much more Christian and caring than Americans.

                    Ooh wait, they are all going bankrupt and into default even faster than we are, America still has the best standard of living in the world and has created almost all of the advances that contribute to other countries improving their standard of living and Americans out give the rest of the world combines in charitable giving from citizens.

                    If you think the Government should provide for the citizens, who is supposed to provide for the Gov? The only income they have is from their citizens. The more the Gov provides, the less motivation there is to provide for yourself. The Gov burden will only grow meaning you must tax the rich more, and move the definition of rich down. As you move the definition of rich down and the point you stop receiving Gov benefits up. At some point there is no one left in the middle and all you have are the rich who have all of their property taken from them by the Gov and the poor who are completely controlled by the Gov who can demand anything it wishes by threat of cutting benefits.

                    Sound like a wonderful way to live to me!!!

                • I would like to add that the government was never ment to take care of you, but to give you a chance to help yourself. Try looking at what the founders had to say about taking money from onr for another.

                  • you are so right…the government was not supposed to take care of us; however it was not supposed to take care of everyone else either. Money spent in other countries could easily be used here to help those AMERICANS who need it.

                    • Why does this country hate its poor so very much, and yet love its rich? We begrudge any helping hand to those in need, but we smile and nod and vote for those politicians who have sworn to carry great buckets of money to the very richest people in the nation. We already have socialism, it’s just that unlike in, say, Sweden, it takes money from society’s neediest and gives it to the wealthiest.

                      And by the way, this is anti-Christian in the extreme, as anyone who has read the Bible lately surely knows.

                    • Yes. Exactly. There are more complaints about how the government helps low income earners, when in fact, they help big corporations just as much or more.

                      The fact that they get the largest tax cuts are a result of government help. No, they should not pay outrageously more, but they should have to pay the same as lower income earners. Just because you don’t make as much (middle class earners), why should you have to pay 35% when the filthy rich only pays 1.5%?

                      Look at the bill going to the House now. There HAD to be an extension for tax cuts to help those making outrageous amounts of money, in order to help those that have lost jobs. That is ridiculous. And by the way, hard work and college educations are not indicative of income. It’s a popularity contest more than anything. Who you know or who your daddy knows. That’s common knowledge.
                      You don’t have to have a college education to be a rep for a pharmaceutical company. I do have a college education, and it got me and millions more laid off.
                      It’s corporate America that is laying off more than small businesses…again, because they can get cheaper labor elsewhere.

                    • Not to contradict myself but the government was not supposed to take care of us at all. The church was. The church was supposed to take care of Widows, children and the poor. Now the church takes care of itself (Mega Church). Most religions have some form of welfare integrated into it’s belief system. Many have gotten away from doing what their very beliefs say they should do. IMHO

                • And, of course, everyone should be just like you. If there were no individuality, if nothing was random, if the world were perfect because everyone did what YOU wanted, there would be no need for taxes, insurance, a military, social security, it would be paradise! You’ve done it! You’ve single handedly solved all of America’s problems! I’m voting republican from now on! thank you for showing the rest of us the light!

                  • this discussion is a perfecct example of WHY unions got their start- Employeers trying to impose Economic Slavery on the workerds-U. Give This some serious thought
                    as Sally Field would proclaim-
                    UNION UNION UNION UNION- and on and on- Forever.

                • Can there even be a serious debate about whether or not there should be a minimum wage? Are you kidding me!!! Its bad enough you have companies that would love to pay their employees (peasants) anything they want we have fools like Scott who complain about taxes. Hey Scott, how about we let you not have to pay your taxes but stay the hell away from OUR (the people who pay taxes) roads, bridges, fire departments, police departments, military, social security (which I bet you won’t be complaining when you start receiving it), Medicaid (once again, which I bet you won’t be complaining when you start receiving it, public schools, public colleges, national parks, interest payments on the national debt (which I would bet you complain about constantly), and the list goes on. Do us all a favor and move to the libertarian paradise of…Somalia!!!

                • Dear Scott:

                  There is a distribution of wealth in America that causes us to have the largest percentage of children in poverty among the industrialized nations. The social programs that you speak of are designed to keep people alive. If too many people die of malnutrition or exposure to the elements there would be riots in the streets and all those millionaires would be in danger. This is what happened just before the French and Russian revolutions. We keep out peasants and slaves quiet by throwing them crumbs. Lets hope those social programs work well enough to allow us to keep our heads. Those people might want their country back if they suffer too much.

                • Geeez, what a SOCIALIST A-HOLE! Obviously you have NEVER lived in POVERTY in your lifetime! I grew up in poverty, and if it weren’t for a few lucky breaks & the will to succede, I would still be there!
                  I find it interesting that someone like yourself, who has obviously earned enough money to buy a computer, doesn’t have the commoin sense to see that there is SOCIALIST AGENDA being forced down the throats of ALL AMERICANS under the guise of necessity! We were at one time, the leader in manufacturing, research, and technology. Now we have declined to the point of becoming the laughing stock of the world! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Simply put.. GREED! GREED of the politcians… GREED of the corporations… GREED of those who have done all the “right things” during their lives!
                  HOW LOW CAN WE GO? Here’s an example…
                  A few years ago, I kept receiving those irritating calls from Wyndham Resorts selling timeshares… from India, of course. Since the same person was making follow-up calls, we became friends (I’m in sales as well, so we had “sympatico”). We would compare notes, give advice to each other, and discuss the differences of marketing techniques, economies, cultures, etc.
                  Since these international calls were on Wyndham’s dime, we could talk for extended periods of time.
                  Last month, I received the last call from my friend in Bombay… they were shutting down the call center where he worked. Why? He said that the company was moving their opoerations to SOMALIA, where they pay 1/3 the labor cost!!! His equivilant salary in USD’s? $0.85!!!
                  My point is this. Where will this drive for “competitive” wages end? When will we finally lower the benchmark to the point where we will find someone willing to work for a bowl of rancid rice a day to do the things that, as our leadership have stated, “Americans dont want to do”? I guess when we reach that point in this country as well. Then, we could all be EQUAL!
                  When I was growing up in the 60′s-70′s, you chose the jobs you worked at based on the ADVANCEMENT FACTOR (machinists, areospace, factory, etc.). These were jobs that had the potential to PROVIDE your family a worry free life, whereby you could actually send you children to college, and they could look forward to ADVANCING their standard of living to an even HIGHER LEVEL!!
                  Today, those jobs are gone… FOREVER! They won’t be returning. WHY? Because the type of SKILLS required for these positions DEMAND a wage that pays more than subsistance… and so the corporations outsource these positions to other, more capable countries, who produce these products & services for pennies on the dollar! And in many cases, their workforce is MORE EDUCATED and MOTIVATED than ours. Acheiving the highest score in HALO is not going to get you hired anywhere… except perhaps the Military!

                • $7,000? That is a joke. Try a $50,000 bill for a patient, with a family of five, for a parent who is working double shifts but only has a high school education, and doesn’t have sound extended family support. I would be interested to know if you are actually aquainted with anyone in poverty. You have to have bootstraps in the first place to be able to “pull yourselves up by them.” You sound like a very nice person to help extended family with medical expenses, very generous. But what if you come from the class of the working poor, and that is also what your network is? In spite of the illusion of the “american Dream” it is very rare that people move above the status that they were born into. I’m not talking about those “sucking off the welfare system” (and there are certainly those who do that), I’m talking about the working poor- who often work their asses off, often way harder than their white collar counterparts (say, those that had a helping hand to get through college? Those who had family members with a little nest egg to help them through a tough spot or crisis?) but are never quite able to get ahead or get that emergency fund. Those of us that have more so often want to say “if I can do it, then they can do it” and really lack empathy for those who we assume have “made their own messes” or “been irrisponsible.” But, often once people have made up their mind about something, they are stubborn to change it, regardless of what information is out there. God forbid you or someone in your wise and responsible social network should ever experience a catastrophic crisis and have a safety net fail tham. Pardon the sarcasm.

              • You unfortunately have no clue on the “American Way” and it is apparent that you believe that your philosophy on social justice is somehow the correct way. The post was about minimum wage. Only a third of the economists surveyed believe minimum wage is needed or helpful. Why? Although it make us feel good, the fact is it does more harm than good. When the marketplace is forced/legislated to increase their cost, they respond by raising their prices. The costs of goods goes up…

                • If we eliminate the minimum wage, what do you suggest we replace it with? Slave labor? How are those people supposed to buy stuff? Although they are poor and we should hate them because of it, they still help fuel the economy. The uber-rich keep us fighting between ourselves like this for their pocket change and they could give a shit about anyone else (most of them). Capitalism is great if you are in the top 5% of it. Otherwise, you are one injury away from utter disaster.

                  • You are exactly right, Laura. There ARE people who would rather drop minimum wage, than pay a dollar for their goods. The fact is, with or without minimum wage, business do not and will not raise their payscale.
                    While minimum wages are a poor excuse for payment of work done, the minimum wages do stop employers and business from lowering thier wages, which is exactly what would happen if there were no control.

                    In my opinion, people should get paid for what they are worth. If you stand around with your cell phone, texting your buddies all day, then you should be sent home and leave the opportunity for someone who NEEDS to work, to have that job.

                    If you are a hard worker, you should be paid accordingly…and much higher than people who don’t care and who show no motivation.

                    • I DO have to ask you though, why should poor people be hated? They didn’t ask to be poor. Who in their right mind would wake up one day and say “you know what…I think I’ll just be poor, and not have a roof over my head or food to eat.”

                      That statement just doesn’t make sense, except that I expect it to come from the top 5% who really believe they are using up all their big bonuses to feed someone when they have more up their butt than they’ll ever spend in 20 lifetimes.

                    • What is made in America today? Not much. Why are cell phones, TV’s, cars…on and on made in China? Could it possible be that we in America have priced ourselves out of jobs?

                    • You are completely wrong about minimum wage. I live in a state where even McDonald’s pays nearly $1 ABOVE the state and federal minimum wage because they can’t get people to work for less. Eliminating a minimum wage law will simply mean that organizations will pay what the market demands.


                    • Unforunatley raising the minimum wage does not really help those who make it or slightly above it. Over the years I have seen that every time it goes up, so the does the price fo basis goods and services. And the inflation on goods and services generally rises higher than wages. The solution is a one person already stated a MAXIMUN WAGE, or a WAGE RATIO. Currently the highest paid people in this country average about 500 time the minumum wage. This shoudl be capped so that the highest earner in a company can only make 100 times the lowest. Becasue honeslty what does anyone person do that adds 500 times the value to a company that anyone esle. And if the profits of campany are paid out equally, then there is not need for a mimimum wage. Thsi helps small business how are struggling to higher peopel to expand their company and it keeps large companies from turning their labor into wage slaves.

                  • Exactly why it is beyond me why the government has not instiuted a universal right to health care system. Meaning, EVERYONE, both rich, and poor, having the EXACT same quality of care. One life is never more important than another, peroid. I recieve almost double that of mimimum wage, have NO health benfits,and live well below poverty line still as i have 5 dependants. It is laughable that anyone thinks you can make ends meet on minimum wage, the cost of houseing ALONe takes all of it away, then there are trasnportaion needs, utilities, and food. Some people have so very much, while the majority tend to struggle. It is smiply heartless for those who do have many blessings to sit in judgement of those who are hurting. In my opionion, the only reason something in the nature of medical reform has not passed is that it would lose it’s profitablity, just the costs of medications alone, other countries offer the exact same drugs, at significantly lower prices.

                    • I have to agree with Tori. If you can’t afford them don’t keep having them. There wouldn’t be such a strain on the welfare system if everyone made the responsible decision to use some form of birth control.

                    • Let’s face it. Nothing in this world is free. Mandating equal health care for all is not the answer. When you give someone something they haven’t earned, they don’t respect or appreciate it. And the tendency is to abuse it. Medicaid patients exemplify this with some going to their primary physician 20+ tiimes per year. This cost time and resources that taxpayers are getting fed up with supporting.

                    • She said she had 5 dependants not 5 kids, maybe she is taking care of her family being mother, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or husband

                    • the problem is the people who don’t want to work and get all the benifits. I was a manager for Rent A Center and most of the customers are on welfare who gets low cost or free rent, food stamps, and yeah some of these people get $800-900 in food stamps a month but yet pay Rent A Center $500-$1200 a month and yes there are many customers paying that a month but yet I lost my job and took a 75% decrease in pay but I can not get foodstamps because on mim wage make too much but the dead beats get plenty of food and free rent. and if you are on drugs you get social security and a lot of food stamps. That is why poor people are looked down on. welfare people need to be drug tested and if find drugs in their system they should not be allowed to get welfare. the honest people are the ones hurting but yet the people that choose to live the bad life are living good

                    • Drug prices in other countries are subsidized by the government. Greece, France, UK,Ireland all have universal health care. None of these can maintain this level of spending, thats why they are all having civil unrest. Back on subject, minimum wage discourages employers from hiring more people. If you are trying to live on minimum wage with 5 dependents, maybe some of your CHOICES have led to this. Maybe you just had bad luck. Either way, you should be working 2 jobs or 3. I did when I was younger. If you show up to work, you can get a job. If unemloyment is less than minimum wage, maybe you should work minimum wage jobs instead. Plenty of affluent people started at the bottom, and they know what its like. Handouts are for emergencies.

                  • Taking away the minimum wage is opening up a Pandora’s box. You already have issues with Mexican immigrants taking jobs away from the American people, well removing the minimum wage will just increase that ten fold.

                    But I have to agree that raising the minimum wage won’t help matters. Yes it will increase the cost of living, but it will also reduce the motivation to work harder, to find a real job, or to have incentive to work their way up in the company.

                    • to find a real job… so if you’re getting paid minimum wage, you don’t have a real job… People who serve food, clean the bathrooms and floors, serve food in the school cafeteria, drive your kids to school – these are real jobs for them and they are providing valuable services that we need.

                      I work as a medical editor online, and guess what, I make minimum wage because our work is outsourced to India. I edit medical reports for hospitals, this requires technical skill and knowledge, yet if it weren’t for the minimum wage set, they would pay me only around $3/ hour… does that mean my job is less valuable. I think not since it’s providing a needed medical service… no, because companies will always get away with paying the least possible that they can, and it doesn’t get pumped back into our middle class economy, it goes into the CEO’s pocket for lavish trips, dinners, entertainment, things most of us won’t experience, not on a routine basis… And those who support this, who are you kidding? You really think you’re going to someday be one of the elite 3% of the upper class weathiest? That is a carrot tied on the end of a long stick that the uber rich use to entice you… good luck with that

                    • Courtney,

                      If you believe without minimum wage, your employer would pay you $3 per hour, you are clearly stating what you are worth. The problem with your job is that many many many people can do it and some may be willing to do it for less. That is what the job is worth, what the market will bear, not what the government says to pay. I have a housekeeper that I pay $10 per hour, well over minimum wage. She works hard to keep the job. She is so wonderful that if other people tried to take her away, I would pay more to keep her. Supply and Demand. Simple but it works. She is uneducated but has a wonderful attitude, works hard and is worth what the market will bear.

                    • no she is not, the truth hurts. i think everyone is trying to get a so called “real job” i think raising minimum rage to $12 a hour will help.

                    • I love these “what would the founding fathers do? America was so great in the past” comments. It’s an obvious confirmation of the lack in the U.S. education system. Do you know ANYTHING about history? If you weren’t a landed, property/business owning male of European descent, you either weren’t considered human, were enslaved, “indentured(just a fancy word for another form of slavery – it wasn’t just Africans who got a raw deal!)”, had almost no rights to your own earnings or property once you got married, didn’t have the right to vote, or any combination thereof. Throughout the history of any nation the majority of the population simply has NOT had the protections, income, or rights of those in the so-called “upper” classes.

                      Almost 300 million people in this country & still the smug & self righteous among us think you can judge the majority of those suffering economically as simply not working, saving or planning well enough. Just who do you think you are? The fact of the matter is that safety, security & comfort is not a guarantee. Many of us our lucky to have it through no effort of our own, many of us are lucky enough to work & plan & prepare & not be hit by a major catastrophe that knocks all that flat. And yes, many people work, plan & prepare & it still isn’t enough, life happens & sometimes it ain’t all roses. Just like all the ballerinas don’t get chosen to dance the lead, sometimes you do all you can & believe it or not it’s not enough. It’s interesting how NONE of the self-congratulatory have ANYTHING to say about sharing, generosity, looking out for their neighbor, being humble & non-judgemental, & reaping what you sow, NONE of which is contradictory to working hard, planning well & being smart & thrifty! Any of you “Christians” read your bible lately . . . ?

                  • Hell yeah for slave labor!!! Since we are closing Guantanamo, all foreign prisoners of war should be sentenced to slave labor after their trial!

                • Capitalism is a flawed system that is destined to lay waste to all who subscribe. I know a lot of people that make a lot of money, and I can say, without exception, that not a single one of them works half as hard as a minimum wage employee at McDonald’s. Some studied, went to grad school, etc, but they were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do so. Others knew someone who knew someone whol put in a good word for them, etc. My point is as there seems to be some gross misconception in this coutry about wealth and hard work.

                  People that make the least generally work the hardest. Janitors in my office work harder than my boss, (believe that), but make penuts comparatively speaking.

                  People’s unshaking belief that the free-market shall cure all will surely be our downfall. Eat the rich.

                  • As for the comment about the janitors working harder than the boss and earning peanuts. That boss at one time was earning peanuts too, but they worked hard to in be where they are at now and most likely they continued their education after high school.

                    • Mrs B Canadian,
                      While some people may have worked hard to get where they are, I find that a vast majority of the “bosses” did not climb their way up a ladder, starting in the mail room, etc. They came from weathy families, who were able to help with school, college, etc, and then when they graduated, they moved in circles where they knew someone who got them the job.
                      If you start poor, it’s that much harder to get to school, meet the “right” people, and start out in a better place. THAT is what is wrong with the country. You used to be able to start with nothing and get somewhere, but with today’s economy, job market, etc, that is almost virtually impossible. The “American Dream” is almost no longer possible.

                  • Before socialism, and the socialist of America – America was the greatest nation on earth. Would you not agree? What are we now. Subject to China, who is embracing capitalism.

                    • Everyone got too greedy. The lack of some government control over big business practises, and the banking system, to protect the general public from this winner take all mentality is part of the reason why you are in the hole. Some Socialist practises actually do work and doesn’t destroy the integrity of your freedoms as Glen Beck would lead you to believe. Countries such as Brazil and Canada, which are considered Socialist by your standards, weathered very well through this torrent world economy.

                      You want the American Dream, then drastic changes have to be made because the way things are run now , it will always be out of reach for many.

                  • The only way capitalism works is when the people involved have honor and integrity. In the early to mid last century there were generations who started working and retired at the same company as their father and grandfather. Then the companies, most of them, took good care of their people by paying decent wages and if the company was doing good gave the workers bonuses, the majority even provided medical insurance for the entire family at no cost to the employee. All this was an effort to keep good people and produce quality products. Top management understood the people doing the work and keeping the company going were the workers, who are people with families and lives.

                    Remove honor and integrity from the equation and you end up with what we have now. At most companies these days the workers are no more than a payroll number and considered expendable. Employers no longer take good care of their people and have the attitude that if you don’t like it leave, we’ll just grab the next application off the stack and get someone at starting wage. Computers play a large part in this because now it is no longer about your workers being people with families, it’s simply numbers, the human element of it has fallen by the wayside. Add to that the loss of honor and integrity with employers that will do anything for a buck legal, moral, or not and you are living in the result. The elimination of minimum wage would cause wages to drop because employers would be trying to get us to work of China or Mexico wages claiming that’s the only way they can keep jobs here and prices wouldn’t drop either, it would just vastly expand the poverty class.

                    The best and only real way to restore our economy is to restore honor and integrity to the employers as well as the employees. Some people are shocked when they show up for work and have to actually do something too. Honor of the employers and work ethic of the workers have badly eroded and these are key to a functioning capitalistic economy.

                    • Half of our problem is our persistent mythologizing of our past! No corporation makes an economic decision solely or even primarily out of consideration for its employees. If it benefits the bottom line, then protecting your employees for the length of their working lives will be done. If it doesn’t, then guess what, we have EXACTLY what we have today. Which is not to say that there aren’t business owners, members of boards, presidents, CEOs, executives & those in upper & lower management who don’t care, often deeply, about the well-being & economic welfare of their employees. But at the end of the day, if the final decision is a difference between profits, staying in business & keeping bonuses & large salaries or sacrificing the benefits of employees, what has the decision almost ALWAYS been?!? I think you know.

                    • Lets think about how Minimum Wage got started, I actually don’t know but I compair it to the start of Unions. Employers were not rewarding thier hard working employees who were sometimes giving thier lives for thier jobs so the workers got together and said “we’er not going to take it”.
                      Employers realized that they were some what wrong and it could be costly to train a whole new staff so they let the unions go. This gave the workers the chance to be fairly treated and continue to make a great product but did that happen? No, workers got a chance to keep raising thier own wages and began to feed into the same greed as the owners making rediculous requests and getting a mid line settled contract that bled factories till they had to close.
                      The checks and balences failed on both sides. The theory of “get what I can while I can” didn’t plan for the future. It led to poor work ethic and sence of entitlement form the workes. Which led to poor work ethics and poor quality of product. Why would you make a product that would last when if it fails we can still have our job?

                      Back to minimum wage, The goverment felt that some people could not stand for themselves and take advantage of the power in numbers. So the plan was to force companies to pay a minimum wage to employees. To keep this short, repeating the problems of unions.
                      Lets think why companies are moving to China and other third world countries? No guildlines on how to treat employees. If an employees complains in China, gone, you don’t like $2 a day see you later, kids, no schools make’m work.
                      So what is the solution? Reward companies that recognize the future with good treatment of employees. They realize that happy, hard working employees are what makes the money and keeps them a float as a business. Reward a company that provides for the community around the business.
                      The Reward is less goverment involvement, less taxing of the business, less forced “minimum wage” requirements, less health care requirements because the employer already does it. If the employer does not provide for thier hard working employees the employee has the right to move to a company that will. That will leave the non motivated, here for the pay check employees there to run the show. Eventually the company will pay the price.
                      We all hit hard times, that is where your support of family, church and friends should come into play. That support structure will eventually become strained and that is where the goverment should step in. Pulling resourses that are not typically avalible and offering to provide the temporary support till the base support is able to provide again.
                      Thank you if you read my thoughts, I know they are scattered but I find the topic madning. I work for a non profit that wants to change the entitlement line of thinking and get people to start working for themselves, not an easy process.

                  • I come from a poor midwestern family that lived just below the poverty level. I worked 3 low-paying jobs, put myself through college AND grad school, and worked my butt off (without welfare). AND I support my mother. I’m not rich, I’m now middle class – and damn proud of my accomplishments. Quit whining about the fate of being poor and do something about it. Hard work DOES pay.


                • Sure if they drop the minimum wage companies will create more jobs. Why pay one kid $7 an hour when you can pay 3 kids $2 and get 3x the work done, plus save $1 to boot. The GOP doesn’t want a minimum wage, they want us all to be a country making 3rd world wages run by corporations.

                  • Keep rising minimum wage and keep protecting the ineficient. But please do not complain then of jobs moving to China and India. No one wants to be poor, but not all wants to wake up early and spend the whole day working and not spending in drugs and parties. It takes discipline to not be poor. Some people elect not to have discipline and that is OK but then please do not complain.

                  • Raise the minimum wage to $100/hr. That would cure poverty, right? Of course then a loaf of bread would cost $50 and a “happy meal” would be $60. A new basic model car would be $.150,000. We have been through all this as a country before during the 1920s and 30s. Raising the minimum wage will ultimately lead to increased good and product costs ultimately cancelling the wage increase.

                    • yes, and let’s eliminate minimum wages altogether…

                      Then we can have Lords and Peasants again with Kings ruling over the land.

                      “Oh King,” the Lord says, “The peasants are grumbling because they don’t like eating rotten potatoes and they say they don’t have enough milk and medicine for their babies.”

                      The Tyrant King, sitting at his throne, fat bulging out in his tight fitting, though ultra luxious clothing cries out,”They don’t like their potatoes. Well, those are truly good potatoes. How dare they complain, those insolents!”

                      He pauses as he grabs a big turkey leg dripping with grease and takes a big bite out of it, the juice trickles down into his full beard.

                      “Tell them if they want more, then they will have to work for it! I will give them milk and medicine for their babies, only if they produce an extra yield of crop for the Kingdom. They must work for it, they must work hard for it! Have them work one more hour each night. We’ll light a few torches for them (not too many, we don’t want to waste money now), so they can see enough of the field.”

                      The Tyrant King turns to the Court Staff and says, “Now it is dusk here, and we have just finished our dinner. Please summon the musicians so that we can retire by the fire and enjoy our wine.”

                      The King then turns to the Lord, “Make sure they work an extra hour tonight, and if their work meets my approval, then I will bid them a 1/2 of cup of milk more for each family and allow the mid wife to visit and clergy to attend to each child that is sick. You, of course, my Lord will accompany the clergy and mid wife and you will deem who is truly sick and who isn’t. We can’t take care of anyone who doesn’t pay their way, now, can we?!

                      With feigned exasperation, the fat King turns to his bored Queen who remains unmoved by any of the happenings, “Dear, I’m afraid all of this ruling is rather tedious hard work. These peasants they do not know what it is to have a real job and to actually have to work. Though, it is their fate, I suppose as they don’t possess my superiority or breeding. We come from a long line of blue blood, my dear. It is just that we maintain these positions, and it is the peasants fate that they possess their positions. The work I do, they cannot understand and would not be able to accomplish.”

                      The overweight pudgy Queen replies, her bosom heaving against the tight silk fabric, “I dare say my King. Yes, they are inferior. Why God made them I do not know. It is however our heavy burden in ruling such beasts.”

                      The King finally takes a form of physical movement and stands up from his throne wobbling a bit due to the effects of the large glass of wine, still holding his large turkey leg, half eaten now, he cries out, “Come let us dance and be merry!”

                      and outisde the castle in a small hut, a young widow holds onto her baby trying to nurse him and keep his sickness out bay. There is no longer a fire, she can’t afford the wood, she has only eaten a slice of bread and cup of milk that day and was told that this is more than she deserves. She wonders who she will take care of her baby and work in the fields tomorrow. She prays to God for Him to bring Compassion to the King and falls asleep with tears in her eyes.

                    • that was for Darthfrodo’s post, you said it! companies will take advantage and hire 3 for 1 worker deal, as you said. One word for the American Capitalist – Outsourcing… when you add in outsourcing, we’re no longer American Capitalist… we become World Capitalists, and as a result America loses…

                      The solution lies in reigning in the trade agreements and imposing heavy taxes for conducting business outside of our country or creating products outside of country. That’s what America used to do and it worked, then it was truly American Capitalism, we need President Regan to come back again, he understood this. He loved America

                      and as far as a cry for less government, well then we would need to have less people… 300-350 million people as opposed to our founding fathers’ days, even they would be rubbing their heads trying to figure out what to do with all these people… There always has to be some kind of order and rules set in place, otherwise you’ll end up with chaos… Lady of Liberty and the Lady of Justice need to work together to accomplish this

                    • Oh, but the young widow woman is but only a beast, an undeserving one as she no longer has a husband to work in the fields for the King.

                      She has offered to care for other children while she cares for her baby. The King believes this unworthy work and doesn’t understand why the widow shouldn’t work in the fields with her baby along her side.

                      Her mother still lives with her in the small hut. She is quite elderly and old. She is considered useless as well to the King, even though they she bore 4 strong sons who worked all their lives plowing and harvesting the crops for the Kingdom and also has grandsons who also labor the fields.

                      Yet, the old woman lives most days without healthcare or medicine, Her sons barely able to provide for their family, they try to help, but they receive little in return for their manual labor. She suffers in pain on her small cot with little food.

                      She tries to help her daughter with her baby, but has many health problems due to age.

                      When she was young, the King had promised her a pension and a grant of money and a nice place to live in her old age… however, due to greediness, the Tyrant changed his mind and took back all that he had promised stating the Kingdom was in trouble and was not producing as it had before, that the money was needed more within the Castle. He had said this to her while he stood in his royal clothes that cost more than she could make in a month of labor wearing jewels beyond appraisal in their expense and wealth. He stood there with his full overflowing round belly and blustering cheeks next to his steepled white horses and grand carriage, and the elderly lady stood there outside of her small simple home wearing a plain cotton frock.

                      He took it all away from her, and now the old woman suffers in the cold with very little food or medicine for comfort after years of servitude. She sighs to herself, “It’s never enough for him and his Kingdom, they can never have enough, they only want more, and when they pay for work done, they say that it’s a gift and they don’t acknowledge the labor. They complain instead and give little wishing that they didn’t have to give anything at all.”

                  • How many teenagers do you know that are willing to work for $5/hr let alone $2. I have a full time job that pays ok and for extra cash a part-time job that pays $9/ hr (started at $7.40 Minimum wage here in MI). Half the people they hire are only worth $3/hr.

                • I guess that you view of things actu ally helps to foster why hiring of illegal imigrants, off shore production, and10 cent a day indonesian sweatshops are so popular among american industries. Why not brin that home to america so that maybe your middle income ranch house and gated community can become our next carborad slum. Hold it, we have thousands of unoccupied homes in this country that no one can afford, documented as a surplus of housing that has killed new housing starts. Looks to me like the cardboard slums are in our near future.

                    • Guthrie, who are you to tell Steve how many children to have. And Steve, there is no other country in the world that helps it’s citizens with education as America does. You don’t have to work for $200 a week, unless you continue to tell others what they can or cannot do, such as with minimum wage.

                    • WTO

                      I am not telling Steve he can or can’t have as many family members he wants BUT I AM implying that he, as an AMERICAN, get the freedom to CHOOSE a family of 5. ALL choices have consquences GOOD and BAD.

                    • I’m with Guthrie. I’m not going to tell anyone how many children to have, but then don’t tell me that I have to pay more taxes or for good to pay for your kids. It’s about responsibility and decision making.


                    • Get it through your heads… we aren’t asking you to pay more taxes to take care of him and his family. We want the companies to pay the money that is due him… It’s called Worker’s rights… and unless you’re in the elite 3% weathy class, then yes, this applies to you as well…

                • I have been in the resturant business for 28 years. I believe raising min. wage makes things worse. I have seen resturarnts run with less and less workers due to the wages going up. They expect one worker to do the job of three workers. They get rid of postions that they once had. A place to stay in business has to, prices of food, electric,gas, and water and wages all going up what are they to do? I have seen place increase prices and decrease portion sizes! Frankly I use to eat out about 5 times a week now I am lucky to eat out once every 3 months!I can’t afford it health wise and money wise. As for everyone who is on welfare I think they should be tested every 6 months for drugs!! If you are on them you lose your welfare for 6 months until you can pass the drug test. Not urine test either, which people fake all the time but hair test. Some people do need welfare and other people are having kids that can’t afford them. You have to fill out 2 pages to adopt a animal but any idot can have a child with only one thing in mind pleasure to themselves.

                    • that has nothing to do with the minimum wage, that has to do with your employer’s greed. They could very well afford an extra worker or two, but why should they when they can get away with working you like a slave for less money (you don’t get compensated for that extra work, do you?)… so either way, more workers, you’d have less work, but less money… or less workers, and you have more money, but more work — see how that evens out into their favor? We lost Workers’, Employees’ 15 years ago and it’s been downhill since. Believe if they could get away without paying anything, most of them would

                  • this may be a foreign concept to you, but there was a time of Workers’ Rights, Employees’ Rights, where a company was required to pay a certain amount for services delivered and couldn’t fire employees at free will without just cause. Workers were actually treated as entities with value. Siding with the company that overworks you and doesn’t compensate you for that work, doesn’t that seem like a case of displaced loyalty?

                • The argument that taxes and insurance means that your money gets distributed and there for you have no way of helping your family member with their bills is simply a false argument. If you have money to help someone pay their bills… give it to them. Beyond that the rest of you idiots who keep telling me that democrats are “redistributing” your wealth, stop intimating that we’re communiststs. Call me a pinko commie if you like but stop hiding behind the latest Ditto-Head word-of-the-day. What drives up a companies costs isn’t just wages, simply because a company doesnt need to employ americans to manufacture or ship the product from overseas and eventually the only jobs in this country are going to be warehouse positions and delivery drivers. Even Wallstreet is being replaced by computers over seas.

                • Those who gripe about the minimumwage make several reasoning mistakes. First: Because we have allowed ourselves to be tied to the global economy because we just have to have those cheap goods we are competing against countries that have very substandard wages and living standards. The inevitable course of that is to reduce us to the same laevel as they are. If you look at china you will see that their economy is almost totally based upon exports. If they had to depend upon internal consumption they would be in big trouble because their people can’t afford to buy the products they make and the same would happen here. Ideally it would be great if a person’s wage was adequate to support a family of 3 but that is not the case. In most cases it requires both parties in the marriage to workand the cost of daycare makes that unproductive in most cases.
                  The basic thing here is that we have allowed business owners and corporate bosses to take a lot more than they have earned while reducing a segment of the population to poverty.
                  Second. Qaulity workers go to where they can make a decent living leaving areas without a decent wage hurting for workers. Northern Arkansas is a prime esample. Almost all high school graduates leave here as soon as they graduate and don’t return till they retire. What that means is that though many places in northern Arkansas have all the requirements of industry (cheap land, low taxes, good recreation, etc, industries stay away because they can’t find a decent work force.
                  Third: People making a subsistance wage can’t buy any extras so they do little to benefit the growth of any industries.
                  The truth is that an efficient economy is one in which you have a large middle class buying goods made in that society. A society in which wages and wealth are a function of a small aristocracy becomes feudal in nature and a society with a large poverty level class becomes dependent upon exports to societies that have a large numbe of middle class consumers.
                  It is clear when you run the various scenarios and if you are interested in having the most efficient affluent society that you minimize the poor and maximize the middle class while allowing a few to make enough to satisfy their drive to succeed.

                • Bill, please don’t play so loose with the facts:

                  One third of the economists think it should be INCREASED. LESS THAN 50% THINK IT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED, which INFERS that MORE THAN FIFTY PERCENT THINK IT SHOULD REMAIN.

                  “In 2006, nearly half of surveyed economists said the minimum wage should be abolished. Only one-third said it should be increased.”

                  Try to to absorb the truth and not just what you want to hear.

                • “Only a third of the economists surveyed believe minimum wage is needed or helpful.”

                  No Bill in this post the third of the economists surveyed believe minimum wage should be increased. The facts are important. I find people like yourself don’t like the facts getting in the way of your rants

                  • Jim, a popular fallacy is the appeal to majority. Just because 10 idiots think the same way, doesn’t mean that they are right. Understand first, that a person who is indeed an Economist, is a person in the upper echelon of the society. Of course they would be looking out for their own self interest.

                    Have you ever met a poor republican? Or, have you ever met a poor republican with more than 3 years of highschool education?

                • I believe the article made a statement. In the lowest cost of living area in the country, minimum wage would not provide an adequate living for anyone. Others followed up with the naturaL BECK bromides, blindly insisting that funneling money to the top 2% would somehow, magicly, provide for the rest of us. All this talk about taxes, is magicly generated. We havent seen any increase in employment. An increase in productivity, and a slight negative in real value compensation (levelled for areas and prices) have resulted in more unemployment at less cost.

                  Oh, yeah, Social Security IS NOT part of the federal budget.

                  And then these little thugs come in and make statements like they are the Capitalists, arguing their money should be kept in their pockets. What little of it there is. They act like big money folk, but when you see them on the freeway, they usually have a ’74 Pinto with a Bush bumper sticker. All their flaws transferred onto the person who drives a decent car, somehow make up for the privations they suffer at the hands of their elected representatives.

              • Our real problem started with losing our jobs to other countries, these assembly line jobs were the back bone of our country. We have broke the back of our nation. Greed is the down fall of many nations in history. Our basic right to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness has been violated. The banking system that was allowed to work hand in hand with wal street crooks destroyed our economy. The big business sold our labor to cut cost because some assembly line workers in unions were making to much for the product sold. An assembly line worker making motor vehicles that makes $100 an hour is over paid. The average worker making less than $20 an hour can’t afford to pay some one$100 an hour to make them a new car. This drove cost up and raised the min wage. The cycle has been proven in the past. A company must keep operating cost down to have high sells profit. Our country has become so greedy they will sell their mother for another fix of money. History does not lie and is our best teacher. Rome fell because of greed and lawlessness. Our President has over stepped his authouity and made himself king over the citizens. Health care is a basic need, so is a job to purchase food. Our consitution does not grant a basic right to have a job. We must work to provide for our families. The welfare system shouldn’t come from the retirement system of social security. If the citizens want to help those without this work is the responsibility of the Church. Since our leaders have decided we don’t need God it is obvious God has left us. Our country is falling fast because the citizens worship money and material possessions. Our nation is founded upon Christian values from the Bible. Our laws mimic the Bible in what is fair and just. Since we have left the basic foundation we dont have a leg to stand on. I pray our leaders will do what is right and turn our nation around.


                  • Our nation claims to welcome all faith’s and religions, yet we have a very bias group that seems to forget our government must represent all people of all beliefs equally! Even the non belivers have the right to equal representation in our nation without the being subjected to the beliefs of the Christians! We are a free nation which also means we each can believe and worship without pressure from others or laws others would try to push on us and force us to accept their beliefs and values. Being free means allowing others to disagree with you and still be respected and represented equally not forced to conform!

                  • There we go, mythologizing our past again! We didn’t even get involved in World War II until we ourselves were bombed. Which may or may not have been a reasonable decision, depending upon your beliefs RE a nation’s responsibilities to its own citizens & welfare versus involvement in the affairs of other nations, even our so-called allies. What I’m getting at is it certainly wasn’t an overwhelming dose of morality that had our political leaders involve us in WWII. They had full knowledge of the atrocities being committed LONG before that. So don’t preach that we were oh so moral & righteous in the past as compared to now. Tell that to the African American soldiers who signed up voluntarily in droves to fight that war & watched NAZI prisoners get better living conditions than they did!

                    There are good arguments for AND against having, maintaining & raising or lowering the minimum wage. How about we stop seeing everything as either/or? We should have learned once we all reached adulthood that any serious issue is multi-layered, there’s not a yes or no answer to everything. Knee jerk reactions have NEVER helped anything!

                  • I have to agree 100% we have lost our core values. Turned against God for the greed of money and self pleasure. We condone gay lifestyle ( a small percentage of our population) fueled by media and weak politians because we say they have rights. If your an American we all have the same rights to live free but living free does not come without a price. We as a People have to stop thinking about our own selfish wants and desires and protect the Country as a whole. JFK said it right: what can we do not for ourself but for our country. I am a Vietnam Vet and do not use that EVER for someone to feel sorry for me, I was against it but I served because I thought our intent was good to help a people in need. NOW we bash people who need in our own country but GIVE BILLIONS ( Isreal, Egypt and so many others) to other countries and close our eyes to our own, shame on us. To use the unemployed to keep tax cuts for the rich shame on us. I keep hearing that if they loose the tax cuts they wont be able to hire the unemployed, well they have had this advantage since Bush so that is a lame excuse. Yes there are a few that take advantage of the system (welfare) and the people running that system should do their jobs to sort out those that do. We all complain about taxes and there is only one way to make that system fair a set percent of tax weather it be 15% or 25% for EVERYONE no shelters to hide behind. And the other would be to get Government spending under control, this is a must. The politicians Dem or Rep are all in it for themselves and that is where we need to start, have you ever met a non millionare politician ? Wars, special interests, big business, etc. make them big money, hummm maybe if we started to manufacture real goods again and place high tariffs on imports from third world countries that use slave labor we might just get out of the mess we are in. Minimum wage is not the answer its the employer that is fair and just to pay a fair days wage for a fair days work, I have worked in a union my whole adult life and I am not for unions but I always made a good wage for the work I did. Believe me union workers are not lazy and in todays world the union doesnt protect a non productive worker, if they dont produce their out. The unions came about from the greedy rich that abused the worker and IF they played fair there would be no need for unions. History does repeat itself and if we dont open our eyes the poor will rise up against the rich it has happened many times before.. Not to say all rich people are bad many do help the poor and destitude but the majority do not, and if they think for one minute that all that fortune they have will keep them alive if they get a life threating illness their wrong. When EVERY believer kneels before GOD on their judgement day, all that fortune will do them no good, because he will judge you on what you did for his children, his Son told us so.

                • Interesting that you should say that this country was founded on the laws of the bible considering some of the most important people in our early history were diests and didn’t buy into the bible.

                • See? You’re right about lowering prices. Competition is what keeps the economy booming. No selfishness. But selfish is what this country has become…well, the top percentages anyway.
                  Even in my eBay store, I keep my prices lower than others that are selling the same products. Why? Because I know I’ll get more sales that way. I’m not losing money by doing that if I sell 20 of something that some greedy soul only sells one or two of.

                  It only makes sense that to have a succeeding country, there has to be competition. If someone sells lower than the others, more people could afford to buy, which keeps the money flowing. I’m not talking about big box stores either. They claim to sell lower, but although oranges might be lower than others, apples are higher, so they are recouping any “lower prices” they proclaim.
                  But greediness has become so mainstream for this country, that the big shots complain when spending stagnates, when they are the very ones causing it to.

                  • You’re selfish for lowering prices so you can sell more than others and make more $$. ROFL.

                    Greed and the desire to get ahead is what drives capitalism. Greed is what causes people to look for competitive edges in business. Thats what causes prices to lower in the face of competition. Greed is what would fix the economy should the minimum wage be abolished and marketplace forced be allowed to prevail. You can’t afford to work for peanuts? Then go find a job that pays more? Don’t forget that supply and demand influence pay as well. Those companies that want to pay peanuts will go by the wayside if there is no supply of labor. :)

                    No handouts. No excuses. Take responsibility.

                    BTW, does anyone know which income earners give the most to charity? Certainly not the evil rich like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett!

                • I agree with a great deal of what you’re saying, but what you fail to realize is that your “God Fearing” GOP buddies are the ones who sold us out!
                  Most of the manufacturing jobs were long gone bythe end of the Reagan era. You should really look at how Reagan and the GOP screwed us.

                  • The loss of jobs due to being sent overseas, can be layed in the lap of the unions. The only thing unions know is “more”, we want more. The wanting of more is what causesd businesses to look for cheaper labor, therefore overseas. As an employer and as a person that has had to work in a factory job I have seen the worst of union labor. As an employer the minimum wage could go away, I would still be looking for a quality person to fill a job I had. If I wanted to pay lower wages I would not be able to get a quality person, but with minimum wages I am foreced to pay at least that for someone. I work with many businesses, their need is for quality labor, some one that wants to work not just show up for a paycheck. A businessman will pay for quality labor when he finds it. Above someone asked to people just wake up and say I want to be poor. The answer to that is yes, with every decision they make. Oh, I do not need to go to school I am too cool for that, but without it you can not get a good job. Oh I had rather take drugs and be wasted, rather than try to improve myself. I can not contorl my sexual needs and not have childeren and screw themselves from the table and complain that I do not want to support his family they he could have controled. See its all the decisions you make now that will contorl the rest of your life. I will leave you with the wisdome of my father, “you do not like your life, then do something about it, or shut the hell up, we are tired of hearing about it.

                    • Not EVERYONE who is poor, chose not to go to school. Not EVER poor person is a drug addict. What gives you the right to proclaim that? While you might have encountered a drug addict in your short time on this earth, you don’t KNOW all the poor peoplkek, and you have no right to say what they do or have or have not done for themselves, and you CERTAINLY have no right to call people drug addicts just because they don’t live up to your standards.
                      I wish I knew what corn flakes you were fed when you were a kid because you have been poisoned by them.

                    • John, I agree on a few things you posted such as making your life better and keeping sexual desires under control, but as for unions Ill have to differ its not in all cases wanting more but achieving a decent wage to survive and live a middle class life. Also for me to purchase goods such as furniture, autos, clothing I need to make enough money to purchase them. If you are the man making furniture and I make only enough for food and shelter then you wont sell your product. It is a fine balance and when the balance is offset it causes a shut down. My father was a furniture manufacture (union carpenters) and made high quality furniture. In the 70s and 80s when the balance changed, the import furniture was cheap, of poor quality and my father couldn’t compete with the imports. Not that Americans didn’t want quality furniture but inflation and lower wages put him out of business. Wages and cost of goods have to be in check and if your wages are low you will buy that cheap import furniture thus hurting American business and jobs. Not totally defending the UAW because they made big mistakes but look at the CEOs wages paid even when the company was failing. I have been a Teamster most of my life and believe me I have earned every dime I made plus a broken back and a permanant disability. and if we threw the union out the company surely wouldnt reduce their prices. I try to buy American only, such as motorcycles and cars but not too much is made here anymore and what imports that are available are JUNK. We need that balance again so the manufacturing base can be re established. I have a small manufacturing business and my product is made in the USA but the market is soft and the market will only bare a certain price because of wages. So i would say Be American, Buy American and keep our Country Strong.

                      As far as college not all can go ( I didnt my choice) and if everyone went who would do the work we all cant be bosses or have those hi paying positions.

                  • Excuse me! But it was the Democrats who had control of Congress during those times, and it was the Democrats who passed the laws, and set the policies, allowing the companies to send their business out of this country.

                • much of what you say is true but instead of giving solutions you random;ly strike out at the president and whoever else is handy. Go back take your observations and rethink them in a logicla clear manner to both pplace blame and figure out a solution.

                • Our country was actually founded on the principles of the enlightenment, with an emphasis on reason and the rule of law. And, has been stated in the comments before me, a healthy and viable middle class society is both politically and economically stabilizing. This argument is yet another example of the rich framing the debate. Why aren’t we talking about a maximum wage? that would actually be healthier for our economy. We won’t talk about that in our country, because our ability to earn money is confused with our freedom from an oppressive government.

              • Anyone at minimum wage should be motivated to work hard and better themselves. If there were no unemployment paychecks an individual would be more motivated to do better. Hard work and study never hurt anyone. There are already laws on the books to help people. Pell and other grants help low income people. As for catastrophic medical bills, that is what the bankruptcy courts are for. Not to pay off an abused credit card but to help someone that got in over their head thru no fault of their own.

                • You’re wrong. You have the same sorry mentality that we have been speaking of.
                  If there ARE no better opportunities available, how are they to climb the ladder?

                  I’m in school after years of making wonderful money, because there are NO jobs in my field. So I’m taking on a different field, which will be lower paying, just because that field is more stable. How again is that bettering? There is no work for what I was making.
                  You people need to get your head out of wherever you stuck it when you’re daddy put that silver spoon in your mouth, because you have no sense of what this real world without inheritences is all about.
                  The kid next door bellowed out that he was taking his families big screen tv with him when he moved out. I laughed.
                  He didn’t move out, though. His mommy and daddy gave him the house and built another somewhere else.
                  How does that teach anybody about life, or selflessniess or caring? It doesn’t, which is why people like you put others down just because they weren’t lucky like you were, to have life handed to you on a silver platter.

                  I actually feel sorry for you, because having no feelings is a robotic life, and tin and tears don’t mix, do they?

                  • Bankruptcy? Is that your “cure” for an ailing country?
                    That is the thing that teaches overspending to people who DO have enough money to put food on thier table, but not enough to buy that 4-wheel SUV they want to outdo the Jones’. When they can’t afford the payments, just go file bancruptcy, then all your woes are over and you can start overspending again.


                  • Em-
                    Seriously? Seriously… I have worked since I was 13 sometimes having up to 3 jobs. “Silver spoon” mentalities are not as common as you presume. I still see people NOT living up to their potential EVERYDAY by choice! I feel like telling you BOOHOO! and take a friggin chill pill.

                    • You can tell me boohoo all you want. That just shows your mentality is all about you and only about you.
                      Do you honestly think you are the only person that has worked since they were thirteen?
                      Good grief. Get a grip. If people like you didn’t have everything you wanted, you’d have more compashion for the less fortunatel

                      Chill pill? Is that all you could come up with? LOL

                  • Just because someone doesn’t agree with you, Em, doesn’t mean we had life handed to us on a silver platter. My father was a school teacher. My mother a nurse. My platter wasn’t silver it was plastic. My siblings all went to school and ultimately college (one on scholarship the rest of us paid our own way). It was a long hard road to get where I am now and I do resent many who live their life with their hand out expecting support like it is a right. The Constituition says we have the right to pursue happiness. It doesn’t guarantee we will find it or achieve it. What is worrisome to those who bust our hind-ends day in and day out is that society is degrading into welfare state and by continuing to perpetuate this “right to be taken care of” way of thinking our country is on a sharp downward decline from which it cannot ever recover. I don’t worry for myself so much as my children.

                    • This country is on the decline because of the rich and powerful, not the poor.
                      I’m not at all talking about those who take advantage of welfare or food stamps or free housing. I”m talking about those who REALLY NEED the help.
                      You people think that just because you worked hard that nobody else did?

                      YOU get real. Or maybe you should open your eyes, and God forbid, your heart.

                    • and by they way, I paid my own way through college too. I worked in a factory all night, so I could go to school.
                      There are many more people who did the same thing. You aren’t in a class by yourself.

              • Bottom line is if minimum wage was at $25.00 to 30.00 an hour in every and all states of the US, people would not have to apply for government assistance, there would be less homeless, less starvation for the children of America, better health that parents can afford for their children, I will let you name the rest of the problems the US has because minimun wage is so low that people are drowing with trying to keep up with the ridiculous high prices that we are being faced to pay now a days, every american dreams of being able to afford the things that their family and especially WHAT their children needs, I would love to see the top guys and people that run this country live on minimum wage and see if they can survive, yes education helps get better pay but, there are people with degrees out there with no jobs and cleaning trash cans JUST to survive, WAKE UP PEOPLE THAT RUN AMERICA AND PLEASE TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOUR PEOPLE, RAISE THE MINIMUN WAGE AND MOST OF YOUR PROBLEMS WILL EASE AND THE CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO SMILE MORE.


                • so if everyone made $20 to $25 per hour… how much would a happy meal cost? $12? Taking your family out to eat would cost $100, how many companies would pay someone $20 per hour when they can pay someone $7.25 in Canada/Mexico?

                  There should be a minimum wage, but the higher you raise it, the more all your necessities will cost.

                • Maybe you didn’t read the article, but raising minimum wage does not give people the ability to buy more “crap.” Raising the minimum wage means the selling price of all items goes up. For example, McDonald’s meal deal right now is $4.99 and they pay $8 an hour. If the minimum wage went to $20 an hour, then that crappy McMeal goes up from $4.99 to $12. If you pay people more, and don’t earn any more money, your business goes bankrupt. Please see Basic Elementary Economics!

                  • True, corporations would have a choice… raise the cost of products, or quit giving 10 million dollar bonuses to their CEO’s every year.

                    • Yes, CEOs could be paid less. How many corporations make up the hiring of all people in the US? less than 15%. Small business. And the CEOs you are talking about are paid by the corporation under the advisement of a Board of Directors. The CEOs have a duty to perform for not only the employees, but also the shareholders. Would the shareholders want the company to go bankrupt because it felt good to pay everyone $30 an hour? Come on. Live in the real world.

                    • Of course, we all know that those bonuses won’t stop happening. Because the rest are in some ways right…pay more, cost more. However, everybody screams if someone talks about regulating big business.

                      We can’t it both ways obviously. If you don’t want costs to go up, you need to regulate the businesses. If you want minimum wages to go up, you need to regulate businesses.
                      But that is not what those people making good money want, because that takes away “capitalism”, which is exactly what is causing the eoncomy bust. lol Big business are ruining the economy WITH those bonuses because they are hoarding money instead of putting it back into the economy. Openinging jobs up with the money would stimulate the country’s spending, and therefore stimulate the economy.
                      Why is this so hard to understand?
                      I’m not exactly the one for complete control either. Nobody wants ALL their freedoms taken away, but it already IS being. There is no such thing as the freedom of persuit of happiness anymore, because noone except the upper class can AFFORD happiness.
                      There HAS to be some sort of regulations that put a cap on big business tactics without causing more grief for the lower and middle classes. Putting a cap on minimum wages only knocks the less fortunate even further down.

                      It’s not the lower earners that should be punished for this mess. It’s the people that CAUSED this mess that should be.

                • Apparently you have never taken any form of business education (schooling or running your own business)… higher worker wages is called a higher overhead, and a higher overhead is increased costs for an employer. In order to make the same amount of money and to be able to run the business after increasing all of the minumum wage jobs by over 200% (from $8 to $20-$30) you would see the prices of the goods skyrocket, and the people now making 20-30 bucks an hour would still be considered poor… It’s called inflation…

                • What a stupid idea! If you forced a small company to pay $25 or $30 an hour for minimum wage you just took two or three jobs away from people. An employer has just so much to spend on salaries and wages. If they blow $25 to $30 on one employee they would be forced to reduce their workforce. That is also one reason that jobs have gone overseas. Unions that have demanded those type of incomes have driven jobs to other countries.

                • Hey. That’s a great idea to increase minimum wage to $25.00 per hour, but I’ll do you one better. How about increasing the minimum wage to $200 per hour. I’m sure all these greedy McDonald’s could afford to pay elementary school drop-outs to flip burgers for for that much.

                  Seriously, if you increased the minimum wage to $25.00 per hour, unemployment would SKYROCKET because most workers just don’t do $25 worth of work every hour. Please try to think a little bit for yourself before spewing all this left-wing crap about how people how work their asses off to be succesful are somehow making life worse for those too lazy to make life better for themselves.

                • M,
                  Are you insane? This debate isn’t about whether or not its sad that there are poor people who are hungry and can’t pay their bills. We are human. This makes us all sad. But you have no place in determining what a business should pay their employees. Whether they pay their CEO 1 million, or their salesperson $7.5/hr; this is none of your business. Let the business make their own decisions. Unless you are that CEO, or that salesperson, its not your problem or your decison. America is a great country because of one human’s desire to help another. That’s how we survive. But this sort of thing needs to be voluntary. When you mandate a minimum wage, it takes control from the businessman and moves it to the government. That is not American. It discourages entrepreneurship. Let the poor seek assistance with their local community, neighbors, church. Aid should be voluntary, not mandatory. And let the business decide what their employees are worth to them. Not you. Also, might I suggest you need some counseling. You are very disconnected with reality.


                  • Lux, are YOU insane? You’re joking right? Great because we help each other?? Hell, you can’t even merge onto the highway or change lanes safely because the driver next to you is likely to speed up so their ego won’t be bruised by you getting ahead of them! Ok, that’s horribly cynical & I do think crises can bring out the best in some people. And we do have many examples as a nation & in each person’s daily lives of giving & sharing. But what about where it counts big-time? We regurgitate the crap that’s fed to us about how businesses have the “right” to make a profit & they’ll suffer oh so terribly if they are regulated to any extent.

                    The majority of business people in this country are small business owners & I agree that the deck is definitely stacked against them. They are the economic backbone of this country & usually get a pretty raw deal. However, they’re not what’s bankrupting our country. Here’s an example. Family & individual farmers are being squeezed out of existence, yet farming is a lucrative business, right? But for whom? The huge multibillion dollar agribusinesses! They employ migrant workers by the thousands who get paid almost nothing & get no benefits, receive billions in subsidies & tax breaks from the government, & then sell us the product for even more profit. And which agribusinesses make the most money? Those involving the raising of livestock or that which is connected to it. Talk about a welfare state! Check the stats. Less than 10% of those subsidies go to farm businesses that grow fruit & vegetables, Americans are falling in or dying in DROVES from lifestyle & diet that is the basis of that whole industry, & meanwhile the FDA(which was created by the same industries they’re supposed to be protecting us from-get real!) approves food additives, products & drugs that harm more than help us!

                    So food stamps & welfare to a poor individual or family is an unfair handout as opposed to the above?!? I also agree that there are many who abuse or take advantage of the many programs we have in this country & there are certainly not enough controls in place to prevent this from happening. I personally know several people living in nice middle class neighborhoods w/homes & jobs who are cheating & getting food stamps & benefits to which they are NOT entitled. You’re always going to have cheaters, liars & thieves. But that is NOT where the majority of your taxes go, believe it.

                    And let’s stop recycling the stupid “liberal vs conservative” “democrat vs republican” bull crap, OK? You’re kidding if you think taking one side or the other by you, your neighbor, or any elected government official makes as much of a difference as what the large, multi-national billion dollar industries direct our government to do to their benefit. And yeah, I’ll say it, I voted for Obama but at least 50% of the reason was because of the historical significance & the other 50% was to see if it would really make a difference. Guess what, it really doesn’t people! The only thing that significantly changes in the long, long term is WHICH businesses & industries our political “leaders” decide to sell us out to! Jimmy Carter(can you say crazy gas prices), Reagan(made a “boogey man” out of the black “welfare queen” when it was a known fact that the majority of those on welfare were NOT black!), Bush Sr.(the former head of the CIA for God’s sake!), Clinton(can you say NAFTA?), “W”(did serious business in the MILLIONS w/the Bin Laden family) & Cheney(hello BILLIONS in profit from the Iraq war)come on now look seriously at ALL of their records. It’s ALWAYS been about big business!

                    • Chi Town,
                      I don’t even know where to begin. That was a lot of commentary. First of all, I am a little insane; just ask my boyfriend. But not for the reasons you’ve said. I too hate my morning commute and think most people on the road are jerks. I do have business training so I am basing my opinions on what I have learned. When the Govt makes decisions, especially decisions affecting all Americans, I believe its important to think with the head, and not the heart. What i was trying to say is the heart is at home, in your neighborhood, community, your friends. The govt wasnt set up to be a charitable organization. It needs to make decisions that benefit all, not just some. That being said, I don’t have as much knowledge about Agribusiness as you do so I cannot debate your points. But I am proud to say I have not eaten meat since Dec 1. I hope to continue with this. A few other points, I do believe small businesses are the backbone of the country and a higher minimum wage would affect them the most. I did not vote for Obama. I dont think the government knows better how to spend my money. I would like to keep my money and spend it as i wish on whatever charities interest me. When do people stop making excuses for themselves and stop asking for help. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” (Kennedy) Remember that….ask not what your country can do for you…..do it for yourself.

                • To make a point to every person that says that if we raise the minimum wage prices would rise on other expenses and other living costs the thing is that it should not be that way and does have to be that way botton line is people that run this country and make the laws are GREEDY, looking out for themselves and who looks out for the little people JUST GIVE US A BREAK

                  • Are you yourself what you refer to as the “little people?” People like you tend to miss the point of what I’m saying. I do think that $7.50 an hour is too low a wage and it should be higher. But its not my position to decide that. Nor should it be the governments. Just because I don’t agree with something, doesn’t mean that I have to mandate what others do. It’s the taking of a liberty, a freedom. A business should have the right to makes its own business decisions. The government is stepping into every single area of our lives as people and as businesses. They took most of our freedoms in the interest of evening out the playing field. Businesses will always be self-regulating; until the govt steps in. When a business pays too little, it wont be able to hire employees, if a business is unethical, it will lose is customers, if a business charges prices too high, it will lose its customers. Every decision that a business makes will decide whether or not it succeeds or fails. It doesn’t need the govt to step in. This only makes things much worse.

                • If they raised the minimum wage to $30/hr 2 things would happen. 1) companies would fire workers who are only worth $10/hr until they have a skeleton crew. and 2) A burger would cost $5 at McDonalds. Rents would double (you would have to pay Maintenance personnel, leasing agents etc. more money, material costs would go up etc).

                • You know, I remember when the minimum wage was raised to $2.35 an hour. I was a young teenager at the time, and at first, thought that was going to be great. Half the other kids lost their jobs, and I ended up taking home a smaller paycheck, because I entered a higher tax bracket. Every time the minimum wage has been increased, it has hurt our economy. Everytime you raise the minimum wage, the cost of everything goes up because the cost of labor, at every step along the way has to be included in the final price of the product. You WILL NOT be able to afford more things, just because the minimum wage goes up, because the cost of everything will also go up.

              • Sometimes life changes unexpectedly. I was employed for 17 years at a job I loved. I have a chronic illness that I’ve had for 35 years, my entire adult life. It was a shock to retire too soon due to my illness which has advanced to a point that I can no longer work at all. My medical insurance premiums were paid by my employer, therefore I was pretty unaware of the cost. Now I’m in shock at the $600 I spend per month. I have contacted at least a dozen companies who claim that I can get cheaper insurance. Noone will insure me to the degree that I am now covered because of the pre-existing condition. I take over $4,000.00 in medications per month. My copayments equal $150.00 per month. I am not complaining. I am blessed and thankful for the coverage that I have at any cost, but my point in revealing these facts is to highlight the fact that we never know what will happen. I was working one month, the next I was completely disabled, on foodstamps and taking any help I could get. I now draw my retirement disability and government disability. I cannot imagine not having employment that continues to offer retirement benefits to full-time employees. I understand that many employers have been forced to discontinue retirement benefits due to the failing economy. I no longer qualify for foostamps, someone else needs them.
                Just consider that everyone does not go through life without plans, but life means change. We all must do our very best to work toward planning for disaster. Sometimes it is just not possible,it is nearly impossible. All of us need to be more compassionate to the *NEEDS* of others. Merry Christmas

              • Actually the sad reality is that the “american way” that is developing because of people like yourself, is a belief that everyone else owes you. Young people aren’t taking responsibility for themselves. When the entire country believes the government should care for them, all motivation to work hard will be gone and we will have a country full of lazy bums who expect someone else to foot the bill. All you socialists get a grip, it doesn’t work.

              • This is BS. I have Blue Cross and Blue Shield and there is a maximum out of pocket expense. I have a $1000.00 max. You can choose higher maximum for a lower premium. This person does not know what they are talking about. If raising the minimum wage is so good, why not raise it to $50.00 per hour? Because it doesn’t work. People that do not produce enough to cover the cost of minimum wage will not be able to keep jobs. The poor, less educated and less productive will remain in poverty. This is the same mentality that keeps the poor lower class on the plantation so they can be driven to the polls every election to vote democrat.

                • You actually beleive what BC/BS is selling you because you’ve obviously never had major health problems yourself or known anyone who has had long prolong major health issues. When you do, I’d love to know what your thoughts are then about your OOP expenses per you ‘contract’ with BC/BS.

              • This is BS. I have Blue Cross and Blue Shield and there is a maximum out of pocket expense. I have a $1000.00 max. You can choose higher maximum for a lower premium. This person does not know what they are talking about. If raising the minimum wage is so good, why not raise it to $50.00 per hour? Because it doesn’t work. People that do not produce enough to cover the cost of minimum wage will not be able to keep jobs. The poor, less educated and less productive will remain in poverty. This is the same mentality that keeps the poor lower class on the plantation so they can be driven to the polls every election to vote democrat.

              • I think insurance companies are just parasites, think about it. They provide no service at all other then the promise to help you with your bills even though you know they don’t pay what you pay without insurance andreserve the right for forsake their hosts, it’s all a rip off and a shell game. The minimum wage is not high enough, it has to be a wage in which someone could reasonably support themselves. It makes no sense to have a low wage and then the government has to help with food stamps on top of that. People feel like slaves when they have no financialy freedom. This contributes to depression, drug use and other crimes.

              • Well said! Anyone can get cancer at any time or suffer any other number of health problems. The number one reason for Bankruptcy in this country is due to medical bills…..more than half of all BRs!!!! Yet, who cares about money when you’re dying? I know I won’t and I’m sure no one else would if they think about it. So…the point it that BRs cost this country money and thus we are basically running this country’s udget without a major expense accounted for here. One word – Stupid.

                Those of you that preach about living within your means should truly appreciate having a good budget accounting for EVERYTHING!

                When are people going to realize that we are all human and some things should just be part of living in a civilized world. That is we take care of our basic human needs for EVERYONE. Period.

              • I had “good insurance” too through my job – which covered nothing but one allergy prescription in the two years i had it – was in a car accident (prior to having insurance, still dealing with that legally almost 5 years later), and they covered none of the MRI’s, phys-therapy, neurologist visits etc which i needed (and didn’t get until three years after the accident, had lost my insurance, and finally found a county program). It didn’t cover birth control (which i’m pretty much beyond using, but). It didn’t cover the only anti-depressant which has ever worked for me.
                I think there should be a minimum wage for workers under the age of 21; and a separate rate for those who are older and may be responsible for households, rent, car, car insurance, etc. If the Federal Poverty rate is 22K, and minimum wage brings in 10K (i’ve lived on 4-8K a year a few times, which i don’t remember, b/c i was practically starving), do the math. Forget it if you have to move, get new brakes on your car, put snow tires on, do anything except go to work and sleep. Sure it’d be great for companies to get to pay lower wages, but for those who do work at lower wages, it is not easy. People kept telling me to move to another state (which i just did after my mom died, and nearly became homeless after 4 months of not finding work), etc. but the cost of moving is prohibitive to alot of low-wage workers. It’s a trap.

                • Just want to add that i just moved from Santa Fe, NM where they have a “living wage” law (9.55$), which i know has been hard on some small businesses, but it’s also evened out over the years it’s been in place. And Santa Fe has had a lower unemployment rate than most of the rest of NM (and the rest of the country) over the last few years since the “crash”, despite this. And Santa Fe is prohibitively expensive to live in – most rooms run $450-600, and a one bedroom is about $800 minimum (there are finds, but). The city runs on people who have 2-3 jobs (due to tourism, restaurants, hotels, etc.). If there was no living wage, no way the low wage workers who support the city would be able to live there.

              • i think everyone has a point on this issue we should stay within our means have that nest egg but things happen like work going away and having to use up what you have also the thing about health insurance is that they are only go so far i once was in a place where i almost lost my life was in the hospital for two weeks and the bill give or take 300k thank god for the generousity of the hospital forgiving my debt things happen in life we all agree at some point of what we make so if you except min wage than thats what you get so ask for more you may get it

                • I haven’t seen anyone mention child-care.
                  Do you realize that if people work for minimum wage, just so they work, child-care takes a good portion of those earnings.

                  It’s really hard to have a debate like this, because usually, the only thing people debate on, is what is familiar in their own lives.

                  “I worked hard…I did this, I did that.”
                  There are people out there who work hard too, but they go to work everyday trying to pay those childcare workers, bills etc.
                  What would happen to anyone here, not speaking of insurance and illness….and not speaking to the rich, if you came home and found your house flooded because of a break in a water pipe? Or if a tree fell in the roof of your house?

                  These are the accidents that COULD happen without a moments notice.

                  I fell in one of my accounts (slipped on a grape that had already been stepped on). I shattered my left knee! $75,000 surgery, and 6 months of physical therapy, not to mention being out work. (I’m not asking for pity, so don’t go there. I worked myself until I got back on that leg and went back to work.)
                  Things happen without notice. Catastrophic disasters don’t call you at work to warn you ahead of time, so you can “plan” or “save” for the event.
                  Can some of you even imagine how someone on minimum wage would afford any of these incidents?
                  That’s where the “help your neighbor” things come in. If you’re a plumbing business owner, how much would you actually lose to go help those people put in a new pipe?
                  If you own a flooring company, how much would it cost you to help vacuum up all the water?

                  But the bottom line is “screw the bottom feeders. They should have taken responsibility”.
                  Yea, without “bottom feeders” as you call them, you’d have to clean your own bathrooms. Now that would be a sight to see!

            • Give us the formular for buying anythiing you need in cash, buying a health insurance adequate to cover all your medical bills, saving a nest for the day you are not working, all this on a check that is $10,000 below the poverty line. If you can show the over 20 million working Americans living on a below poverty line income how to live like a 6 figure earners, then you will have beaten even Jesus into the art of converting what is not there to abundance.

              And forgiving debts would not be a solution.

              • Motivation, hard work and burning the midnight oil. That is what gets people ahead. Not government hand-out programs that take away motivation.

                • I just recently graduated college. I was lucky enough to be promoted to full-time at the part-time job I worked in while in college. I say lucky because though I have applied to jobs all over the country (and even a few international jobs) I have come up empty. My entire paycheck goes to the following: Rent, utilities, food (which typically consists of pasta, bread, butter, milk, and a multivitamin), and gas to drive to work with about $50 left over each month for any unexpected expenses. I live well within my means (basic cable/internet package, I don’t remember the last time I ate out, etc.) and I have five roommates in a four bedroom house to help split the costs of living because we’re all in the same boat. I used to subscribe to the same Protestant Work Ethic that I’ve seen most of you boasting about (work hard and good things will happen). Was I not working hard enough when I earned my 3.7 GPA in college? Was I not working hard enough by filling out five job applications a day starting in my last semester of college? Was I not working hard enough when I skipped meals to save money for my tuition bill?

                  • Good for you. That Protestant Work Ethic got you through school. Now, apply that same drive at work and greatness will come. Any and all employers notice the higher achievers. A government hand-out only takes away motivation. Hold your head high and be proud that you did it on your own.

                    • No they don’t. They DID.
                      Once again, greed overcomes, and they hire those with less education because they can pay lower wages.

                  • Im just curious what field of study your degree is in…. because if its in engineering, technology, or medicine you should be able to find a job, however, if you have a degree in deaf studiee, criminal justice, communications, etc… you just might be screwed..

                    ultimatly, it does come back to how hard you work to be successful…

                    • Bull. I know people in “engineering” who are looking for jobs today.
                      And medical jobs are few and far between since there are 5-6 people vying for the same position.

                      You people need to look at what really is happening out there instead of wasting your time in the toilet paper room ready Forbes.

            • I’ve been broke i have been decently off. My husband and i both work our butts off. And have very good medical insurance but the thing is when you wind up missing a ton of work because your in preterm labor for well over 6 months and your husband windes up haveing 6 surgeries within the course of a 2 year time period its a lttle hard to actually be able to save up a “nest egg” So no you have not experieneced how crushing and debilitating life can be. Many companies will raise there prices to “cover cost” when min wage goes up but thats not why they do it. Alot of them will raise the prices to make larger proffit margerin. Because they will raise it above that 5 cents or what ever it was before. I mean look at fast food restaurants privatly owned. Most of those pleaces will put there prices with almost a 100% markup. Sometimes more. Min wage goes up they raise there prices even higher. They would not be at a loss if they kept the price where they were they do it because they can. Same with Jewlers and so on and so forth. The cost of living goes up because the companies themselves large and samll shoose to raise there prices. Should there be a cap on min wage i believe so. But i think there should be a rpice on how much a company can raise there cost do to the raise to equal it out. It is rather rediculis how this all works. On top of it i also think that yes it can and does cause some serious unemplyment issues. I only say that because there are so many people getting paid so crapily that they make more money on governement assistance than they do actually earning money at a job. Its sad but its true. To fix this the governemnt needs to give insentives to small companies and even some as big as McDonalds to hier these people. If it looks like they are going to make a smige bit over the amount of whats considered the high end supplament. Because im sorry a family of 4 can not survive on 10k a year 20 before tax. Its is hard enough to live on 40 a year as a family of 4. You have to look at the area you live in and the familys expenses what kind of bills do they have. do they live in a crappy apartment that the land lord wont fix the windows so the hot air from the heat during winter just heats the out side or the cold air from the air conditioner get sucked right back out side. Is there faulty wiering in the building so the electricity seems to be a bit high look at the factors of where a person lives then make a better annalisis. What happend to the family to where they can not make a ton of money or where is that money going is that money going to paying extreamly high bills. I mean seriously dont judge until you know.

              • You admitted that the cost of your Happy Meal goes up when the minimum wage goes up. That is not because the owner is lining his pockets more. It is because his costs have goine up. If the Obamacare is forced down our throats there will be more cost adjustments to everything you purchase.

            • Talking about insurance and wage earned. There are some of us, that can’t even get health insurance because of our health. You think you are all good covered in all ways, then comes a shattering health long illiness. All your plans, good business and job down the tubes. Then what?? Having to move and start over, just to live. Then try finding work in middle American, because that’s all you can afford after going though all that. Try living in a area that you are lucky to get paid $8.00, health insurance, even from your employer, you cant’ afford it. So what really is the answer??

            • Please …..please tell me how that family of 4 where both parents work and making minumin wage after the last minimun wage increase are making $7.25. Both parents $30,016.00 (gross). housing it stated around $8,000. Utitles, car, gas, insurance, food, school lunches. Everyday supplies, perscriptions.

              Oh please tell me how in the world you build a nest egg from a “minus” balance??? If its not minus its pretty darn close.

              Oh wise one of building a “nest egg”………………..olease tell me your income bracketwith everyone working in your family???

            • If people find it easy to take care of their bills and buy health insurance, then they are making far above minimum wage. Those same people then complain about people who have no education or who cannot afford one. Those people are in food service and other menial jobs. Do they not also have the right to live and provide for their families? Companies have enjoyed a basic “tyrant” status over people for too long.
              All people have a right to exist and find happiness, not just the blue-bloods.

                • What people are saying that some of you are missing, is the opportunity isn’t there for everyone. If it was, and we all had the same level of income, how would you be able to claim you’re better than anyone else? LOL

                  I know people who are poor, that have more sense than some of you well off people do.

            • I have worked hard my whole life, provided well below our means for the family. Saved a good amount of money and had well above average health insurance (That I paid for) I lived in the Las Vegas area and due to a combination of Job loss and major medical on 2 family members I have accrued so much debt that I see no way out at this point. We went through any savings that we had in less than 3 months paying for every thing. We have now moved to the Mid-West to try and start a new life. Its been over 9 months and I still have not been able to keep all of the creditors happy. What options do I have at this point?

            • I have always ‘lived within my means’. Never owned a new car, purchased a home built in 1958 from my father when I made enough money, before the state deregulation of the electric industry in Texas caused the destruction on the utility company I had worked for 20 years. Laid off and working whenever I can, my last job at Wal-mart for for just more than minimum wage and at 33-34 hrs a week (which is full time for them) I couldn’t keep up with the expenses living in Houston, TX – I have a disabled wife and a 14 year old grand child who lives with us. My retirement gone and savings depleted we live well below the poverty line. I haven’t seen any improvement in the job situation and removing minimum wage requirements would not increase jobs because companies increase their profit by making the least number of employees do the most work possible. No minimum wage would only help them make profit and give the executives bigger bonuses. The only difference it would make would be if they brought some of the out of country jobs back home – if they could pay you $2/hr which wouldn’t put food on the table much less a roof over your head here in America.

            • To all of you who state “educate yourself,live within your means and work hard then you will succeed”. Glad to know that you are all doing so well!We have always lived within our means,are educated people and we worked very hard all our lives. Four years ago I was let go because the company wanted to see a bigger gross profit margin.My boss had to take a 25% pay cut just so he could save his job.In the following year I was hit with different medical conditions and had to have 4 surgeries.I did not lie and say it was work related so I could milk the system,sue the company because the lawyers could have proven that working for the company perpetuated the problem or blamed anyone else.

              What I can tell you is that insurance does pick and choose what it will and will not pay for.They would rather pay for pain medication and other pills to take care of the problem instead of going in for the proper procedures. 3 years later our very well maintained “nest egg” is gone. I work with computers and try and do what I can while cleaning offices at night,yes at minimum wage.

              We did not choose this situation,but god puts us through the trials in life and it is how we respond to this.Always giving of ourselves to help others.With the state of the economy,who we have representing us and the continued allowances that are given to big companies allowing them to send billions of profit offshore.This will only get worse,not better.

              It would be great to shut down China and Japans imports for one year.We can’t because they own most of our debt.

              To all of you that think people are just lazy and don’t want to improve their life.Wait until something happens in your life that sucks up your life savings and you may understand the trials and tribulations others have to fight on a daily basis.

            • Like the other person said, “sounnd like someone who has never suffered a major setback and very immature. Insurance companies have dropped people witha major long term health issues. They lose their jobs and famliy may lose their job trying to fight the system. I’m sorry but you are really clueless.

            • Brock,
              You can live within your means and be fiscally responsible and things can happen that you lose everything you worked for years to attain.I am not talking about material items.I am talking about retirement,savings ect….

              We were fairly well off until medical bills of me and a family member cost us everything.Insurance does not cover hospice care for parents and people do deny others with impairments for potential jobs.I never wish ill will on anyone, but if something happened to you or your family member you may have a better understanding of why people are in the situations they are in.Not because they are lazy or uneducated.

              • Msallen,

                We have BCBS.They have treated us ok in the past but procedures and medicines that have been requested by the doctors are not under their “covered areas”.My family member lost their pension and health insurance thanks to the the courts that allowed them to do so.

                I do understand the concept of bankruptcy.Please don’t insult my intelligence by putting it that way.I also understand the concept of credit.Which we have been trying to save while weathering this unfortunate situation. My whole point is do what you can do while not judging other people for their situations.

            • I know personally a 30-year manager at a Fortune 100 company who had to declare bankruptcy after being forced to to pay out-of-pocket after exceeding the medical insurance maximum coverage limit for his wife who had brain cancer. Before he declared bankruptcy, he had to sell his house and many of his other personal possessions acquired after a lifetime of hard work. This is a person who was earning a six-figure income. When you say that everyone can and should live within their means, you are naively ignoring a number of realities in modern society. What was this person to do? Leave his dying wife to fend for herself in an emergency room somewhere?

          • the government does have a program if you are over your head, and it’s especially useful if you have inquired dept due to medical bills, etc…its called bankruptcy.

        • Should you be worried about those who lived within their means, they have not lost a thing but did the right thing for themselves and are ok, those who lived above their means did so because they were persuaded by Society to do so, MSM, advertisement, and wanting the AMERICAN DREAM, if keeping up with the Jone’s, and working hard all day leads me to the American dream, WAKE ME UP!!! No one should be subject to a minimum wage, all of our needs should be taken care of by our creator that have given us all of nature to do this, but Society have become so NOT HUMAN that we lost our HEART of Love to want others to be OK.

        • I disagree because you dont have to wipe out past debt. In order to REALLY Give everyone a 2nd chance…, then here’s how. ERASE OUR CREDIT RATINGS!! THE BANKS GOT THEIRS ‘ERASED’!! Erase ours! These incompetent Credit Bureaus cannot even post accurate information on them. Then lenders use this useless pile of shit to grade us??? Get real!!! The credit bureaus are invasion of privacy at best to begin with. Get
          rid of them and let everyone start from scratch!!!!!!!
          … once we are “Forgiven” we can then get a real stimulus of ACTUAL CASH OK infused into our bank accounts!! not a petty few hundred dollars! Sorry Obama but your econoimy is pretty good at 5 million dollars a year! Give every one 30,000 dollars (or more) up to a certain income level. Only to PRIVATE CITIZENS!! US CITIZENS!! You think that will
          stimulate things?? I’d like that bet…
          So what if the bad credit rated people can get loans again?? They will have $30k or more in their pocket!! Also, the banks and lenders will complain… so what!! the credit bureaus have bad information to begin with!!! they cant rate anything correctly anyway. they would have a 2nd chance too to record everything properly. sure some people will fall back into bad credit, but a lot wont. A lot will be more careful 2nd time around. The ones with bad credit not of their own doing (medical, identity theft, etc…)

          So, if the credit bureaus do have to stay, then, well, they should be penalized for publishing false or bad information. the rules for resolving mis-stated information should be easier to use. Hold them accountable too. Right now they are as bad as insurance companies not being held accountable for their mistakes. I can GUARANTEE you ALL of the $30,000 (or more maybe) will come back as increased spending.

        • One of the first things normally taught in a economics class is that when you raise the price of something (in this case labor) then less off it is demanded. Look at what the government does to discourage cigarettes and tobacco by increasing its cost through taxes. Minimum wages are actually one of the cruelest things we do to the workers and a violation of indivisual freedoms. What business is it of government to tell you that an agreed upon wage between worker and employer is wrong or unfair. This is just another example of when you look the whole issue through you repeatedly find how government makes life worse for most people through intervention.

      • I’m with you 100 percent on a day of jubilee…… make a one time thing. I know people who racked up hundreds of thousands of debt, never paid anything, filed bankruptcy and were getting approved credit card offers a year later.

        • Mike,
          You clearly have no idea what can and cannot be done under current bankruptcy law. No one can simply walk away from “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in debt whether secured or unsecured. As to post-bankruptcy credit cards being made available, if someone does get a credit card after bankruptcy, if they run up an unpayable balance, they will be hounded for the next 7 years by creditors, without any chance to file another bankruptcy. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

          • Sid, Where did he mention it happened under the “current” law?
            The law has been revamped within the last 5 years. It is revisited often, ammended when “they” feel the need.

            In the past, it was the norm for some to rack up much debt, only to file for bankruptcy. It is also true, many of these people would get offers from lenders, they can ask for a secured line of credit and / or a higher rate in exchange.

          • Sid:

            Actually you are incorrect. Current law does allow individuals, in certain circumstances, to have a court totally discharge their debt. It is true that certain debt (credit cards) MAY have to be repaid if you do not qualify for a Chaprter 7 filing. There is a “means test” to determine. This is based on several things but high annual income will probably not allow an individual to file chapter 7 but rather chapter 13. Below is very good FACTUAL information on the various consumer bankruptcy laws.


      • The minimum wage is supposed to be an entry level wage for unskilled workers. Nobody stays at the miminum wage for very long. But, the real purpose of the minimum wage is to provide leverage for labor unions to pressure employers to privide increased benefits for union members. The minimum wage is also a primary incentive for illegal workers to enter the U.S. labor market, and inevitably pressures U.S. businesses to move off shore.

          • That’s why they get paid cash. The people hiring theres people, are willing to pay extra taxes themselves, because they are still ahead of the game. If all American’s would stop using day labor or hiring these undocumented workers, unemployement would be lower. Our young, could be doing those jobs, like back in the day. Sat. lawn jobs with all the people on your block. But now you see a crew of those undocumented workers going house to house, taken jobs from all of your kids!!

        • Bill, that was plainly stupid. There are people who stay at minimum wage their entire lives because they have no training, no education, and cannot afford it. I’ve seen a lot of it.
          I have been sent overseas as a combat soldier 3 times and am already seeing #4 on the horizon. It’s wonderful to make $60k a year tax-free while on deployment…
          …only to return home to find no job and no way to provide for my family. It is at those moments I find a minimum wage job and rack up debt because een working 2 minimum wage jobs doesn’t cover medical expenses, food, etc. I do not use welfare, nor should I have to.
          I should have an education, paid for by the government…but they make the red tape so thick and confusing, that it simply isn’t worth the time and trouble anymore. Half of the colleges that youCOULD go to, are not on the “approved” list, or some other crap pops up and the education fund has no money. Thanks to Congress sticking their goddamn fingers in everythng, soldiers found themselves paying their education bill because money keeps getting taken for something else.
          I should have a decent job. That doesn’t happen. I am a combat soldier, so I’m inteested in police, corrections, and security. I haven’t been able to find a job in my speciality. Istead, I get phone calls all the time from insurance companies wanting me to sell insurance. My mom cold sell ice to an eskimo, but I would never delude myself into thinking I could do that. I do not have a single selling bone in my body.
          Thee are times when a person simply has an opportunity to make things happen. There are also times when people never have such an opportunity. If Bill Gates sarted giving his money out to normal people instead of charities that will eat it for “administrative costs”, then America would kick start like crazy. If he gave $1 million to 1,000 families, that would be $1 billion…..that’s a lot of families that could be seriously helped and the money invested properly, could allow families to live worry free.
          Minimum wage kills families. It kills a person’s ability to provide for their familiy and just needs to stop. Companies need to quit being so damn greedy (Bank of America) and pay people more. If America is indeed the land of the free,, then we need freedom from poverty.

      • You need to learn the proper placement of their, there, and they’re….there’s only 3 of them…shouldn’t be too hard to memorize, their is ownership (their paychecks) there is a place, (standing there, going there) and they’re is the contraction for they are, (they’re going out).
        It is difficult when a person hasn’t taken the time to learn simple spelling rules, to believe that they know what they are talking about.
        Minimum wage keeps people at poverty level, those who work in retail and food service work hard, doing jobs that most of the people who look down on them couldn’t survive a day at. Respect is given only by co-workers, not by customers. I know as I’ve worked in both industries, and work a 2nd job in one right now. Minimum wage should be boosted and free education should come from funds from the government and employers combined to anyone making minimum wage or less, and it should not be restricted to just courses that pertain to the current position held by said employees.

        • A good employer will always keep good employees. That’s how the company makes money. If the employee is worth more than minimum wage the employer will give the proper raise increase. If this doesn’t take place, then you are working for the wrong people.

      • It is correct when minimum wage increases so do prices. Within two years we will hear on the news that we are losing our middle class. It is because the cost of living is pushed up because min. wage went up but most people will not get a cost of living wage increase to match the true cost of living increase. I have no problem with having a bottom wage but stop increasing the min. wage. They say that fast food place don’t pay more than min. wage, which was not true until it increased. We shoulld look at a back door approach by rewarding companies for paying indiviudals over min. wage. For X amount of employees that they pay X amount of dollars over min. wage then they get a tax break. It is a thought and may be better then increasing min. wage.

        • I agree so much with your statement, Monica. I don’t like the fact of people getting paid minimum wage because it keeps them in poverty. However, when minimum wage increases everything else does to. So it never really solves anything. Employers should receive some sort of reward for paying above minimum wage to make them want to do it, because their employees need it.

          If the minimum wage was abolished, employers would exploit workers even more. People would be paid less than what the minimum wage is now which would put more people in poverty.

          People are suffering now because they’ve lost health insurance from their employers. There’s no way abolishing the minimum wage is going to help against poverty, even if it does create more jobs. Raising it may not prevent poverty, but the opposite is not the answer.

        • In a way these arguments are so hilarious! Everyone is acting like this is the first time this issue has ever come up! Every single time the minimum wage has been raised, there’s this big to-do about how it will hurt business. It’s been raised several times people! I remember when it was $3.35. Is it that now? Of course not! Business get MANY tax breaks & subsidies, much more than your average family or individual. Keep buying what they’re selling you, everyone, let’s keep pointing the finger at each other as the cause of our current economic crisis. I don’t see that any of this has harmed McDonald’s, DuPont Industries, etc. . . YET.

      • I own a small business. If all debts were cancelled and I wasn’t paid for my company’s services, I wouldn’t be able to pay my employees. They would not be able to work for free and my business would close. They would have to have all of their debts cancelled , as would I, and the next business that we owed for our debts would go out of business. Where does it stop? Why don’t you start a business and allow people to cancel what they owe you. Then you will see the problem with your proposal. See how many businesses or services will exist if payment isn’t made for services and products.

      • Please use the word their and/or there correctly. It’s a pet-peeve of mine. “There” refers to a place or location while “their” refers to people.

      • Responding to the second comment (No, i didn’t read all 300+ posts), takes some nerve to talk about people who are just there for a paycheck when you are, yourself, unable to bother learning how to write. There, not Their. etc.

      • I am 18 years old and I have worked a minimum wage job for 2 1/2 years. I am putting myself through college right out of high school. I live with my boyfriend who also works a minimum wage job, niether one of us get paid for the work we do. I have had health problems related to lifting heavy heavy boxes for 8 hours a week. I have friends who dont need to work and yes, they abuse the system. No, I dont think thats ever right but there is nothing that we can do to change it. Because I work too many hours I do not qualify for goverment help but yet there are some weeks that we cannot afford to put food on our table. Niether one of us are able to live with our parents, that is not an option, but yet we work hard for our money and the goverment wont help us. Im sorry, but how is that right? I qualify for a better job with my degree but the work is not out there because I am competing with people twice my age who have been unemployed. These days, you cant not go to college, but what happens when I can no longer afford it? I believe you should get paid for the work you do. If you sit at a desk all day, 7.40 might work, if you lift all day I think 8.00 or 9.00 because that will help pay for your medical bills when you begin to have severe back problems. This is just my opinion.

    • The question if increased wages prevent poverty or raise unemployment the answer to that question is upper management stop firing good help just to keep job security if upper management has lost their zeal than be a grow up and let someone else keep the company rolling from my experience in the work force I am 47yrs old first job at 11yrs. Is management gets stagment and instead of moving over and trying new blood they stay in the upper seat just to bring the company to a stalmate. Keep the Zeal going Management STEP DOWN if need be.

      • Or better yet, Deborah,……
        You go borrow about $250,000 and start your own company and run it like it is supposed to be run…….that’ll show’em.

      • Honestly, you do not sound like you are 47. Stagment? Stalmate? Grow up? And what about the horrible punctuation and sentence structure? Not to mention that you used “stalmate” in the wrong context. Seeing how well-educated you are, I’m sure your own business would absolutely thrive.

        Enough of that, though. Let’s turn this around on you. If you were upper management and had lost your zeal, would you ever willingly step down? I seriously doubt it. Very few people ever give up their job, especially upper management positions, because they lost the passion for it. Everybody has their own interests at heart. People need money, and an upper level management position is a pretty nice income. I don’t know if you’re a billionaire who can just give up your job today and not worry about having enough money, but in this economic climate, few are willing to do what you suggest. I’m sure you wouldn’t leave your job either.

    • By reading your comments, readers can tell where you fall into the working classes.
      For myself, I am considered by current employment standards as a “disposable worker “. Yes, that is right; I am a minimum wage worker. I have worked all my life, giving my all for those companies that I worked for. No, I am not bitter, just stating my learned experiences. I have worked since I graduated from high school. Minimum wage means that out of 4 paychecks you receive a month, you only can live on 1 paycheck and the other 3 paychecks go to paying bills. I am close to retirement age and if I retire ( when that time comes around) I will be living on $450 per month gross. It used to be that when you were hired and gave your all, employers would reflect that in pay raises and/or bonuses. Not anymore, welcome to the throw away generation. There is no such thing as a safety net in the working environment, unions are gone. If minimum wage is abolished you would have a larger welfare cliental. Do not kid yourself, employers have and will always have a tendency to pay the lowest wage possible. Lower paid wages reflects as a savings for companies and their stock holders. As you get older, companies find ways to dispose of you for younger cheaper workers. For you that are just starting out, take the best job offered to you. Get your experience and maybe if you are lucky and you are working for a decent company you might climb. Minimum wage is better that not working/no income or living off of society.
      IF there needs to be a cap on wages, it should be fair and be applied to both a mininum and maxium wage for that career and should have a timed pay raises to increase worker incentive. When employees increase productivity, it should reflect as pay raises across the board, both for management and the work force. There is too much greed and waste in our soceity.
      Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

      • Sounds like you are one of US. We are the few graduates fromt he school of life.
        Live within your means use to be the approach to success. Now, one doesn’t even know what their means will be.
        How can anyone live on minimum wage? and then have healthcare?
        Impossible, but kudos to you.

        • My husbands health insurance went up extra $15 per week. $150.00 wk family of four $18 hr. Please someone tell me how to have a nest egg etc.. we have a 18 yr old in college and a 2 yr old. I cannot afford to work with the cost of daycare being more than my pay! Quote make to much for help of any kind! We are barely surriving!!! The people on welfare do better than us!!! System has to change in all areas!

          • Sweet jesus, do we even really need to respond to this?

            Your 18 year old can get loans. You can’t get loans for retirement. If you aren’t saving enough for retirement, the kid is on their own to front college. It will help them be responsible in their choices and hopefully go to a college that provides value in education more than a name, and provides them means to earn a living versus teaching them about something they think is cool.

            Second, why’d you have another kid? If you aren’t financially able to provide for your current family, enlarging it is just plain irresponsible.

            Take ownership of YOUR life. You have made decisions throughout your life that have led you to where you are now. It is not someone else’s responsibility to pull you up by your shoe strings. Accept your decisions, accept the consequences of those decisions (good and bad) and move forward. If you want more, move harder, faster, deeper.

            • To the retard Nathan…

              Birth control does not always work. My wife and I have used it consistantly, yet she ended up pregnant. Your comment is as idiotic as you are. I guess tha apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.

      • I started out at minimum wage, only graduated high school. am also 46 yrs old,
        but saved all I could from my pay, learned all I could from my boss’s. and it took along time, but I now own my own comapany. I provide health insurance at no cost to my employees, and pay well above minimum wage. But 5 of the 7 employees are still living paycheck to paycheck. They drive nicer cars than I . I point out that I saved the money to start this company on alot less than they make. We need to stop the entiteled generation, and teach work hard and live in your means and save all you can, and don’t give a fourth of your money to the credit people. Otherwise it doesn’t matter how much you earn you will always be broke.

        • That doesn’t change the fact that greed has surfaced. The minimum wage level now does not compensate for the true cost of living. I wonder how those who claim they have lived minimum wage all of their lives manage to get around the increase cost of gas prices, health insurance costs, parking fees if they work in an area that requires you to pay that because minimum wage jobs do exist in those areas as well.

          I saved when the times were good, however, not everyone has someone to live with to manage savings. I lived within my means all of my life. So for those who have lived on minimum wage all of their lives which in their lifetime probably increased from $2.00 per hour all the way up to $7.75, it has not increased like it should to make up for the poverty level. Minimum wage should be at $12.25 per hour to prevent this from happening.

          Now I don’t know what state you minimum wage workers are working in but some of those jobs have been eliminated in the state I live in because those places also got affected by the economic downturn as well. The problem is that people don’t have enough confidence to start spending again when you have an economy with no benchmarks in it.

          Not everyone has direct access to a minimum wage job within the area they live. Not everyone has a vehicle nor public transporation route to get to that type of job all the way out in an area where walking is completely out of the question. Please let me know how many of you have to walk 2 hours to get to that minimum wage job.

        • As a former CFO of a national franchisee group of 21 stores, I can provide some additional data. Sixty percent (60%) of the staff was under the age of 21 and to attract employees we were continuously above the minimum wage so raising the minimum wage merely allowed high school and college students to earn more (most of them lived with their parents). Albeit used for their educations which I heartedly applaud.

          One issue at hand, certain companies, my former one included, have their business models based upon “cycling” out employees once they reach a certain pay rate. For small businesses (companies and their owners with net earnings below $ 250,000), that probably is reality and important for them to grow, not to mention only one in 50 employees reached “management” status and better pay.

          Unfortunately, all taxpayers, regardless of income level, is subsidizing those employees of companies that earn significantly more (including my former company) through earned income credit, through housing assistance, through school lunch programs, and other “welfare”.

          The solution, unfortunately our legislation didn’t see fit to correlate “responsible” employment, is to force “responsible” employment on those companies (whether corporate or individual) earning over (and pick your number as mine starts at $ 250,000) a baseline and offer them a choice, either pay better or pay the extra tax.

          Provide a tax cut to those employers paying the bottom 1/2 of employees 2 times minimum wage (that still is only $ 14.50, hardly a luxurious living wage in this day and age). That way, if the employers “choose” to not increase the standard wage, those “wealthier” companies are “reimbursing” “us” for having to subsidize their workers.

          So, the solution to this minimum wage AND the unemployment rate is to encourage “responsible” employment on to those companies not choosing to do so or pay additional consequences.

          • Wow… your “responsible” employment sounds a lot like socialism.

            The fact is, in some industries, in some job functions, your value added caps out. If you’re a cashier, you can only be so good of a cashier. As such, your value doesn’t improve. A company has 2 choices… either they a) don’t give you a raise because your value hasn’t increased or b) replace you with someone cheaper who will do the job just as well as you do now in 3 months.

            Experience does not equal value. Companies do not have to be responsible to their employees, employees need to be responsible for themselves. Manage your career. Vote with your work. If you can’t, shame on you for not empowering yourself with those abilities. You created a situation through choices that allows you to be a victim of others. The US doesn’t gaurantee you anything other than opportunity. You had it, probably still do, but you blew it. Look in the mirror if you’re unhappy with where you’re at.

            • Do you even know what socialism means?

              We’re attaining socialism BECAUSE of irresponsible employers. Unless you are making less than $ 50,000 per year, you ARE subsidizing that wealtheir employer’s staff because the company CHOSE to keep compensation so low that the average individual family can’t support themselves and so you and I are being “forced” to through the government. I’m not talking about “small” businesses earning less than even $ 500,000.

              I’m talking about business models and taxes!

              You need to go to school to relearn economics 101

            • So to use your own words, companies do not neded tobe responsble employers but to victimize their employees? What is the name of your company? I think I can put you predator @$$ out of business, dirtbag!!

              • Companies are responsible to their owners, not their employees. Now common operational management belief is that some level of employee morale improves a companies productiveness and therefore provides a greater return to the owners. Beyond that, companies don’t “owe” you anything just as you don’t “owe” them anything. On a daily basis you provide an output to them and they compensate you for it with a salary. Tomorrow, you can start a new job. Tomorrow, they can decide your output doesn’t justify your salary. You both have freedom and neither owes the other anything.

            • Nathan,
              While I agree with your comment that “each individual needs to be responsible for his or her own actions”, there are situations that happen “beyond our control”, which is called life. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, events occur that can take us out of our “comfort” zone and force us to make choices that we previously were not willing to make. I am not sure what your age is, but I am a baby boomer, and have had jobs that were at minimum wage level as well as jobs that were rated as “middle management”. In both instances I worked hard and saved my money. I have left business that I saw were not doing well in order to “take care of myself” and find one that was more stable. Now enters the economy into the picture. This means inflation, unemployment and all the other negatives that are associated. When my last job was eliminated because of “company downsizing”, I was left with severance and Cobra insurance. While I DID save money and I DID try to be responsible, major incidents happen that take every penny away that was so carefully squirreled away. I have returned to school, and even though I am aware that I will probably not be able to return to the income I formerly received, my option is to get the best education (from a student loan, which I will have to be responsible to pay back) to possibly enter a career that I could make barely more than minimum wage. With all the education that I am getting, what incentive does that give me?

              • Hey, I get it… stuff happens. I myself was laid off back in May. I’m not unsympathetic to those who get a bad shake in life. I’m unsympathetic to those who give up, who consider themselves victims.

                Let me ask you… how actively did you manage your career while working? Were you monitoring the health of your company? Were you continuing education to ensure your skills were up to date? Did you know your value in the market by checking salary sites or monitoring job postings to see what salaries were being offered for your skill set?

                We all have an obligation to protect ourselves. In order to do that, you must have knowledge. Without knowledge, you’re powerless. You are at the mercy of others who absolutely do not have your best interests at heart.

                • Nathan,
                  To answer your question, I monitored my career closely, and yes, I am committed to continuing education. I am a firm believer in getting as much education as you can, whenever you can. I am very much aware of my “worth” in the public sector. I do not consider myself a victim; I am responsible for every choice I make. That said, there are still things that happen, and just because they happen to someone does not mean that others should consider them “worthless” or “not trying”. Everyone, no matter what their age, economic status, or race, should be given a chance to make the most they can–given what they do. With the minimum wage level as it is, I consider it not only fair, but “in our democratic society”, right to adjust those costs according to the economy and the public need.

            • When can we stop labeling each other as liberal, conservative, socialist, etc..
              We are all Americans trying to survive in this B.S. economy. I am an architect and have been one for over 20 years. I have been laid-off for 9 months now . I am a Vietman veteran and have worked hard my entire life working for less than minmum wage to working for the “corporates”. I do not know how those of you who have not lost a job for a substantail amout of time and have no safety net can say live within your means when they are gone. You people need a major reality check. The absolute greed of the “corporates”, driving expensive cars, living in palatial homes and having one or more that they sometime occupy with their staff of slaves, dining at the finest restaurants and making 200 million a year in bonuses and feeling they are entitled is the problem. Meanwhile, we the little people, are left attacking each other for what we believe, crumbs and worrying about which bridge it would be safer to sleep under tonight.

            • Did either of you actually read my full comments. Unless either of you are making less than $ 50,000 per year, you both are subsidizing that wealtheir employer’s staff because the company chose to keep compensation so low that the average individual family can’t support themselves. I’m not talking about a new car or even an above average house but basic transportation and basic rent.

              you both need to go to school to relearn economics 101

              • Less than $50,000 or more? I won’t speak for him, but I make much much more than that. I have 3 college degrees including an MBA from the top part time program in the country. I don’t think I’ll be returning to school for an economics lesson any time soon. But thanks for your input!

                If someone else can do your job in an acceptable fashion and is willing to do it for a dollar a day… you’re worth a dollar a day. That’s the society we live in and embrace here in the US. If you don’t like that, gain a skill set which allows you to demand more than that simply because there are no others able to do it willing to accept less.

        • Blake:

          Congratulations to you on your success. I too have been fortunate enough to own several businesses, though I did this on an entirely different path than you. I have an advanced degree (MBA) from a private university. Worked for seven years witth two large corporations and was successful and was promoted 4 times. HOWEVER, I, like you, was VERY LUCKY. Even if a person works hard and smart they may NEVER “get ahead”, especially in todays work force. I hate to admit the following FACT but corporations and small businesses are greedy by definition. That definition is encased in CAPITALISM. Businesses, especially large structured public corporations have but ONE true motive — PROFITS! They are run by managers who are beholding to stockholders. Stockholders want increased profits. The markets actually demand “earnings” on a quarterly basis, and definitely on an annual basis. This puts tremendous pressure on managers. Make the profit or get fired and replaced! Managers justify their actions by cutting costs and raising, if they can, the price of their goods and/or services. They claim they are doing what the stockholders want, and they are correct. The PROBLEM(S) arise because the stockholders demand NEVER-ENDING increases in profit. The managers want to keep their respective jobs. The stockholders claim any inequities in wages, or any other inequities, are in the domain of the managers. The managers claim they are “JUST DOING WHAT THE STOCKHOLDERS WANT – MAKING PROFITS” Thus if the managers can keep wages low, or any other associated business expenses, the company will make MORE PROFITS. The rich (stockholders and managers) get richer, the poor (minimum wage or slightly higher) workers get progressively poorer. Unfortunately this is where many people in the USA are situated in the “labor force”! The GOOD NEWS is that I believe Capitalism is the best structure available. The answer may lie in both government and the hearts of rich and blessed owners and managers!

          • Isnt GREED one the seven deadly SINS? How much is enough? Capitalism vs. Profit sharing. Now there is an idea that is already working on a small scale in some business in this country but more important its is working on a very large scale in Germany.

            • Define Greed. Seems from your post you want more… isn’t that greed? Wanting = Greed… right? Oh wait, let me guess, you feel you should be able to establish the baseline of “need” using your definition and wanting up to the “need” line isn’t greed, just going beyond that.

              Greed is good. Greed drives innovation. People work hard, people are creative, people are risk taking because of greed. The human population as a whole is lazy. They will do the least work possible to obtain a standard of life they are comfortable living at. We’d all like to bottle air in our backyards and sell it for a million dollars a bottle… in fact I think most of us would love to pay someone else to bottle air in our backyards that we can sell for that million bucks. For most of us here if we were given a million dollars a month to stay home and not work, we would.

              People want what they believe they earn. What they earn is determined by the value of what they offer. The value of what they offer is determined by the free market, by supply and demand. Why would anyone work for less than they could? Would you give up a raise tomorrow? “Sorry Sir, I don’t see how my value has increased, I can’t in good consciounse accept that raise?” Of course not. We all want as much as we can get. That’s human.

              • Wrong! Greed is defined as follows: An EXCESSIVE desire to acquire or possess more than what one NEEDS OR DESERVES, especially with respect to material wealth. You criticize those who are lazy, but greed is good?!? I didn’t know we as such a “Christian” nation were allowed to pick & choose which one of the seven deadliest sins were good or bad!

                • Christian nation KISS WHERE I SIT, last industrial nation to abolish slavery, first to commit genocide on native AMERICANS, the Nazi did not create death camps your white grandpa did that. They called them reservations not death camps like Daukow or Trebonlka. Now the working poor are to be punished so that the real white GOD can be worshipped freely MONEY! Now for some republicant talking points GO GREED! SET BERNIE FREE! LET YOUR GREAT GREAT GREAT grand children pay the debt. Corporations are people TOO! GO TEALABAN! Go USA but not that away 18th in education in industrial nations and falling. 16th in health care and falling. Largest debtor nation in the world to ever exist in the history of the world.

                • And what do you “need”? A 3,000 square foot house with a 2 car garage? Cars in both garages less than 6 years old? A savings account that allows you to retire versus working til the day you die? Cable TV? High speed internet? A cell phone?

                  Remind me again of the basic needs… shelter from the elements and food? I’m pretty sure even those living in poverty or at minimum wage can get those two things. The issue is they want to compare their need for shelter to my 5,000 square foot house versus the tin shack people are living in down in Mexico City. They want to compare their need for food to my 5 course meal at a 4 star restaurant. As such, just as I do, they WANT more than they NEED… i.e. they’re greedy. Think about it, if you weren’t getting what you needed, you wouldn’t be alive today to complain about it. Based on your ability to sustain life, you don’t “need” anything else. Stop being so darn greedy!

              • Your wrong! I did give up a raise and a promotion for the good of the company.
                The result was we were able to keep two workers and not have to put the extra work on the staff. SO GET REAL. Its people like you that have screwed up this country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • The referenced “stock-holders” are whom? who buys stock? Umm…the people making FAR OVER minimum wage. So again, greed.

          • We live in a capitalist economy. Capitalism philiosophy is based on the accumulation of wealth by a few at he expense of the majority others. In a capitalist system, a few have to take from the many so that they can have enough toaccumulate. Therefore, in a capitalist system, there must be a few rich surrounded by many poor. Imagine if all the 200 million Americans of working age were rich, who would work the factories? Who would work the front office job, the restaurant waiter the office cleaner? Where would you get caregivers to take care of the wealthy old? Where would you get the road workers, the city snow prowlers, the CDL drivers who are the cogwheels of our economy. These are the Americans we should have laws and policies to protect in terms of forcing those successful in our capitalist systmem not to exploit them to extinction. So those of us who have been hard workers, prudent with our finances and lucky to forge ahead of others, we should not chest thumb and look at the majority hafh nots as pests. They are the co wheels that have made us rich and successful corporates and we should oil them up so they can function better and make us more wealth.

          • The one thing not addressed is that we as a society, have the mentality of get it today pay for it tomarrow. If we paid as we go, the prices would be much lower. but if they think they can charge you more becaues your going to pay over time they will. Save and pay cash for all things but Home. If everone addopted this you would see a drop in the prices as we would only buy what is affordable. I also do not do buisness with corportions that do not take care of their employees. I have not been in a Wal-Mart for 12 years, After I found out that most of their labor force is part time with no benifits. I am not union either, they are the ones who have pushed manufacturing out of our country.
            Like I said earleir, I have no degree, just hard work, frugal spending, and a set of goals. I run a small buisness, that is dept free, my employee’s make 3.5 times minimum wage, and I pay for 100% of their health insurance. It is a choice on how we live. Either stay broke buy living for today, or budget and think of tomarrow. I chose the later.

            • Blake,
              You should probably do a little fact checking. I work for Wal-Mart. Insurance is offered to ALL employees. The insurance packages they offer are also surprisingly inexpensive. Note I didn’t say cheap. Good coverage at reasonable prices.

              About wages – yeah, I’m hourly, but make 3.5 times minimum wage myself.

        • Blake, I tried to post a reply to you but it ended up under another person’s comment. This is my first time doing this but I just wanted to say that of all the people posting your comment was the best and a true indicator of the problem with the typical American worker.

      • I agree. We need a minimum wage law, and the minimum wage needs th be a living wage. Since the computer became a part of business, productivity has skyrocketed while wages have remained stagnant and our jobs have been outsourced. We need government that will truly represent the middle class again

        • i would have to agree with jims assessment of the current job market/economy. minimum has helped 100s of thousands of people stay out of poverty. if the damn cost of living would stay below minimum wage then maybe millions could actually acheive there dreams!!! its the fucking rich that need to burn for all eternity. they buy there power from our own senators, and elected officials to keep legislation in that benefits ONLY THEM!! and FUCKS US OVER ROYALLY!!!. there a bunch of greedy sons of bitches that i pray will be peeled apart piece by piece and fed to the dogs of hell!!. thanks for reading my post

        • Jim:

          You are absolutely correct. I may add this thought. Computers have not only dramatically increased job productivity, computers have reduced the number of workers necessary to do the same job. The byproduct of computers is fewer jobs and more unemployed workers chasing fewer jobs. Of course “off-shoring” jobs from the U.S. also puts additional pressure to hold wages low.

        • People making minimum wage are NOT the middle class.

          If you want politicians who represent you better, elect them.

          If you can’t find them, run yourself.

          Sitting around complaining on an internet forum is a ridiculous waste of energy when you have it within your ability to change things. How much campaigning have you done for a good candidate? How much have you donated for them to use in their campaigns? How many hours have you spent lobbying your current representatives to express your views to them?

          • Wow, Nathan that was totally uncalled for. If you think for one second that someone in the middle class can run for office beyond a local scale against someone who is in the top 5% of income you are wrong. The reason alot of politicians wont to cap or remove minimum wage is because they own businesses and would love to pay their workers below a livable wage. I don’t have the exact numbers on hand but I can bet that 90% of sitting senators are in the top 5% income bracket yet you want to trust them to pass laws that benifit the rest of us???

            Example: Dick Chaney. CEO of Halliburton gets in the white house and somehow Halliburton gets all the major contracts for rebuilding the oil fields in Iraq. In my middle class opinion that seems like a conflict of intrest and Halliburton should not have been allowed to bid in the first place.

              • Thank you for the Republicant talking point, It was a Closed bid contract so how in Hell would you Know that Prick Cheney company was the only one. GO TEALABAN. America is 18th in education in the industrialized nations and falling and you are a prime example as to why.

              • Bob, at the very least it should have been put out for bid. There was never a bid process for it. Halliburton was just given the job.

          • Well Nathan it appears you have plenty of time to sit and pass judgement on everybody who posts an opinion on an internet forum. How hard are you working at your job right now?
            What you said to the woman who had a college kid and a 2 year old is outrageous. Not every college kid can get loans, and that kid probably has loans, but they don’t cover college 100% even combined with financial aid. You also don’t know the circumstances behind the arrival of the 2 year old, get off your high horse. I’m willing to be you’ve never been in a position where you had to struggle to survive.

          • True about electing responsible persons who are true leaders! But unfortunately in this country the game is rigged, it’s all one big Las Vegas. You’re not going to get to the big offices that count w/out support by the status quo already in place & lots of money! But if people were smart enough to start at the bottom & build a popular support base for those elected to smaller offices, they could get moved up to ever higher positions. That is, if they aren’t assasinated, targeted in a smear campaign, shut out of media access, resources depleted by defending themselves against false accusations . . . . Come on now, when has the existing power structure of any organization or nation EVER willingly and/or easily given up any of its privilege w/out blood being spilled, figuratively and/or literally??

      • 1. If raises are based on time…..everyone receives the same so there is no incentive to work and apply yourself more than the worst employee. When you get the same raise as a screwoff……it pisses you off.
        2.Unions are outlived and never help anyone but themselves.
        3. Your life is made of choices…..volunteer for each bad job no one else wants. Learn it well. Those are called “niches” and are where you can shine. Come to work early. Leave a little later. Ask your supervisor what you can do to prepare yourself for a higher position. What skills are you lacking? Remember….if you think you can you are right……if you think you can’t ….you are right! It’s AMERICA!! You are making it what it is.
        4. Minimum wages and govt. mandates cause companies to hire part time instead of full to get around the benefits because if they pay the benefits and taxes the govt. intends then they will have to price their products out of range and no one will buy them and then guess what…….you have no job at all because the company failed!!!
        5. Nothing in life is certain….you can only do your best. Pick a company you enjoy working for in the environment you like and show them at every opportunity that you are doing your best as an employee to make your company viable so you can have a job in the future. Never think they know what you are thinking….you have to tell them. Make yourself irreplaceable. Then go home, sleep well and teach your children these same moral and ethical values…..then America will become better.

        • In other words, some of you people need to start changing yourselves, rather than complaining about it all. In your time working at your career, life has changed. Instead of being paid by the hour, many people are being paid by how well they do something, or what they know. If you’re not making a living wage, it has to be because you haven’t changed, and you’re easily replaced. Make yourself irreplacable, and you’ll make yourself more valuable to other people and companies. Then you’ll get compensated better.

          • Mike M:

            NO ONE is irreplacable in a business! If you want a demonstration try putting your finger in a bucket of water, pull your finger out and see how long the hole stays in the water! I wish it were different, but such is life!

          • No one is irreplaceable. If you are doing your job, part of it includes training others to replace you should you be absent. You will get raises to a point but when you reach the “CAP”, you will become a liability in that they are paying you what you “think” your worth rather than what you “are” worth ( more than you are worth). This is typically where the only way they can aquire more productivity from your job is to replace you with two or more others like you, typically those you have trained and are being paid less. You should be able to read the writing on the wall from what I have said here but on thing I have left out is the level of stress you may be under to perform more or better, particularily after having been the golden child for so long. Ask yourself whether you have become complacent in your drive, morals or ethics.

            If the answer is no then you can look for one of two things. You must either move up the ladder within your company, or look for another job. If there aren’t any rungs left in the natural progression up the ladder, you better be looking for another opportunity elsewhere, because, my former golden child, I am here to warn you, you will be looking for another job whether you want to or not and it will be for less than what you are making now! And thats not making exception for the low hanging fruit you may have to accept before finding a comparable job.

        • Hey Earlybird,
          What your missing in why unions were put in place so that workers could earn a good living to support there families and provide health insurance.

          It so easy to sit on the outside and look at the number of jobs were workers, I mean hard workers are treated horribly because companies can. Who does someone that has no union go to when thiings are being done wrong at the job that they need. How many times has a union worker called osha because a company was breaking a law and been able to keep their job? How many times does that happen when you don’t have a union? It doesn’t, because if you were the one that called you would be gone!! There is no job protection even if you work your butt of for your company. Boss rarley care about their workders anymore. Unions at least keep a standard of living, standard treatment as far as how workers are treated with at least a place to go if it’s not happening.
          Hard working people deserve protection from big companies that no one could ever afford to go up against if need be.
          I think most people (not all people)but most people if they need their jobs they generally work pretty hard, and those that don’t, don’t deserve to work. Some of our worst workers are the boss’s favorites. The biggest goof offs. They don’t lose their jobs because of favortism.
          There is a place for unions, there will always be a place for unions. If not unions you get companies like Walmart coming in to towns taking away wages, health insurance and the like. Union workers have health insurance, and mush better wages than BIG COMPANIES THAT HAVE TONS OF MONEY but don’t think twice about not paying there workers the way they should be paid!!!

          • What you failed to mention is, before unions no very few if any employees got benifits.
            60 or 70 hour a week jobs were common, low pay was the rule, even for higher level jobs. There were few if any rules. People today that work in a non union company and get benifits ( pd vac. pd sick time,health insurance, raises etc) get them only because companies have to compete with unions. Eliminate unions and min wage and you will gradually eliminate all the other things. No matter how good you think you do your job, management will always find someone else that will do it for less.

            Everyone is not a top dog, most people are just worker bees, thats just that society has no need for the worker bees when they start costing money then you have to find and efficient way of disposing of them. I mean nobody want to have to look at them living under the bridge ugh! Maybe we could get the designs that Hitler had for the ovens, might increase global warming but what the heck, God is going to take care of that anyway

        • EarleyBird:

          You do make some very valid points! It is also very unfortunate that this is the LOFTY IDEAL model. It is true that America grew on these ideals and ethics. It is also true that corporations and even small businesses were much more loyal to their employees even a few decades ago. Now the sole reason a business exists is for profit and profit and more profit. Businesses today, and maybe never, have no heaart and/or soul. Everyone if driven by the profit the company can and NEEDS to make. It is still true that the harder a person works and the smarter a person works will help them but God forbid you get sick, or have a conflict with a boss, or job is “out-sourced” then even your hard work will be out the door! And the beat (business) goes on! Remember somestimes bad things happen to good employees. This seems to be happening more and more in the U.S.A. It is sad!

        • Its funny how so many people say the unions are such a big problem. The fact is, unions have less of an influenence now than ever and look at what a shithole this country has turned in to.

        • EARLYBIRD, Sounds like a great plan. I did exactly what you propose. I did every thankless job for 14 years, worked approximately 55 to 60 hours per week. Earned 9 Service Excellence awards and then when I was 15 Months 3 days from early retirement, Texas Instruments Laid myself and the other 3 people in my group that were over the age of 40 off. Of course they kept the 38 year old, the 28 year old and the 23 year old. There are no sure ways to win in this world, you have to keep working hard, keep learning and hope you don’t get dumped on one too many times! Unless you are independently wealthy we are all just one catastrophic event away from needing a hand up (Hand up, Not Hand out) in this world.

      • I’m with Karen who works a minimum wage job and has for years! I’m a 33 year old mother of 2, married with debt on student loans of $50,000, credit cards debted to about $3,000, an older mobile home that needs work and costs $330/month rent, an older car that has cost me over $3,000 in repairs that doesn’t include things that are left to be fixed, got rid of our van for $437 to pay a couple of bills, husband is a student for an accounting degree and we can’t live on part-time minimum wage! Work is not available in my degree fields that will allow me to live and pay off debts so my family is on food stamps, medicaid, and manage to get blessed by local programs to help with Christmas, etc. If you get rid of minimum wage how much lower will poverty go. If $20,000 is poverty for a couple, how can we expect a family of 4 to live on as little as $8,000/year? We’ve been doing it, but have been miserable with financial struggles that leaves skid marks in our rear ends and tension in our relationships. AND WE’RE EDUCATED! The local job programs gear towards ex-cons, high school drop outs, etc. but don’t really help those of us that are educated and searching for a decent job to support our families and pay down debt. I know people right now that are exploiting the SSI system for children with special needs making $1200 or more per month sitting on their butts! My husband and I are trying to better ourselves and work hard to earn money to barely make ends meet and people want to take that away from us?!? We need to reform the hand out systems so that all capable people are working! Hard work should reap money and benefits that can support a family of four! Those with money have no idea what the heart of the poor is truly made of! Stop giving money to other countries in poverty and look at the poverty in your own country! Let’s stop walking past the faces of poverty and being oblivious! Not all poor people are bums! Have and be a blessing each day!

        • Companies will not take care of their employees unless we make them. We need a minimum wage. It is well below 50% of what the real living minimum wage is…..which, with or without self generated family, seems to be around $19-$20/hour. I did the math on our situation and we are living on about 40% of the gross paycheck….the rest goes to various deductions deemed necessary by this society: Taxes, Health Insurance, Retirement and Savings.

            • Yeah, make em leave so the government will have no money through taxation. Then all those fat @$$E$ will be out of a job too!! Hold it??? Do you think that is really going to happen? In orderfor the govt to survive, they will have to establish a tax base. If Americans have no jobs, there are no corporations, and no taxation can occur, then all the off shore manufacturer bases will leave because they dont want to pay those taxes so there will be all these factories sitting empty. Someone will have to figure something out and put others back to work. Holy $#!^!!!

              It may take a while and we may have to become another Somalia or Rhodesia. The Apocalypse is not the bomb, it is greed at all cost. Greed to the point that we will turn on our brothers and sisters saying things such as they’re just lazy, don’t want to work, whatever happens to them they deserve it because they brought it on themselves.

              Don’t accept the causes of the disease or looking for the cure, we can just say, they were lazy and didn’t run so the bears ate em or something just a stupid as what is being said by some of the @$$ holes posting on this forum. Then all we will have is a barren land with nothing but a bunch of fat lazy bears laying around picking their teeth, man will once again move back to the continent and then they can get fat eating bear meat (for a really long time).

      • Minimum wage is not designed for anyone to live off of or support a family.
        It is an entry level job in thr job market.
        If you are still working a minimum wage job 5 years after high school you need to rethink your lifr plan!

      • Karen,
        I truly feel sorry for you. Obviously you have gone through the majority of your life by never “getting it”. What I mean by this is that your parents and others who should have taught you how the world works, failed. You should have been taught that what you achieve in your working life is directly proportional to how valuable your job skills are. Look at sports as an example. Michael Jordan and Roger Clemens earned the money they made in their career because they were able to shoot and throw a ball better than anyone else in the game. Because of this fans paid lots of money to watch their teams play. I am sure that you as well as I can throw or shoot a ball, but I cannot imagine anyone paying to watch me do so as there are 100 million people in this country alone who can perform this task as well or better. We can also look at sales people as an example. The sales person who brings in the most revenue to their respective company is typically going to be the best paid. The auto mechanic that is able to repair vehicles the quickest and therefore make his or her employer the most money will be the best paid. This also applies to plumbers, HVAC installers, etc. Just showing up to a job isn’t enough, you must excel at your particular job to succeed.

        • The following is food for thought for you.

          As a former CFO of a national franchisee group of 21 stores, I can provide some additional data. Sixty percent (60%) of the staff was under the age of 21 and to attract employees we were continuously above the minimum wage so raising the minimum wage merely allowed high school and college students to earn more (most of them lived with their parents). Albeit used for their educations which I heartedly applaud.

          One issue at hand, certain companies, my former one included, have their business models based upon “cycling” out employees once they reach a certain pay rate. For small businesses (companies and their owners with net earnings below $ 250,000), that probably is reality and important for them to grow, not to mention only one in 50 employees reached “management” status and better pay.

          Unfortunately, all taxpayers, regardless of income level, is subsidizing those employees of companies that earn significantly more (including my former company) through earned income credit, through housing assistance, through school lunch programs, and other “welfare”.

          The solution, unfortunately our legislation didn’t see fit to correlate “responsible” employment, is to force “responsible” employment on those companies (whether corporate or individual) earning over (and pick your number as mine starts at $ 250,000) a baseline and offer them a choice, either pay better or pay the extra tax.

          Provide a tax cut to those employers paying the bottom 1/2 of employees 2 times minimum wage (that still is only $ 14.50, hardly a luxurious living wage in this day and age). That way, if the employers “choose” to not increase the standard wage, those “wealthier” companies are “reimbursing” “us” for having to subsidize their workers.

          So, the solution to this minimum wage AND the unemployment rate is to encourage “responsible” employment on to those companies not choosing to do so or pay additional consequences.

        • How much is a death merchant worth the head of HMO make 500,000 dollars a day in some reported cases. Sara Palin’s death panels are very real and they are here now for the purpose of to deny you of your health, for a profit of course. How else can you compensate some one $500,000 a day 6 days a week so that they can play GOD!

      • Finally someone who’s paid their dues(so to speak) & speaks w/ authority on this whole minimum wage matter! Thank you, Karen — you & the other commentators on here who learned from experience are the only voices of reason. Being an “unskilled” low wage worker means barely scraping by, often going w/out proper health care (if any at all), and for a lot of folks having to rely on public assistance as well. If you’re also trying to raise a family, then what little sleep you can get is never really enough & more than likely your body is actually crashing from exhaustion, etc. Even if you’re single w/ no kids to support, you better get another job on the side or work for yourself w/out reporting any of your earnings to the greedy tax collectors, because the system is set up to keep most of us poor & struggling until death. A lot of the taxes folks pay don’t benefit them or anyone they know in any way, shape or form — just legalized thievery on a massive scale! But all we can do is keep our heads up & stay 10 steps ahead of the goverment. Keep hope alive & stay safe!

      • I have to agree. I am also a 44 yr old minimum wage worker with no insurance. I put back so much out of every paycheck to go towards past medical bills and future medical bills. Most minimum wage companies do not offer insurance of any type. Especially if they are under 50 workers. My brother and his family and I moved into a house together in order to save on rental costs. He is also in the same position. In Ohio, there is still lay-offs going on and people are sharing costs where ever they can. Multiple families are moving into large homes and sharing the costs.
        I went back to school in order to get out of the factories. Now it is a choice of moving to another state or staying in the state and near my family.
        Kudos to anyone that can make it on thier own on minimum wage. Kudos to those that do not go into debt while on minimum wage!!

        • I’m not minimum wage anymore, $11/hr, but that still doesn’t get things done. My employer offers “health insurance”, sure… it costs you 1/3rd of your paycheck for EMPLOYEES ONLY and DOESN’T COVER JACK… What about my diabetic husband? What about my 4 year old girl? If i ask for the company to “make an exception” to cover them it costs me 2/3rds of my paycheck. How are people supposed to live?

      • The problem with minmum wage, well one of the problems is it does promote unemployment. Why you ask? Well say a man is making minimum wage he looses his job and files for unemployment he will recieve from unemployment a whoping 300 dollars a week and now qualify for medicade along with if he has children, food stamps, rental assistance, daycare assistnace and in some states lighting assistance. So now with his 300 a week he now has free medical free food almost free daycare almost free housing and slmost free electricity. With minimum wage he would’ve not been able to qualify for thises services and whith his now combined new beifits and pay he is making somewhere between 15 to 18 dollars an hour to sit home and do nothing hence causeing minimum wage to be a less disirable option promting unemployment. Forgive my spelling and grammer i know you spelling Nazi’s out there love to pick at this.

        • Interesting you pointed out the “welfare” doled out to the less fortunate. I think you might find the following to be food for thought. The issues at hand are “responsible” employers, business models and taxes.

          As a former CFO of a national franchisee group of 21 stores, I can provide some additional data. Sixty percent (60%) of the staff was under the age of 21 and to attract employees we were continuously above the minimum wage so raising the minimum wage merely allowed high school and college students to earn more (most of them lived with their parents). Albeit used for their educations which I heartedly applaud.

          One issue at hand, certain companies, my former one included, have their business models based upon “cycling” out employees once they reach a certain pay rate. For small businesses (companies and their owners with net earnings below $ 250,000), that probably is reality and important for them to grow, not to mention only one in 50 employees reached “management” status and better pay.

          Unfortunately, all taxpayers, regardless of income level, is subsidizing those employees of companies that earn significantly more (including my former company) through earned income credit, through housing assistance, through school lunch programs, and other “welfare”.

          The solution, unfortunately our legislation didn’t see fit to correlate “responsible” employment, is to force “responsible” employment on those companies (whether corporate or individual) earning over (and pick your number as mine starts at $ 250,000) a baseline and offer them a choice, either pay better or pay the extra tax.

          Provide a tax cut to those employers paying the bottom 1/2 of employees 2 times minimum wage (that still is only $ 14.50, hardly a luxurious living wage in this day and age). That way, if the employers “choose” to not increase the standard wage, those “wealthier” companies are “reimbursing” “us” for having to subsidize their workers.

          So, the solution to this minimum wage AND the unemployment rate is to encourage “responsible” employment on to those wealthier companies not choosing to do so or pay additional consequences.

      • Sorry Karen but we are all disposable, especially if we have no saleable skills and many times even if we do. I know I’ve been there. You just pick yourself up and try again. Unfortunately if one has no special skills picking ones self up is much more difficult. If one don’t have something to sell it is much harder to get a job. The goal of all of us should be more education and specialized training. These two things could eventually eliminate the need for a minimum wage.

      • I am in that group alsoI am 46 have been on my job for almost 10yrs. and make $7.56 a hr. There are people who have been here a year and make more than I do.When minimum wage went up they had to raise my salary to match it & I have gotten one raise since everyone that started at the new minimum wage now make more than I do. When I retire I will have about $500 a month if I want to keep my insurance and I have to have 20 points to retire. I have worked 2 and 3 jobs since I was 16 yrs. old when I was raising 3 kids whose father died on the job at a young age.Even with 3 jobs (cleaning houses, working nights at a hamburger joint) and putting in 70 hrs. a week I had to apply for foodstamps or my kids would not have eaten! I do not recieve them now but barely make from payday to payday and I do not over spend on anything. My car is a 1996 Chevy I chose to buy a home instead of throwing that money away to pay someone elses mortgage and that gave me a extra bill of home owners insurance I do not want to refinance my home at the new lower rates because it will be paid for in 5 yrs. Some people do not understand how hard it is out there if there were no minimum wage set ($7.25) my pay would be alot lower then I wouldn’t be eating at all so it is a catch 22 . With it people with alot less senority make more than me and without it I wouldn’t be able to live. I live in rural OK and everything is more exspensive because there is no competition. I could drive for 45 minutes and get cheaper groceries but gas is higher here than in the bigger cities so I would not be saving. When we were growing up no-one talked about money or savings or bills like they do now.We were kept in the dark about everything “children were meant to be seen not heard” I taught my kids that life is hard & you need a education to get anywhere. My youngest daughter is in her 7th yr of vet school she will graduate in 2012 with a Doctorate Degree (the government by the way does not give grants for higher education she will owe $130,000.00 for that degree, my oldest daughter is married he4r husband is in the Army they have 2 kids and they are struggling, my son is also in the Army and just got back from Iraq he saved the extra combat pay and is doing ok.You have to teach your children at home how to handle money get a savings or they do not know. I believe at my age I am a disposable worker also.

    • So many people only want to see part of the problem. As I have read through several of the responses posted here, I see a troubling lack of understanding of how the economy actually works. The people who are complaining about earning minimum wage are forgetting that minimum wage earners are a necessary part of the system. These are supposed to be young people who are paying their dues as they work through college or are moving toward individual career goals. Where things get skewed is when career wage earners are forced to take minimum wage jobs or when young people simply never progress from those jobs and end up remaining in minimum wage positions. This is preventable in several ways.

      1. Complete your education and seek continuing education.
      2. Be a performer on the job regardless of pay rate. This will get you the recognition it takes to cultivate opportunities for career growth.
      3. Challenge yourself and learn every aspect of the job.

      The message is that many people in this country have forgotten that they can do more to guide themselves to success. Today it seems like everyone is just waiting for a handout. Where is all this money supposed to come from? Most primary industry has left this country because companies cannot afford to manufacture it here. Textiles are gone; most electronics are made off shore and now our automotive industry makes only 60 percent of the vehicles driven in this country. This has all happened because the american worker continues to want something for nothing. Todays trend is that people are opting to collect unemployment rather than go to work when jobs are offered because they estimate that they can get more money from the government than the job would pay. Who will pay for that? The honest hardworking tax payer that is working a miinimum wage job will be forced to do it and this will further decrease spendable income. Anyone who believes that extending unemployment benifits can continue without tax increases is just fooling themselves. This country needs to go back to work.
      I am 50 years old and I have never drawn unemployment in my life. And you better believe that I worked my share of minimum wage jobs. The difference here is that I was raised to believe that charity begins at home. As long as I am able bodied and can work a job, that is what I will do. Minimum wage or otherwise. The other thing I have done through my life is to take every opportunity offered to continue my education. I rose to every challenge and always sought to accept new responsibilities. I always gave 110 percent to every endeavor and still do.
      For those of you who feel down trodden and want a way up, I suggest the same. You will never get anywhere in life spending your time trying to blame your situation on someone else. Get up early and apply second effort – that’s how the game is played. I started my first full time job at 15 and 4 miles to and from work every day. Who do you know that would even consider it today? Probably only people in my age group.
      So do I think that minimum wage should be increased? No! I think that the government should adopt a program that pays unemployment benifits to people who are returning to work. That’s right – returning to work. If you were down sized from a $14.00 phr job and return to work for $9.00 then the government should pay unemployment benifits to subsidize your return to work and provide the difference of $5.00 phr. This would reduce our debt load for unemployment benifits and allow employers to start manufacturing in this country again. It would also remove the excuse that so many are using to stay home and live on the tax payers dollar. Further, it would increase tax revenues and help to start pulling this country out of debt.

      • where does every bode shop……Walmart
        Where does Walmart buy most of it’s good?……China
        China is having an economic boom.
        And American wonder where the job are…..

        • To Marc…….. I couldn’t have said it better, thats why the people in this country have to grow a spine and start boycotting these places. Everybody complains how broke we are, keep supporting every one else, mostly all these countries that hate us! There are people out of work, homeless and starving right here.

          • I happen to be printing on phone covers that are going to korea, found out that they have to have a sticker on them that say made in korea or the goverment will not let these phones be sold in stores in korea ,also part of the phone cover has to be made in korea, the plastic covers are made in korea. Maybe we should take a lesson for them and make sure that it is a law that some part of a product that is sold in the United States is made in the United States. Oh and to the person who said work hard and your company will reward you with better wages and job security,BULL CRAP I have done that all my life I am 52 now ,every time we have had a slowdown at a job I was let go in order to keep the new workers that are on entry pay. Just goes to prove that any company given the chance will do what they can to get out of paying their workers a fair wage.

            • Rick,

              I feel for your situation, but the truth of that matter is, if you are in a job that an entry level position can perform as well as you, then you will be replaced. It is hard to shine in any form of manufacturing, if you are on the labor line. It sucks, but it is the role in life that you have have chosen to stick with. (assuming from your post, that this is what you do). Assemblies lines have made jobs so simple, that anyone can be trained to do them in a month, to the same proficiency as someone that has been doing it for a decade. If you do not like working in a disposable position, then make the change and work towards a position that is far less disposable. Be warned, those jobs are fewer, the competition is insane, and the work that you have to do outside of your job to stay on top of your game is immense.

            • Put a tarriff on any goods that enter our country, and if a company moved jobs off shore charge a tarriff of lost wages(labor cost + 10%) in order for those goods to come to market. Than use that money to rebuild America. Further educate our children we are now 18th in education among all industrial countries down from 1st in 1958. Medical services were 1st now 16th Go USA but not that way. India creates 1.000.000 engineers annually. Brazil has a doctor for every 4700 people we have one for every 7800.
              China can not create jobs fast enough for their growing educated population and to that oit, teach your children Cantonees or Mandrian and/or at least prepare for the coming GLOBAL war.
              Welcome to the third world country the greatest and largest debtor nation to ever to have been. And to you Tealabin people who say love America or leave it MY people watched you leeches get off your boats. You are all illegal immigrants.

            • Rick,

              Unfortunately companies have to let you go for entry level workers or their product would not be competitively priced. Thank all the government for taxing the company too much because they need to pay for food stamps of those who dont work as hard as you. (assuming you work hard)

        • Yes Marc……they used to spell it Mark….Walmart is the reason Americans don’t have jobs and can’t get ahead.

          However, if you learned how to write correctly and apply yourself you can achieve if you think you can. Example: every bode I think, is spelled everybody. It’s goods should not contain an apostrophe and the correct tense is “jobs”…..

          If you write like this a supervisor will never promote you because you will reflect the quality of the company. Apply yourself and make your life better, as well as America.

        • china pays it’s workers pennies an hour(compared to the us minimum) yet it prospers.Companys in the us go out of business because they can’t compete with china.My point is,maybe the us should take chinas lead

          • Dave,
            Japan, South Korea, Germany and Singapore are some of the most industrialised nations with some of the best products. The most popular cars and electronics in the US are made in Germany, Japan, Soht Korea and Singapore yet manufacturers in these countries do not pay their workers slave wages. These very industrialised countries have the highest standards of living for their workers, better affordable health insurance, lower higher education bills etc, yet they have not exported their manufacturring jobs to China. Americans we should to rethink the path we have taken. We are eating ourselves inside out due to greed. We have become a man eat man society and this has only led our economy to shrink to the level of third world countries.
            We can blame the government a million times for job loss but the problem with joblessness and the erosion of core values is simply due to uncontrooled GREED!

      • The fallacy of believing that one advances beyond minimum wage work by bettering oneself education, working hard etc. is told when you look at the wage structure of most companies. The fact of the matter is that for many of them fewer than 30% of all positions they have pay more than 150% of the minimum wage. So while it certainly is possible for some to get beyond that wage band, the lack of positions virtually guarantees that few will be actually to do that. This is true even with companies that pay high six and seven figures annually in the executive suite.

        • I have met a LOT of people who have furthered their education only to end up in min. wage jobs. and most companies are relying on temp agencies who usually only pay min. wage to provide most of their work force so they they dont have to shell out the cost of benifits. In times like these where people who have been well establisted and hard working in there job are now force to find whatever they can take as companys continute to lay off, they rely on this a wage standard to ensure that they can continue to provide food and shelter for their families. I think this arguent to abolish min. wage comes from people who have no idea how hard it is in the real world not everyone can afford to go to college not not eveyone has a cushy position. Maybe instead of trying to deny poeple on the bottom of their rightful wages to survive you should be focusing of getting rid of million dollar bonuses to big wigs who could be using that money to help thier companies get by.I truly believe the real problem is the people at the top not the pay for those at the bottom.

          • This new situation of most employers relying on temp agencies needs to go. My husband was a full time worker and was bumped down to 31 hours a week so his employer could get out of providing insurance and benefits. The company then hired temporary workers to cover the 9 hours my husband lost and the other employee who left because of the hours cut. We went from paying $450 a month for insurance to having to pay over $1200 if we want coverage. Considering that my husband had almost 1/4 of his hours cut, $1200 is not affordable. His net pay does not even equal $1200.

            • I hear you bleeding! I feel deeply for you and your family. I live in an area of the country where the only jobs a ged or high school grad can get are through temp agencies, unless you have a certification, degree or something. I am fortunate I have a degree. I can earn an income regardless whether I work for a company or freelance. I manage to keep insurance either way.

              It’s interesting to see that most of the companies that practice this are looking only to provide raises to executives at the expense of others. It is of further interest to know in the total scheme of things how small a percentage of the companies gross revenue this really is. They just want to dump an expense that they can’t control and actually cause by adding to the role of the uninsured. I am talking about corporations, not the mom and pop shops.

        • I think you just proved what is really wrong with America. People think they are too good to work minimum wage jobs. Everyone thinks they need to be managers and supervisors, and work in an office and drink their espressos and never work with their hands or get dirty.

          I have a college degree and I work for a landscaping company making $13/hr. I’m outside shoveling dirt in 90 degree weather and planting trees when the temperature is below freezing and the snow is flying. It’s dirty, it’s hard work, sometimes I come home aching and sore and I’m always exhausted. But you know what, I have a job. My husband makes only slightly more than I do, but we both have cars less than 10 years old that are paid off. We recently remodeled our 2100 sq ft house that has hardwood floors, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. We are planning a vacation to Cancun next year, and the only debt we have is our mortgage, that we are well on our way to paying off 5 years early.

          It’s all about the attitude you have toward work that determines success.

          • Erin I applaud your work ethic and intellect. I would suggest to you the following thoughts. Your company’s owners probably are not making millions but rather are making a decent living while offering you certain employment opportunities. I believe the discussion should be about “responsbile” employers.

            As a former CFO of a national franchisee group of 21 stores, I can provide some additional data. Sixty percent (60%) of the staff was under the age of 21 and to attract employees we were continuously above the minimum wage so raising the minimum wage merely allowed high school and college students to earn more (most of them lived with their parents). Albeit used for their educations which I heartedly applaud.

            One issue at hand, certain companies, my former one included, have their business models based upon “cycling” out employees once they reach a certain pay rate. For small businesses (companies and their owners with net earnings below $ 250,000), that probably is reality and important for them to grow, not to mention only one in 50 employees reached “management” status and better pay.

            Unfortunately, all taxpayers, regardless of income level, is subsidizing those employees of companies that earn significantly more (including my former company) through earned income credit, through housing assistance, through school lunch programs, and other “welfare”.

            The solution, unfortunately our legislation didn’t see fit to correlate “responsible” employment, is to force “responsible” employment on those companies (whether corporate or individual) earning over (and pick your number as mine starts at $ 250,000) a baseline and offer them a choice, either pay better or pay the extra tax.

            Provide a tax cut to those employers paying the bottom 1/2 of employees 2 times minimum wage (that still is only $ 14.50, hardly a luxurious living wage in this day and age). That way, if the employers “choose” to not increase the standard wage, those “wealthier” companies are “reimbursing” “us” for having to subsidize their workers.

            So, the solution to this minimum wage AND the unemployment rate is to encourage “responsible” employment on to those companies not choosing to do so or pay additional consequences.

      • You are absolutely right. As an employer in Oregon, we have one of the highest minimum wages in the U.S. Does that help? Not that I have seen. I have owned my own business for 32 years, starting at less than minimum wage myself and was happy for the job. Minimum wage is just that. It was never meant to support a family of 4. It was meant as a starting point for young or first time workers or for those ambitious enough to have a second job. I used to be able to employ several college and high school students during the summer and on nights and weekends on a part-time basis. It was a win-win for both. The students could make some extra money and I could have more employees to fill in during seasonal or busy seasons. The employees that had more skills, or learned new aspects of the business were given raises or extra hours. That’s how minimum wage is supposed to work.

        Now it is nearly impossible in my area for young workers to get any kind of job, minimum wage or not, because the unemployment rate is so high there are more skilled workers applying for those minimum wage jobs. As an employer who am I likely to hire? A 17 year old student with no job experience that I have to spend lots of time training, or someone older, with experience and more incentive to show up for work?

        Raising the minimum wage is not the answer. Educating yourself in your chosen field so you can make more money is the right answer. If you want more money, work harder or learn everything you can about the job you want so that you are a more valuable employee. Then you will see more money.

        • Maybe a generation ago workers were rewarded for hard work and learning everything about their job, but that’s not always the case anymore. I worked in a minimum wage position for 7 years and only managed to earn $2 more an hour over minimum wage. I did as some suggested. I learned everything about my job and the jobs of those around me. I filled in for my direct supervisor when he was on vacation. I applied for higher positions that I was clearly qualified for. The problem? I was great at the low-level position that I was at so I was passed over for promotions. Who else were they going to find that would enjoy and work hard in my position and who could fill in for my direct supervisor for barely over minimum wage? I was punished for doing a good job.

          • Angie,
            Or maybe there was no position for you to advance to. Each time you apply for a job you are competing for that position and you can’t blame a company for choosing the best one.

            If what you say is true…then keep your current job while looking for another one with a better environment. Careful though…that new company only has a certain number of higher positions, too.

          • No you were punished because you didn’t have the balls to demand a promotion or threaten to quit. Only the timid get passed over for promotions. Because they say oh its ok I didn’t want that position anyway.

        • It’s amazing how many people who present themselves as successful seem to be incapable of hearing themselves. You contradict yourself in your post. Oh, if only people would learn and become educated and skilled, then they wouldn’t have to work at minimum wage jobs which, of course, are intended for the young, you say. So, if education and skill level guarantee a better-than-minimum-wage job, why are you paying the skilled people who work for you only minimum wage?

          • Annie, I sense frustration in the tone and share your sentiment. I believe the issues at hand are “responsible” employers, business models and taxes.

            As a former CFO of a national franchisee group of 21 stores, I can provide some additional data. Sixty percent (60%) of the staff was under the age of 21 and to attract employees we were continuously above the minimum wage so raising the minimum wage merely allowed high school and college students to earn more (most of them lived with their parents). Albeit used for their educations which I heartedly applaud.

            One issue at hand, certain companies, my former one included, have their business models based upon “cycling” out employees once they reach a certain pay rate. For small businesses (companies and their owners with net earnings below $ 250,000), that probably is reality and important for them to grow, not to mention only one in 50 employees reached “management” status and better pay.

            Unfortunately, all taxpayers, regardless of income level, is subsidizing those employees of companies that earn significantly more (including my former company) through earned income credit, through housing assistance, through school lunch programs, and other “welfare”.

            The solution, unfortunately our legislation didn’t see fit to correlate “responsible” employment, is to force “responsible” employment on those companies (whether corporate or individual) earning over (and pick your number as mine starts at $ 250,000) a baseline and offer them a choice, either pay better or pay the extra tax.

            Provide a tax cut to those employers paying the bottom 1/2 of employees 2 times minimum wage (that still is only $ 14.50, hardly a luxurious living wage in this day and age). That way, if the employers “choose” to not increase the standard wage, those “wealthier” companies are “reimbursing” “us” for having to subsidize their workers.

            So, the solution to this minimum wage AND the unemployment rate is to encourage “responsible” employment on to those wealthier companies not choosing to do so or pay additional consequences.

        • That is not always the case I work for the City I live in in the inspector and Mayors office I have read all of the code books on my own I taught myself how to write grants (I am the only worker that knows how to do this) I went to workshops and the other departments are always sending people to me or phone calls to my office to answer questions they do not know I also help those departments in finding their equipment at a cheaper price and getting our streets paved not to mention just everyday office skills.I started on this job 15 yrs. ago and worked as a volunteer then contract labor and worked my way into a full time position. My job did not exist before I came along it was created for me because I was willing to go above and beyond anyone else. I was the first woman to work in a mans department and it made alot of other women mad. Still my pay is barely over minimum wage and just this year I got our town over $56,000.00 in grant money for street paving and bullit proof vest for our police deapartment last year I got the town a $75,000 grant and a extra $20,000 in donation money to get all new playground euipment that was state of the art and ADA compliant, one of the pieces is a original no-one else in the state has it. I designed the playground and chose the equipment.I had a State Senator at the ribbon cutting I took the plans before our coucil and the recognition I got was my picture in the paper (our 2 page local paper)with a group of 15 others cutting the ribbon.I do all the work and my boss takes half or more of the credit.I didn’t start out doing this for money I had another job. I love the work and mon-fri with wkends off something I had never had before but I am older now and I need a higher income. I net about $11,000.00 a year because they count our benefits as income and I pay alot of taxes and usually owe state. My point is hard work and learning EVERYTHING you can does not always work.

      • I agree with Michael. I worked any job I could get, from stacking cans in a supermarket to putting tires on wheels. At 52 I was laid off from a management position…in a field which was relatively secure. A new pres. came in and eliminated much of middle management as a budget cutting maneuver. I never sought unemployment. After feeling sorry for myself for about a week, I sent out a hundred resumes, talked with some friends, went to an employment training center for newly unemployed, went sailing after class with a friend, and started lining up people to work for me as I crafted a technology consulting firm…and sent out another hundred resumes. Never got it off the ground as I landed another job within a month. Although it paid less than my previous job, it I was a relatively short-term problem. I had the skills someone else needed because I had finished my education (undergraduate and graduate) and I worked at a variety of jobs for the same “company” for 25 years. I also worked hard, willing to take on anything management asked of me. Not knowing something about a task never stopped me…I learned; talked to and included people who did know “the business” and potential solutions; came up with a plan (plans are good!). When asked to take over a unit for which I was not prepared, I went to school nights, had my employees show me the ropes and worked 15 hours a week for a period of time at the tasks so I could understand the nature of the work. Oh, and my employees respected that the “boss” was doing hands-on work and listened to their training and issues. I incorporated strategies for revising work processes and eliminated “split-shifts” that was impacting employee’s lives along with other issues that were being brought to my attention. Talk about team building. That was probably the most valuable experience that I took with me throughout my career in management to a number of positions; truly listen, be involved, understand the “company” and work toward positive change…don’t become part of the problem.
        From my perspective, this is what makes a valuable employee. Someone with a “can do” attitude; professional appearance regardless of the job; someone when asked to establish four goals for their unit, gives you six and achieves those goals; someone who works hard when they are at work, not working to the lowest common denominator. Someone who strives to be the best they can be…gads, sounds like an Army commercial.

      • Fix the problem? This starts in washington D.C. These are entitlement programs
        that were created to assist the needs of the lower end working class Americans. Not only mininum wage but social security, medicare/medicade,WIC ect….The Problem is simple however the fix is not. Problem #1 our legislative branch of goverment is BROKE. These represinitives are giving them selves raises every year are so to keep up with the cost of living. If this was done for the working class as it was done for the congress and the senete the mininum wage would probibly be around twenty to twenty three dollars per hour. But thats not the solution, the solution is STOP SPENDING MONEY WE DONT HAVE! Quit giving aid to nations that continue to be problematic to the world.
        Quit trying to police the world, let the United Nations handle it. Get the hell out of the middle east and as you know we should have never gone to war a second time in Iraq or afganistan.Quit bying in to the political B.S on oil and the nations {Opec} that control it. We have the technology to move away from the dependency on oil,so do it. Out law Lobbyist in Washington,get rid of ear marks.restructure the campaign funding so the working class now have a opertunity to run for office and we the people have our peers represinting the working class in washington not some egocentric lawyers who has no idea what its like to go hungry or have to walk to work becouse they cant even afford a bus ticket!!!!!!! Mark my words! If the people we have elected{even though some of the elections over the years were rigged thanks to the Diebold Corp.} don’t pull their HEADS OUT OF THEIR #*@#* that includes both Republicans and Democrates there will be no United States of America in twenty years. You don’t have to have a Phd in history or ecomonics to figure this out.

      • I agree with Michael, all the way near the top. We’ve got to get back to work. So many people feel they’re entitled to things they’ve not worked for. You’ve got to pay your dues. Overcoming the obstacles, rising to the challenge of life, and the zeal with which you do it…these are the things that make you a strong person, and made us a sttrong country. It was the can do attitude. I’m 29 years old and belong to the same generation I’m bitching about but, it’s true! ANd the idea to pay people to go back to work by making up the difference between their old wage and new wage…that’s brilliant, actually. Which is probably why it will never happen.

      • Your article sreams CORPORATE WELFARE! Just in case you don’t understand it, which I doubt, the majority of people who make minimum wage can’t afford health insurance even if the company offers it, so when they get sick they go to a clinic which the cost is deferred to the taxpayers or the government, they are eligilbe for food stamps, section 8 housing. So we the taxpayers are taking up the slack for the employer, that’s corporate welfare and it’s practiced freely in this country. Let me give you an example and you can check it out if you want. Sam’s Club and Cosco are comparable employers. We all know about Sam’s pay scale, but little is know about Cosco’s pay policies. On the average those workers make $16 to $18 per hour. They have a wonderful insurance plan (in fact so good Wall Street made fun of them for providing it to their employees) obviously they have very little turn over and the difference in the profit loss statement is the employees at the top are paid a little less than the greedy blood sucking corporate welfare using Walmart executives. All working adults should be paid a living wage, I should not be forced to subsidize your minimum wage paying employer.

        • Your on the right track, now take it one step further. cut out for profit health care. Look at what the Australia is doing whith their health care. It works great.
          Now if the Employer doesnt have to worry about paying premiums for the few employees that can afford to get their health care through their work the company saves thousnads of dollars. Now if the employer does the right thing they will split the money saved with the employees their wage goes up. to bad it will never happen. The health of our citizens should should NOT be for profit, unfortunately the lobbyist for the insurance companys have bought the politicians in Washington and even though the program can be payed through taxes it will never happen either.

        • Carol,
          In case you haven’t thought of it, could corporate welfare really mean that our corporations are on welfare? I mean, with 800 billion dollars worth of bank bailouts and bailouts for car companies? Damn thats a lot that could have been done for the people. Instead is it the Government of the corporation, for the corportation, by the corporation? We need to replace corporation with people. Lobbists don’t lobby for people, they’re for corporations and SIG’s. Thats where they’re money is.

      • I think you’re ill informed, unemployment is something you and your employer pay into. In other words, part of the money taken from your check goes into paying for your own personal unemployment insurance. The state keeps whatever is left over if you decide to begin drawing and don’t finish. Now who’s looking for a hand out?

        I should also probably mention that when you find jobs that used to avg 32k a year, require a bs degree and see that now they want the same pre-req’s for 9 dollars an hour there is a flaw in the system. I guess that’s part of being from the ‘Younger’ generation. What you see as being for lack of a better word, lazy, we see as being more savvy at understanding what’s really going on. That’s part of being from a generation that knows we’re paying oodles of money into a nationwide retirement plan we’ll never see a dime from and working for companies that no longer wish to pay out for benifits after retirement.

        Give us a reason to want to work for you, getting what you pay for is a 2 way street.

        • You are ill-informed. It is against the law to withold unemployment insurance from an employees check. The employer directly pays all unemployment costs and as a consumer, you pay them indirectly in the form of higher costs for services. I challenge you to find a pay stub that shows witholding for unemployment. Take a look at the poster in the breqkroom where you work (if you do) and read what it says about unemployment and what number to call if unemployment is being withheld from your check. Employers pay 100% of state and federal unemployment. The more claims an employer has, the higher rate they pay for that year. It is unemployment ‘insurance’ and rates are charged based on experience just like any other insurance.

          • Well said Jerry,
            I think Ralph should start a company of his own and run it for the employees. He can become a shining example!!!

            • I find your comments full of intrique but perhaps slightly skewed from reality. Consider the following comments.

              The issues at hand are “responsible” employers, business models and taxes.

              As a former CFO of a national franchisee group of 21 stores, I can provide some additional data. Sixty percent (60%) of the staff was under the age of 21 and to attract employees we were continuously above the minimum wage so raising the minimum wage merely allowed high school and college students to earn more (most of them lived with their parents). Albeit used for their educations which I heartedly applaud.

              One issue at hand, certain companies, my former one included, have their business models based upon “cycling” out employees once they reach a certain pay rate. For small businesses (companies and their owners with net earnings below $ 250,000), that probably is reality and important for them to grow, not to mention only one in 50 employees reached “management” status and better pay.

              Unfortunately, all taxpayers, regardless of income level, are subsidizing those employees of companies that earn significantly more (including my former company) through earned income credit, through housing assistance, through school lunch programs, and other “welfare”.

              The solution, unfortunately our legislation didn’t see fit to correlate “responsible” employment, is to force “responsible” employment on those companies (whether corporate or individual) earning over (and pick your number as mine starts at $ 250,000) a baseline and offer them a choice, either pay better or pay the extra tax.

              Provide a tax cut to those employers paying the bottom 1/2 of employees 2 times minimum wage (that still is only $ 14.50, hardly a luxurious living wage in this day and age). That way, if the employers “choose” to not increase the standard wage, those “wealthier” companies are “reimbursing” “us” for having to subsidize their workers.

              So, the solution to this minimum wage AND the unemployment rate is to encourage “responsible” employment on to those wealthier companies not choosing to do so or pay additional consequences.

              • JayCFO,
                If this is your resume then do yourself a favor. Quit reposting the same stuff over and over again. We get your point. I hope no one ever figures out who you are or you will never work as CFO again. WHISTLEBLOWER! Are you trying for a job at Wikileaks, or for Jesse Ventura? For the record it does make sense to a point.

          • Perhaps it depends on the state, but in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey there is an unemployment tax on BOTH employer and employee.

          • Oh for the love of Christ, any employer can tell you that if it wasn’t for unemployment insurance social security(that the one that both employee and employer contribute to) and medical insurance, employers can pay their employees more. Reality check! Temp agancies don’t pay these, but they only pay minimum wage. So employers really do hold benefits expenses from their employees salaries. Glad we got that straight.

      • Thanks Michael for your reasoned answer. I am 60 and have worked all my life also. I have raised 8 children which hasn’t been easy financially but has been and is still such a joy! To add to your list-education, what is taught in the schools is lacking in soooo many essentials now. Its more important to teach politically correct garbage then to teach youngster how to think! Another and bigger problem is that we have tried(allowed others) to push God out of our lives and society. Some may not see the connection with everyday life! But if you look at the decline in all levels of character and the increase of lying, cheating and dishonesty and then look at when we started pushing God out one will see a clear correlation. Just on the abortion issue, from Roe vs Wade look at the decline. Its astounding! The Bible says that the spilling of blood defiles the land. Weather one believes the word of God or not we see the results. What you have said as well as other pieces of the puzzle give us a picture of decline, not improvement. One question people should ask themselves is am I more free or am I less free. (And freedom doesn’t mean liscence for anything, it means ability to strive for life liberty and happiness in the way one chooses to go and with responsibility to others on the way)

        • Maybe the moral decay and lack of ethics as well as lack of religon (other than worship of the almighty dollar and the power that that brings) is what allows corporate America to ride on the backs of the poor and impoverished that “they” create.

      • People want to see only part of the problem? Yes, I would agree, but not because they are talking about their personal situation and the affect our country’s financial mess has driven down upon us all. You fail to see the big picture as well. You say at the end that people in this country just needs to get back to work. That is great…but where do you expect all these people to work? Is there a wealth of jobs where you live? I am 54, I was raised with the good family values and good work ethics. I too am currently employed at a decent company (and thankful every day). I’ve worked since I was 15 years old. I have always been willing to work at minimum wage if that was all I could get at the time. But let’s talk about work ethic. Our society does not value that anymore. Workers don’t care about morals or ethics. Most companies don’t care about it either. Be willing to give 110% and nobody cares. There is no American Dream anymore. Why? I hate to rant about the government, but there is the problem. They developed welfare and unemployment. Both good ideas, but administered badly! They developed NAFTA and have, over the last 30+ years moved our jobs to other countries! They developed social security and then stole the money from it! You are right about education being key. But then how is college to be paid for by anyone making less than 6 figures a year in America. Apparently education is not important to our society or our government. If it were, college would be a public school. It would be mostly free and available to all. Other countries realize education is key to success. What’s wrong with America? We have been slowly blinded over the past 70 years, that’s what. Our government has been creating problems and marching in to save the day every time! They got “the people” on board every time they did this. The American dream of work hard and it will pay off in the future. That was true for long enough so that people believed it, as with most of the lies. While we were all working hard and too busy to pay attention, they started changing the rules. Now, there are small companies out of business by the hundreds every day. Corporations are doing a major portion of their business outside of the U.S. There is barely a union to protect workers anymore. So I ask where are the downtrodden, homeless, uneducated, or unemployed supposed to go? What are we to do? We, as a society of human beings need to care about one another to fix this, rather then gripe about tax dollars spent on the unemployed. Or the many comments about just go get a job. I assume those comments come from those that have no friends or family that is in a bad way and that is truly amazing. I know many good people that are in some pretty desperate times. We should open our eyes and hearts and start helping each other.

        • I think what you are saying is heart felt and hits the nail on the head. This is exactly where were at. I might guess that maybe we should go to where our jobs went. I’ve heard that one before about the effort to create a world economy where no one is in poverty. Problem is, I don’t want to move to China, Tunisia, VietNam, PooTang, Mexico, or another country and make the less and a dollar a day that they pay those people. I don’t want to live in a grass hut and drink from the same river my neighbor craps in. They all told us that this would allow them to make things cheaper and pass the savings on to the American Public. Not ever in one instance has the price of a single item gone down because a company used foreign labor to produce it. And as for companies coming here from over seas? With the exception of car companies that hasn’t happened.

          But lets examine that a moment? US car manufacturers have paid employees $75.00 – $100 and hour for the same jobs that the Toyotas and Hondas in America pay $15.00 to $30.00 an hour for. But a comparable car or SUV costs the same? Where is that money going? We knew where it went when it was the American car companies. Look at the difference people. Lots of foreign cars being sold and American workers are getting paid less, so there has to be this loud sucking sound of the American dollar going to Asia. Much in the same way that China financed the bank bailout. And yes, we are paying interest on the loan. Help didn’t come free.

      • It may be true that unions added to the problems to manufacturing plants moving over seas, but without someone, something fighting for fairness for the worker we would still have workers abused by business’s trying to maximize profits on the backs of their employees. If employees do not complain, or fight for fairness then there is no incentive for business to pay them appropriately-fairly for the work they do. Shared profits would do more for any business than current plans and does allow for the employee an avenue to grow with the business. Personally, I think the stockmarket has done more to cause the collapse of manufacturing in America than the unions. Nearly everyone seems intent on getting instant wealth, rather than building business slowly and sharing the wealth with those whom actually cause the success of each business.

        • Without unions there would be no middle class. Instead of blaming them why not blame the CEO who makes 400x what the average worker on the floor makes instead of the average union worker making $25 an hour?

      • I do completely share your position on minimum wages.
        As a french living in the SouthWest I’m witnessing the slow agony of a one great nation. Socialism is destroying and wasting what hard working former generations had produced. More and more french workers are joining the great army of minimum wage earners, the gouvernment is always raising the mandatory minimum wage adding a greater percentage of MWE to the workforce of France.
        Thank you Michael

      • Michael,
        Businesses are required to pay into the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The money provided by unemployment checks does not come simply from government handouts.
        Some businesses. like construction, are dependent into not only the economy, but weather conditions, the availablity of contracted materials arriving when scheduled, and other factors beyond the control of the company or the individual worker.

        • Here’s the funny part about the “Weather” argument. In most states, if the employee works one day that week, he gets no benefit paid to him. Most employers will work the employee part of one day if necessary to keep from paying the Employment Security Commission more Unemployment Insurance Premiums.


      • I’m 51. Started working when I was 14. Joined the military at 17. Retired from Navy at 38. Have worked full time since then and live a very good life. Hard work pays, complaining doesn’t.

        I love your concept of unemployment. Pay the difference for a period of time, but not indefinetely.

      • Michael

        Congratulations on your success. How-ever, not everyone, in spite of their best efforts have managed to get as far as you. My wife used to work in the IT industry – IT graduate, worked hard, etc, etc. Then illness, and about a year to recover. She could not land a job in the IT industry after that as a lot of the IT jobs went to India. She has not been able to find work in the IT industry and has been temping at about $11 per hour for the last 6 years.

        I am in the IT industry, 2 degrees, and in real terms (inflation, etc), earn less than I did in 2001. We still live a very comfortable life, but have had to down-size.

        The problem I have with your argument is that there is no humanity in it. All of us do not have the same God given talents, like intelligence, aptitude, etc. We need to think of others, and the very fabric of OUR society. Would you be so sanctimonious with an Iraq vet living in the streets because of PTSD? Note, he gave America one of his greatest God given gifts, his mind. How about the guy with an IQ of 90 who does not have a snow-ball’s chance in hell of getting a college degree? What about the 17% of our work-force that are unemployed due to the current economic down-turn, and there are no jobs for them? What about our college grads, saddled with debt and can not find a job. This is the reality!!!

        In principal, I do not agree with the minimum wage. One of the founding tenets of this nation is ‘An honest day’s pay for a honest day’s work’. How-ever, in corporatist America, this is no longer true. There-for, we need laws to ensure that OUR people are not exploited. There is no respect for the average worker, we are just resources.

        BTW, I am an independent conservative

        • As for college grads saddled with debt. Student loans backed by our government cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. The grads can, however, be arrested and brought into court, and then suffering whatever consequences arise from that, including prison time, if they don’t repay them as agreed. Read the contract on federal backed student loans. How’s that for a travesty??

          Im not talking about the Doctor who goes to med school and files bankruptcy right after he is through. I’m talking about the grads with families that have paid on them for several years. Have married. Have not been able to gain employment for over a year. Have had catastrophies within their families. And the courts won’t work with them.

      • Michael,
        While I commend you on the fact that, at 50, you have not had to face unemployment and have continued your education, let me state this: I am also in your age group, and had not received unemployment until this year. I was part of the large group of Americans who were “downsized” and forced to choose between unemployment and no money. I have returned to school, and still look for work. Even with having an Associates Degree (which employers now consider no more than a high school diploma) I find that I need to learn more in order to be compatible with others, younger than myself, who have a better chance to get a position with opportunities for growth. Now, working on my Masters Degree, I find that the only thing I can do is continue to try, and be thankful that we have a government who has given us options such as unemployment (which we all pay for, and is there when we need it) so that we can survive until we can get back on our feet.

      • Minimum wage is for entry level workers, but many employers use it (or a wage slightly higher than minimum) so they can keep more money in their pockets. I think there are some employers who are trying to do well by their employees–if you respect those who work for you and pay them a fair wage, the good workers will work their butts off for you. However, I think those employers are the exceptions and not the rule.
        I have nearly $50,000 in student loans, but I also have 2 degrees, several years of specialized experience (jobs that I worked VERY hard in–e.g. 100 hour work weeks while only getting paid for 40 hours and no health insurance or benefits of any kind), but I am currently making 1/5 of what my boss in a very small company (4 employees total) makes–I have a strict budget but am still living paycheck-to-paycheck and am one car repair or doctor’s visit away from going into credit card debt. My boss said he gave me a “generous” raise, but I was supposed to be working at a “low introductory wage” for the first 6 months of my job–after which, if I was doing a good job, there would be a decent raise. He said I was doing a very good job and coming up to speed on my duties, but my “low introductory wage” increased by $1/hour, still no insurance eligibility (which at a $4500/year deductible and over $200/month premium, I can’t afford anyway) and he said it is “very generous”.
        I make more than minimum wage and am barely surviving (keep in mind that I live in a small 1-bedroom apartment, have a 17-year old car that I bought (my first car) used when it was 9-years old and do not have cable or a stellar wardrobe or anything like that; I haven’t taken a vacation trip in 10 years–so don’t tell me I am frivilous or greedy). All this and I am making a little more than 2x the federal minimum wage and 2x our state’s minimum wage. I don’t even want to imagine having to live on minimum wage–I’d be homeless or deeply in credit card debt.
        So those who say businesses can’t afford to pay workers a higher wage are wrong. They’re the greedy ones. And you shouldn’t have to go to work early and leave late and kill yourself just to pay your bills and have health insurance. If you do your work and do it well, you should be given a fair, living wage that increases accordingly with experience and cost-of-living. That is absolutely not the status quo in our country right now and it is reprehensible.
        For those saying that minimum wage jobs are supposed to temporary, take a look around–unemployment is close to 10% and higher amongst minorities. An IHOP that is supposed to be opening just outside of Washington D.C. had over 500 applications for 120 jobs. A lot of the applicants have Associates and Bachelor degrees. Most of the applicants have work experience. Many were laid off and have been looking for work for months or even years–they will take any legitimate work they can get. Some of you are saying that people like that deserve what they get, and they should have worked harder, planned better, had more “good people” around them that they impressed.
        Goodness forbid you ever end up financially destitute if your “nest egg” and job are lost due to sickness or lay-offs. You will learn very quickly that most of those “good people” if they are like yourself, will tell you you should be working harder and should have saved more. They will turn their backs on you and you will be left to fend for yourself or drown.
        The minimum wage is an unfortunate necessity with current business practices. It is too low, having not kept pace with increasing cost-of-living.

      • With all my previous griping I have to agree with you! My husband came here from a third world country w/a high school education & a green card. He waited patiently & worked hard, applied for citizenship, saved his money & now we own a home, two cars & can pay all our bills w/a little juggling every now & then for the unexpected. When he lost one job years ago, he brooded for about one day, refreshed his resume, left home & literally did not come back w/out a job. When I was pregnant w/our first child, he was still in another country, & no one would hire me since I was pregnant. My family did not have the means to pay my medical bills so I used public aid for them. Yes I should have planned better but since I didn’t I’m glad it was there for me. That’s what it’s for, a TEMPORARY helping hand. My husband often says that a lot of Americans just don’t know how good they have it. Try living somewhere with no public assistance for ANY reason, no public schools w/out direct pymt of tuition, minimal street cleaning, maintenance of public works, and certainly no unreserved “right” to medical care.
        As soon as my child was six months old I went to work because it was no one’s fault that I had a child to support, it was my choice & I had the education & means to get hired. It’s a HARD fact that all actions have consequences & being adult means accepting the results of your choices. We look down on cultures that arrange marriages from an early age but we should instead be taking the good from those systems, some of which our own Western European derived culture used to have, & leave what we don’t want behind. In an arranged marriage system SOMEBODY is thinking of future financial support for ageing parents, children & the household. An ability to provide the necessities of life is evaluated. The benefit to the extended family & community as a whole is more often than not an important consideration.

        We don’t want anyone to educate our children about sexuality, don’t make financial education mandatory at the grade & high school levels, teach our children almost nothing about economics & politics, follow the latest “talking head” w/the cleverest comebacks & nicest looking suit & makeup on tv instead of learning true history & keeping up on current events, & then wonder why so many of us make stupid financial choices, vote for the candidate w/the most money, best looks & emotional appeal, don’t plan for the future but just let it “happen”, snipe at each other while we settle back in our individual seats of self-righteous indignation & smug superiority, call ourselves Christians & rant about how much better we are because we’re “true” Americans. And we wonder why the standard of living continues to fall here, our economy is in the toilet, & our international influence wanes steadily. Really??!!?

      • Michael, Unemployment benefits are paid by an Insurance Plan from your employer. The benefits are administered by each state. Personally I think it is too easy for companies to get rid of workers in this country and outsource it to other countries. My belief is that it should be extremely costly to the corporation getting rid of employees in the United States. I am thinking of Germany where they make it very costly for a company to get rid of a person. It would make it more likely that companies in the United States would user the work force here instead of opting for cheap over seas labor. I see far too many excellent employees get laid off by big corporations because they can hire 5 even 10 workers over seas to do a particular job, or series of jobs.

    • The CEO’s wages goes up nobody cares….. But wait it goes up by 1000,s of dollars not just a few cents. They move the job to china the cost goes down, they still sell for the same price the CEO gets a rise.

    • Minimum wage has no effect on prices we pay. Fast food restaurants, conveinence stores, grocery stores, department stores, farmers,etc. The only thing abolishing it would do is increase the gap of the rich and the people who are struggling to feed their families. Many of the minimum wage workers are women who need to raise their children with the money , which is below poverty wage if they work a 40 hour week. I ran a small business for 18 years and would be ashamed to not give them a wage they could survive on.

      • Saying that minimum wage has no effect on the economy is just plain wrong. The majority of manufacturing jobs in the US are minimum wage. When minimum wage goes up the cost of the product manufactured goes up. I have dealt with this for over 55 years. Poliicians use the minimum wage as a tool to make people thtnk they actually care about them. When it goes up, back home they feel good. In just a few weeks the new prices are applied and the people are in the same shape income wise as before.

        Life’s a bich.

      • Minimum wage or not, most wages have been pushed so low that few can make enough to live on. Despite the constant talk that businesses can’t not stay afloat, top management are making record bonuses. The current move that cut jobs was not needed. Cutting jobs to reduce wages was the drive starting in 2001, after businesses thought the full employment of the 90′s brought wages to high.

      • Lets face it slave era has not gone away just changed. the min wage should be called the living wage, a wage that one can live on. Education comes with no promises but cost of it is out of reach for alot of peeps. so lets say there are 10 mill people out of work and they all get grants to learn to be doctors they get through school and have degrees, now I ask, how many are going to get there jobs that they trained for and will the wage of a doctor go up or down. seems to me based on supply and demand most will have to settle for less then they trained for, won’t be hired for a lesser job because they now are over qualified, and everyones pay will go down because doctors are so plentifull. Min wage is just slavery no matter how you look at it. in my state it is 7.25 hr. and I dare anyone to tell me that at age 53 one can live off of this. Im tired of hearing how you can better yourself, because if you try your job will just end up overseas ore your employer will get rid of you for someone willing to take less money and that are those in this country illegaly.

    • There are too many employers taking advantage of the current economic conditions; who discharge or downsize long-time, adequately paid employees only to re-hire people later into those same capacities, but at far lower wages. Case-in-point: In 2008 Cardinal Health layed off or relocated hundreds of employees when they moved one facet of their operation to California. The employees who chose to relocate did so at their own expense. Months later, the California operation was shut down, leaving those employees stranded there without employment. Go to today, that division of Cardinal Health, or one very similar to it, is now up and running again in Dublin, Ohio, with workers hired at wages far below the wages that were being paid the previous employees.

      Try being in your late 50′s with health issues, unable to find a decent job above $10/hr, with no health insurance and struggling to keep a roof over your head. If anything, the minimum wage should be raised to at least $15/hr. This is still not a “living wage”, but would at least give some relief to those trying to survive.

      • Here’s a funny for ya. I have former employer who did that and he hired 3 bachelor degreed employees to replace me at what he was paying me back when I had an associates degree. It looked like a good deal to them. They quit because they could not do the job to their satisfaction and found other jobs that paid better. They have never found a single employee to replace me and have continuosly rotated through 3 individual who could not do the job and either quit or got fired for that reason. They have had to progressively pay each candidate more and are now paying close to the same for the job as what I was paid. They advertise the job on Monster. SOOOO Funny!!

    • i make 8.90 hour i can not aford to live in an appartment i rent a room from a familey member. you should look at some of these company that are making money like walmart they just spent billions of dollars remodoling there stores
      and they are going to cut hours after christmas.

    • The minimum wage increases have never gone up before the cost of living increased. They usually lag ten years or more behind. That’s the reason for the enormous profits corporations have, as well as the huge bonuses and salaries paid to their CEOs.

      • Minimum wages imposed by the government is one more slippery slope on the way to socialism as well as an overall weakening of our society, not much more to say than that.

        • Bill,

          If the minimum wage was abolished and your employer decided to cut your wages to less than where minimum wage is now set, could you live on that new amount? Let’s be real honest here – American jobs are not being priced out of the market by American workers, they are being priced out of the market by corporate big wigs that demand huge salaries and bonuses. And it is those salaies nd bonuses that keep the prices of goods and services rising, not the paltry amount that minimum wage workers earn.

        • Bill, so you are against the fire department, police department, clean water to drink, public education, (Americans are dumb enough already GO TEALABAN) clean air, safe foods well sort of (Rip off Ron Reagan cut food inspectors by 95% during his tenure)paved streets to drive on, sewers to remove human waste all socialist ideas for the benifit of society, GO Chaos is that what you mean BULL I mean Bill sorry.

    • what a absolute piles of road apples. Hubert Hoover economics. How about we go back to Regan’s “trickle down theory” while we are at it. Just goes to show how clueless a ” science” economics still is.

    • I disagree with the minimum wage all together. No one stops to think that these workers tend to to buy food, clothes. gas and all there needs from places that employee minimum wage workers. When the employer has to increase wages, he also increases his price. Therefore the people who got the raise also pays the raise. The increase in price of goods reflects as higher sales therefore more taxes. So the the minimum wage worker gets a raise he has to pay for and government gets more taxes. How about a system where I as an employer can pay a person for what he or she is worth. I have several employees that could be making more money but I have a minimum of what I have to pay so the slacker gets the reward.

      • What about all the time your company raised the price of its goods that minimum wage didn’t get increased. Dont blame it on medical insurance because you would be lying to imply that your employees have it. Besides, you can go to HELL for lying. Jerk!

    • Minimum wage is one of the few social safety nets (threadbare as it is) in the states that have it. There should be a federally mandated (adjusted by area) minimum. For indiuvivuals who make this paltry sum or anyone who wants there should other social safety nets sadly this country does not have the compassion or courage to adopt some form of universal health care.

    • Our biggest issue with employment right now is the backward process expectation. What I mean by this is a removal of the old American way of letting people work. Traditionally in America, one would receive a minimum wage job position at least, work hard each day, get a paycheck, and distribute that paycheck towards monthly expenses (and) towards ones bills and debt. It takes a paycheck to pay down your personal debt and monthly mortgage which is your responsibility. In recent years, lawmakers came up with the backward idea that you have to have nearly perfect credit before receiving a descent job position. These lawmakers are claiming that good credit numbers verify good character. They forgot that if you don’t have a descent job, you cannot pay down your credit due. Without a job you starve, your family goes homeless, and you definitely cannot pay down your debt. It first takes a paycheck. That is how America use to always work. In today’s economy, American lawmakers are purposely choking their own people. We now look forward to all of the no’s in employment even if we do get a job. No paid vacation, no health insurance, and no benefits. How economically smart are we really if we strangle our own people? Today we welcome, for example, the Russian and Chinese community in to work along side us. This is wonderful. But many American employers would rather hire these people with no credit histories and deny Americans the basic opportunity to work because we do have credit debt. Americans are now being forced to stand by and watch these very people, and others successfully survive in our country, buy in the marketplace, and own homes while we go homeless. But would their countries prefer us in the same way? Can Americans go work positions in China and Russia for Chinese and Russian companies where their own people are held back based on their credit histories? If we were to go to war with these countries, would we be preferred like this to the detriment to their own people? No way. So then, why are American lawmakers purposely holding the American people back to a standard that they cannot meet themselves? Isn’t our country in debt right now? If the world said that America could no longer trade with any other country until our debt was completely paid off, where would that leave us? In a choke hold! So then, why are we doing this to our own people? Let us work!

    • I assume that everyone firmly believes that companies would reduce their prices if wages , minimum wages, was done away with ..also have to wonder what world you folks are living in ? You must be assuming too that wages have just risen for no reason…so far I have seen NO company say that if minimum wages was done awy with that they would drop their prices…if any of you think that any of these companies would give up the millions they are making in profits now because of a wage drop you are dreaming . They would just bank more money and the CEO’s would reap higher bonus money…and the people would get nothing in return.

      • It is pointless to say employers would band the extra money if the minimun wage were cut. If that was what they wanted that is their right. The point is, eliminating the minimum wage would cut costs for employers accross the board. If one employer refused to cut prices, he would be soon out of business, as everyone else will.

    • I agree ” there should not be minimum wages for some jobs that require no education and no training which would allow more people to work and get experience: teens and mothers going back to work or wanting a small activity:
      a lot of businesses could use the help and people could use the training.

    • The whole problem stems from companies seeing their employees as liabilities rather than assets. A company or corporation is not the building the business is located in. It’s the employees. If you treat your employees as liabilitites and attempt to reduce the cost of having them, your business is doomed. Good, reliable employees who are well-compensated are the key to a successful business. Our economic landscape is littered with the carcasses of companies who treated their employess with derision and ultimately failed.

    • this biggest problem with our economy, second to defense spending, is the fact that insurance companies make more per hour off someones work through workers comp then the actual worker is getting. in any business the insurance company comes out on top. this is where all our money is going. minimum wage should be around 15 dollars an hour. thats what is needed to live comfortably. if it werent for mimimum wage all these evil right wing jerks would still be paying 4 bucks an hour. you have to force the money from the elite rich, they will never “trickle” it down. you have to pry it out of their hands with force (or through taxes). no one who reads this is in that class so get over it. those wh dont think there should be a minimum wage have had such an easy life that they have absolutly no idea how the majority of the world and america lives.

    • the disparity beween business owner and upper level administartion pay and that of the average worker is by far the greatest it has been in the history of our country. the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer. we will become a thrid world nation within twenty years at this rate. our union is not as strong as it seems. we could very easily go the way of russia if we dont stop this trend and give the wealth back to the people.

    • Insisting that the populous who are on welfare work at whatever job they are qualified to have would increase their self esteem and increase their income and would lower government dependency. Getting rid of the minimum wage would help companies grow and would create more jobs.

      Get rid of the minimum wage.

      • the economy has changed so mush in the last twenty years that YOU REALLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT. you lived within a welfare state supported by our tax dollars your whole life. you probaby still get social security you hypocrat. there will be no retiremet for the vast majority of my generation thanks to hypocratical ideologies like yours

      • Great grandpa you left a debt for your GREAT GREAT grandchildren to pay off. I agree get rid of the minium wage and replace it with a LIVING wage $25.00 to $50.00 per hour depends on where you live. Cut the SOB throat at the top of the pile and you could easily pay this wage to any AMERICAN who wants to work. GO USA not that away 18th in education, 16th in health care services and FALLING!!!

    • Asking economists to evaluate and give their opinion on minimum wage is like asking the employers their take on the matter. Minimum wage is a tool that is used to either justify abolishing it and to give the appearance that people are being paid fairly. Obviously, if the fate of minimum wage was left up to businesses it would be eliminated, converting millions of people into slaves. As ridiculous as this may sound, it’s the honest to goodness truth that many would brush off for one reason or another.

      The problem with this world is that the decision makers are often outsiders, who would propose ideas and make suggestions on matters that they have no heart of understanding about. Sure they may be good with numbers and eloquent in speech, however they often lack human traits that promote equity, and they have grown accustomed to selfishness. This being the case they are horrible negotiators for a class of people whom they view as beneath them and would do and say anything to maintain the status-quo in this society.

      There is a way to ensure that everyone has access to money in this world, yet the resolve of the majority is too weak to demand equality from the few who control every aspect of their lives; from where they live to what they wear and how often they eat. The minimum wage is nothing more than an allowance that is used as leverage to get the majority to perform the chores of the wealthy. There is no understanding in those who love excess, besides their own needs and desire to obtain more and hold on to as much wealth as possible. This obsession is the abomination that will make the entire world desolate, and this is likely to happen in our time. This not a personal matter that one can weigh by their own story of success, but rather one that looks at the overall picture and sees how disgustingly dangerous has been to ever human, man, woman and child. Man has promoted money above God and increased evil in the Earth, so there is no need to question why sin has prevailed over godliness. This world is so wicked that it must be destroyed and we are on course to destiny

    • Minimum wage? How about making a liveable income instead of hand to mouth. I work at a BIG retail chain and most of us live paycheck to paycheck because of the cost of living. Most monies go to paying the monthly bills, with no splurges, making it sometimes necessary to either live at home or have a roommate to just make ends meet. Keep the minimum wage, otherwise alot of us would be living in cars, tents or under bridges. I don’t want a hand out just a hand up.

    • I think there should be a living wage. It seems as though someone working 40 hours a week should be able to afford the basics, a base apartment and food on the table. I wish employers would research actual costs in there respective areas, not just think how much more employees are getting over what they got when they were first starting out 20+ years ago. To a business employees are just like any other commodity, acquired for a little as possible, while they hoard gobs of money. Sure owners and mangers should get more, but so much more that a company should close before sharing some with employees? That’s what’s happening today. Republicans want to help business to spur the economy, but businesses where the money goes to a small amount of people doesn’t help. The masses having money to buy the necessities helps the economy more than a CEO buying a Ferrari or Mercedes.
      What do the managers at your company do that’s so deserving of 4X or more of your salary? Often you work long hours when they haven’t put in a full 40 hour week in years.

    • for those of you who say that peoploe can live on minimum wage- I disagree- I am a a single mother of thrtee kids-explain to me how I pay bills and put food in hungry bellies at 7.75 an hour?

      teh cost of living goes up- but my pay does not-

      WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!

      • Penny you are so right, unfortunately you are not the right people (GO Tealaban), the employer has the right to make as much profit as he can on the backs of slave labor if possible, We need to leave a debt that our GREAT,GREAT GREAT grand children will still be paying on. Remember how this all started Taxation without representation, corporations are people TOO!

    • Minimum wage is critical. It not only helps with preventing poverty it also increases the wage of all jobs. When an employer is required to increase the wage of the lowest level of employment, they will need to increase the wages of everybody else. If you think eliminating the minimum wage is a good thing then you do not live in the real world. If the minimum wage is eliminated we will all be working for $0.25 /hr. sure there will be more jobs and everybody will have to work 24/7 to be able to eat.

    • Wow what a slanted article. Just look at the last items. If a person making the minimum wage pays 1/2 in taxes they are doing something wrong. First the only tax likely is social security payroll tax. Second they would more than likely be eligible for make work pay money and for sure if they have a child the earned income credit. In addition it is teens not dependant on wages for a living that often work for minimum wage not families. Those we do have families most often progress ahead quickly. Skills raise wages in the real world not governing bodies.

      • Sorry paul but when you drive to work there are other people in the cars around you. I know of at least six people who are working for minimum wage who have college degrees. SLAVE labor are bust GO TEALABAN!!!

    • It’s laughable how litle people understand about society, economics, or even basic human nature works. They sieze on one little nugget of information and make a whole world out of it with out bothering to try and understand the big picture.

      Sure, raising minimum wage raises costs for business. But it also increases the spending power of a large block of the population. I belive it was Henry Ford who said if you want to succed, you had to pay your workers enough to buy your blasted products. So if th epoor can buy more, it seems sensible that your proffits would go up, offsetting the increased expense of minimum wage. Also, the poor woul db eable to pay for their own services and WE wouldn’t have to give up our tax money for them.

    • minimum wage is slave labor. you can’t live on it. leave it alone, for the country’s sake. employers would pay pennies and no taxes if ignorant republicans had their way. yellow makes them sad. need a trip to mambypamby land to get some self esteem. no one will be able to buy your products. who are you selling to, the chinese? you talk about their successes. go there and live. they make lousy products, still need our technology, and their government takes ALL their profits. republicans can’t have it both ways. our government doesn’t impede because of high taxes and healthcare. capitalism is responsible for setting the costs high, not the government. minimum wage was designed to protect americans from greedy, heartless people. what a great idea, get rid of it and no one will afford your products. Eat the rich.

    • There has to be an appropriate balance. There has to be a minimum wage in order to guarantee that the value of a “day’s work” is standardized with a baseline. The trouble with this is that the baseline is not enough for a person to survive on his own, especially with a family. Most people require a dual family income or work multiple jobs themselves.

      I believe the real problem in our society might come down to charity. Obviously there are those who require assistance because they are incapable of surviving without it. The fellow who was once considered rich, but who has been riddled by disease and lost everything and the child who was born with a disability that keeps him intellectually sub-par or physically incapable of work are similar cases where charity becomes necessary (I’m a conservative, and I firmly believe in universal health care). But then we have a whole segment of the population that relies on charity not because they are incapable of work or because life handed them a catastrophe, but rather because they cannot earn enough in order to make ends meet. Minimum wage being so low creates this group of people. In fact, there is a large group of segment of the population who cannot find work right at all right now (meanwhile some people are working two and three jobs), and these people are wholly reliant on public support.

      Ironically, jobs are created in support of these groups of people–the telemarketers who call asking for donations, the woman earning a ridiculous salary as figurehead of this charity or that charity, even some of the bell ringers are paid solicitors, and then there are the government workers, whose positions are kept by the needs of the needy. To assure that people give to these charities in support of people in need, we give write-offs to the rich looking to avoid a larger tax bill. To assure people keep supporting the government pools, we raise this tax or tax that item more, and meanwhile we create more government positions to oversee the new taxation and we give regular pay raises to those who are kept employed literally by the needs of the needy.

      It’s a cycle that cannot be broken by raising wages–we have tried many different variations of this wage-hike method, and it doesn’t work. Wages have consistently gone up in government positions, but those in the government are lucky to work for a company that has the ability of raising its prices six thousand different ways. Meanwhile, even though private wages have risen as well, they have not kept pace with government wages, because they can’t, not without creating even more inflation, which only causes government wages to rise again. The result has only been that prices have increased across the board, so that those who are at the bottom end are always closer to poverty, no matter how much of a raise they are given and those people at the top demand ever more because they feel that with inflation the value of their work has decreased.

      I believe the answer is to change the way we do charity.

      1. We have to stop creating new charities for everything under the sun and then working for them to profit by them. There are and should be necessary charities for those who are truly needy, but there’s no reason why someone should get rich working for a charity. It is tantamount to war profiteering. It’s sick. Today there’s an organization for everything.

      2. People who donate money to charity should only be allowed to take a deduction for that money donated if they also volunteer time in direct proportion to the sum. Charity should not be about getting the tax write-off. You should either want to help the cause and do so without any personal benefit, or you should look for a cause that is truly something you can get behind.

      3. We should instead give massive tax write-offs to people who use their money to create new businesses that employ people in real work. When we give to charity it is a sinkhole that is self-perpetuating–remember that the people employed by the charity need the people serviced by the charity to remain in need. We do not improve anything by giving our means away without helping to assure that the means is put to a use that provides growth. Feeding a child for a month is a worthy cause, but providing that child’s parent with a job that will assure that child is fed for a lifetime and grows up with a certain pride and self-worth and the dignified belief that his value is his work and that he too should contribute to the betterment of society through that work is not just a worthy cause, it is the most noble of causes. Great men do not free slaves to watch them starve or to keep them as pets, like lap dogs that need masters. Employ them in honest work.

      4. People on government assistance should get first crack at government jobs.

    • Do you really believe corporate America is going to stop increasing prices because of a small pay increase? If everyone is concern about what minimum wages will do to the economy, tell the big corporation executives and politicians to stop taking their heffy annual salary increases. What about their benefits packages in comparison to the folks that work WITH NO BENEFITS AT ALL. The economy problems is corporate America, taking jobs to foreign countires for pennies on the dollar….then ship the stuff back over here for us to pay their FULL PRICE of these items. I think this process answers your question to “minimum wage” causing the poor economy. Did anyone forget about the banks and all those bad loans they made for home mortgages? Who do you think sucked up the cost of that? The working middle class, what would happen to those folks making the big bucks if they HAD to work for ….”Yea, mimimum wage”. The system does not want to help unemployed, under-paid Americans or give them enough food stamps to eat nutritious food/meals for their families. HEY, I HAVE AN IDEA WHY DON’T WE SHIP EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES TO ANOTHER COUNTRY (IF YOU MAKE LESS THAN, SAY $250,000.00 A YEAR) SO THEY CAN APPRECIATE BEING PAID PENNIES ON THE DOLLARS, SO CORPORATE AMERICA CAN EXPLOIT THEM EVEN MORE AS THEY DO THE PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRIES THEY MOVED THE JOBS TOO. As if this is not enough, after we move all those people out of the US….Do you think the same people winning about minimum wages and giving families enough food stamps are going to do the thankless jobs that these already under paid folks are doing? I am not poor, nor well to do and struggle every day…I have a decent under $ 40,000 a year job, single mother and never use public services but I am not far from being eligible. PEOPLE NEED TO TAKE A WALK IN REALITY THE REAL WORLD.

      I hope they increase the minimum wage to bring the working folks out of proverty!!

    • There is no doubt that the Federal Minimum Wage has greatly increased the standard of living – in China, India, Indonesia, Korea, and many other countries throughout the world where cheap labor gives them the economic advantage. With the big bankers’ progress toward the New World Order, the USA is on the path toward 3rd world status.

    • The problem is not with minimum wage, it’s that we have no maximum wage. If some people were not allowed to make such exhorbitant salaries, prices would be more in line for everything. Instead, only wealthy people are able to afford to buy certain things. What we need is a salary cap!

    • increase minimum wage costs everyone more. in short run it helps the unskilled labor force because they get a little more before the prices go up to compensate for the increased cost of labor. for example, sonic has to pay employees more so to compensate they have to raise the price of their food to make up the losses for the increased cost of labor.because no one wants a pay cut. so anyone who purchases those goods will have to pay more. thus, everyone who gets paid more than minimum wage has to pay more for their goods. or to summerize this increase minimum wage=inflation

    • I own a company, and some employees are not worth half of minimum wage.
      They should do away with it. If I didn’t have to pay the slackers minimum wage, I could pay the producers more money!

    • Minimum wage does not prevent poverty, however, it does prevent the exploitation of workers by employers who have proven they care more for the increased profits than welfare of their fellow man.

    • It’s hard to read comments condemning people who live at poverty levels of income, (which is what the minimum wage represents), while corporate executive have received multii-million dollar bonuses, paid for with tax dollars and subsidized labor.

      If we did away with the minimum wage law, companies would pay as little as possible. My guess would be that wages would be cut in half, at least. Widening the chasm between rich and poor further. Leaving the middle class taxpayer to pay more to support our poor.

      We subsidize labor in this country with food stamps, housing assistance, and other social programs, only to have the wealthy whine about the cost of labor in United States and send our jobs over seas. Or, if they can’t do that, they cut our wages, health insurance and retirement benefit in order to maximize profits. At the same time, they hire teams of people, including lobbyist to manipulate our government, to find ways to keep them from paying their fair share of taxes.

      If you really want change, stop believing politicians and the media. Demand REAL campaign finance reform to get our government out of the hands of the wealthy and corporations.

      Demand that protection by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are only given to entities with an actual pulse. Corporations should not have the same rights as a human being. CORPORATIONS ARE PAPER, that the wealthy hide behind to protect themselves.

      Even if you disagree with my opinions, chances are that you believe that your opinion should carry the same weight as any other citizen of this country , rich or poor . That is clearly not the case now.

      • Bill, I think I love you! So incredibly true.
        Unfortunately, people have to be educated in the true sense of the word to participate fully & properly as a citizen. Our public education system as it was restructured in the 40′s & 50s’ was not set up for that, but to put people in factories, or to enlist at 18, or to move to whatever nitch they showed qualification for. Nothing wrong with that to some extent, but the component of training responsible, thinking citizens who participated in the exercise of their elected officials’ power & duties was left out! It is not in the interest of the current industrial/military complex to have an intelligent involved citizenry. With all the faults of those “founding fathers” taken into account, the Constitution is nonetheless a beautiful piece of work which can afford us a wonderfully structured society. What a shame that most people know nothing about it.

    • I have not read all of the comments and replies on this topic, so please forgive me if I have missed something.
      If I am not mistaken, buisness expenses (such as overhead, utility bills, and WAGES) are TAX DEDUCTIONS. If wages go up, the business gets a bigger tax break. It may be true that the tax break is only a percentage of the increased labor cost, but the effect virtually eleminates the rationale for increased prices: businesses raise prices because they can!!! They will use any justification anyone can imagine to increase their bottom line.
      This has nothing to do with employee’s work ethic, level of education, unions, or percieved value of one’s contribution to the company.

    • do the math on a fair individual income tax: U.S. current population, 311,000,000, if everyone were to pay the same amount $100.00, my calculator can’t even process the answer. Is that enough to fund the Federal Govt. and have plenty to fund social progress programs?

    • The simple fact of life is that some people is not going to make it no matter
      what is done for them. Not smart enought, they did’t try hard enought,
      had bad luck, illness, drugs, could not get a break, whatever. Life is what
      life is. We all want to have a better life, more money, more love, the best for our children, a better home, security and good health, peace on earth, etc.
      Sounds Great. But the fact is we all won’t have that. But by trying hard we
      can have a much better life than those who never try to better theselves
      and sits and waits for the government to do things for them.

    • Min wage and inflation are not the only things to drive costs up. There are the mandatory fees that add up, like worker’s comp, unemployment, SS (we all want our SS money when we retire, right?), taxes that pay for social assistance programs (i.e. food stamps, health care, housing), and so on.

    • listen u must be a business owner because the people which work for you are making you live comfortable why not pay them for your success but you should be one of those knuckleheads in congress that believe that the rich should stay rich and the poor should be taken out with the trash. I served my country and i get a check each month but i still believe all humans should have a simple life without having to steal. rob or kill you and me because of the min wage.

    • I came from eastern europe to US few years ago and have seen many people that came after me, at least 20 of them had their first job in Walmart paying close to minimum wage and none of them worked there more than 2 years, most of them got good jobs or businesses now, good cars and houses, regular vacations, no debt other than home mortgages. America is a dream country, its by far much easier to get anywhere here being a regular Joe than anywhere else in the world. So long story short – if you cant make ends meet here, minimum wage is not your problem, you are just worthless, face it. So here is my advice, if you dont have kids, buy a one way ticket to China, live there for two years (believe me you not going to die) and come back to US, you will be surprised what kind of wonders you will be able to do here financially.

      Now about CEOs, those of you who cry rivers about top managers making big money are fools. Why nobody b i t c h e s that Lil Wayne made $20 mil in 2009? Is he working hard? Im sure he is, my point is that top managers got talent (1 in millions, just like rappers or chess players), but your little brains are too small to realize that.

      Now through your ignorant comments back, i don’t expect you to be nice, but look at life realistically for your own benefit.

      • oh yes they have new cars and homes because for 7 years they do not have to pay taxes and the government helps them buy a home and get medical…. So where is that money coming from the regular working class. And don’t forget the trade agreements NAFTA and CAFTA that we pay the import and all other fees on give me a break. Bring tthe jobs back to america where the quality of the products stood up.

    • Time for a reality check here. There are a couple of people in the top 1 percent of wage earners who earn more than the lower 120,000,000 people do. Seems like minimum wage has little to do with prices it is the wage earners at the top being too greedy

    • bull crap the cost has gone up continually while corporations have off shored american jobs, India has even bought call centers in D.C. and brought people from India to work on visa that take away American Jobs enough already with CEO’s making such outlandish pay for what. Gas has gone up medical prices through the roof the president’s pay doubled he makes a half a million a year and where does this money come from the serfs that do all the grunt work while the rich just keep getting bigger dividends wake up people schools are only getting worse our children can’t read,add or write. What does it take for the blinders to come off?

  1. What is the point to this article? I thought Careerbuilder was suppposed to try and encourage us to reach for jobs that pay MORE than minimum wage? Are you guys trying to tell us that Minimum wage is going to be the new employment standard?

    Dudes, that’s pretty sad…

    • The point is that this issue is OUT there! It has to be dealt with. If minimum wage is capped or eliminated, what do you think will happen to salaries overall?

      • The minimum wage was raised about 2 years ago, any relationship to this and other actions to the continued joblessness?

        What’s the minimum wage in China? It is 80% of that in the US. If I could reduce manufacturing costs by 20% would I hire young workers. Also, I grew up “poor” but we never knew it. We did not lack for anything. We owned a good house. We went through the neigborhood delivering meals on Thanksgiving. We had a huge garden! We made clothes and bought at Goodwill. I still do! We used discarded phone books for toilet paper! We refused welfare, even when offered. I remember packing my lunch even when I could get a free lunch. Now I find that on a six figure salary, my family has an elaborate hand-me down system. We pinch pennies. We give 20% of our net income away. God Blesses us, just like he blessed my father! Even the poor lives well in America. I remember volunteering for an after school program for inner-city children. My whole family, including the children participated. The poor kids found out that we did not own a television. They felt so sorry for us. They had no idea that it was a choice. Go into some of these kids homes and their standard of living is way above mine. Poverty is just as much a mentality than it is a reality. $15,000 a year! Just think of what families working together can do with $15,000 a year. My daughter made less than that last year. She was able to save almost every penny. Why because I provide the housing, I provide the car insurance and the car? I know she is saving to open her own restaraunt. She is in a better position than I am. Most of our problems are a result of ignoring God’s ways. The year of jubilee would be a tremendous thing. Most would have to live within their means because lending would be very rare.

        • I agree with you. It is how you treat your money. Not what you make. Young people starting out want it all and cant afford it. If more kids and parents would take advantage of the relationship that has gone on for 18 years they could have a great start. If a kid got his firt job 20 hours a week at the min of 7.25hr they would have 20 or 30 bucks to blow every week and put a 100 in the bank. 5 years this is 26000 dollars to start life on there on. Most could do even better. But they wont do it. They end up blowing all the money they make and start life broke staying broke and forced to stay in a min wage job because of bad planning to begin with. So dont blame me and the rest of us who stay within our means. Plan our lives and make more money.

        • After reading through a few posts I feel my experiences and my two cents may help. America has lost a major part of it’s jobs to countries overseas because of NAFTA…we will never get those jobs back…Walmart is getting the business because they have the buying power…don’t beat them down while you are standing at their counter with money in your hand…instead I feel they are ripe for Unionization…I am a Union Driver and I am comfortably middleclass…but if my company was not Union…I would not be working there…I have Job Security..I have Seniority…I will not lose my job unless I mess it up somehow…not likely. I make three times the poverty level of a family of four…I am a happy man…was not always so..I went to college, worked as a CADD Technician for over 15 years for 25K or less in an office…What did I do to become so happy? The answer is there….DIVERSIFY. Don’t wait for trends to change if your unemployment is limited…look for educational opportunity while on it…may be the only chance you get to re-educate yourself…who is hiring and what are they paying…I have other things making my life interesting but I do not worry about my pay.

    • You have to start somewhere. That is the problem today. Everyone wants the big bucks now. How about doing the menial stuff first and let your employers see how hard a worker you are. Most appreciate this and you will move up the ladder faster. Plus be happy you have a job when you do get one. You have to earn your way thru life. Quit waiting for the hand outs.

      • Minimum wage is a joke why work for minimum wage when you make more on unemployment? And the fact is no matter how hard you work minimum wage will not pay your bills. So to get ahead you need to work 2 or 3 minimum wage jobs is that what your saying?
        I am sorry but thats why single mothers and fathers have to work 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet and familys fall apart.
        The problem isnt the workers the problem is the jobs the problem is those in upper managment and owners who use minimum wage as a safty net. A net to get themselfs ahead. I would really really love to see some of you people live on 10K a year. And whats really funny is people are liveing on what they did in the 70′s reality check its 2010, and moveing up in the world right now is impossible for so many. Minimum wage will not get you the American dream and waiting for your boss to reward you for doing a good job wont happen over night.

        • Yes Sam of Dec 13th is absolutely REALITY RIGHT!!!! All of you that don’t even attempt to understand the math of not enough money .. are just not older enough yet!!! It can happen to anyone overnight to become in deep needs and only hopeful about the minimum wage being anything at all to keep ?? WHAT??? GOING? ON?!! Many people have just taken stability over welfare both not being any real life with no quality and they are indeed intelligent people but cannot move to a work environment suited to them because they are indeed held to respond to responsibilities to be a “Stable” “Ethically Work-moral ” person.. trapped if you will see to minimum wage job they can keep going!!!! People can’t you see that it’s bullying and not pride that keep poverty all along and our nation thrived when the bullying rich didn’t have control and work ethic was given to! Thanks Sam n Good Bliss You ALL for Trying to Still pay bills!! Merry Christmas it’s still an excuse for happy moods! ?

        • You know, one of the greatest things about living in the U.S. is your freedom of choice. You can choose to be an employee or you can choose to be the employer. If you don’t like your current wages or job, you have to the choice to get a different job. Or better yet, create your own job and employ others to help you. It creates more money for you and for them. How do you think those business owners and CEO’s got started? Many started at minimum wage themselves and grew their business into something that offered employment to others.

          Business owners are not the bad guys here. We need more business owners to create jobs whether they be minimum wage or higher. Sitting around collecting unemployment is not helping. As a business owner, my biggest expense is employees. Without business owners, you will have no job at all. Get out there and do your best work. Become the best employee and make more money. Learn more about your job and make more money or create your own job and be responsible for yourself and others.

          • Sheryl,
            Let me point out just a couple of things here. Being a former business owner myself, the reality is that the employer needs the employee, and the employee needs the employer. We all understand that each one has rules they have to follow. Minimum wage is the “standard” that is set to ensure that employees are not taken advantage of. And as for your comment on unemployment, those of us who have worked have paid for the right to use that for a period of time. Remember one thing; no company is assured of being around forever. I would remember that, and be careful with the attitude you have. One day you may find that you, yourself, need to find a “regular” job.

  2. Some would argue that the minimum wage causes unemployment. The minimum wage would only cause unemployment if it is set too high. Most minimum wage jobs are fixed and necessary for the firm (or other institution) to function. For example, a fast food outlet would need a fixed number of staff cooking, cleaning and operating the tills. Raising (or lowering) the minimum wage slightly is highly unlikely to affect the number of workers the firm hires.

    Another thing to consider is the increased consumption allowed by higher wages. Employers would pay more in wages, but get some of that money back due to the increased consumption. The increased consumption would increase incentives for production and investment, potentially leading to more people hired. Employment data usually shows no evidence of increased unemployment when a minimum wage is increased.

    Even if the minimum wage is set to a level that does cause some job losses, it doesn’t necessarily mean more long term unemployment. A high minimum wage would provide an incentive for firms to invest in labour saving technologies, which would mean higher productivity or profit, and labour freed up for other productive activities.

    Some Tories moan that the minimum wage is “unfair” and “unnatural” because people aren’t paid the market rate which they are “worth”. In the most capitalistic economies, many of those who work the hardest and create the most wealth, get paid the least, while an asset owning robber class usurp the wealth and do very little work. The minimum wage helps shift the market closer to the principle of ‘a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’ i.e. closer to what the worker is worth.

    Having a minimum wage and correcting it for inflation helps maintain a ‘living wage’ for all workers. The cost of living (and prices in general) rises just about every year. The main reason why most developed economies have inflation every year is due to credit expansion by banks. Credit expansion involves the following steps:

    1. People deposit money into the bank.
    2. The bank lends that money out to people.
    3. The borrowed money gets spent.
    4. Some of the borrowed money spent will be received by account holders of the bank and will redeposit that money back into it.
    5. The bank loans that money out again.

    The same notes and coins are reloaned many times. The amount of money loaned by the bank far outweighs the amount of real notes and coins at that bank. If wages (particularly the minimum wage) aren’t corrected for inflation, then a worker’s pay (in real terms) will keep decreasing. They would be doing the same work but keep getting paid less.

    Some think that wage increases should instead be tied to productivity increases. The problem with this line of thinking is that increases in productivity aren’t always possible. For example, a bus driver can’t increase their productivity. Inflation on the other hand, at least in the current system, is inevitable.

    The minimum wage debates shouldn’t be about whether or not to have one, but should instead be about what level to set it.

    • I dont think minimun wage should get raised and here is why people I know get bonius every year up to the amount of $50.000 dollars and the people that do the work are getting paid minimun wage just cut out the big bonus and spred the money around

    • D Walker of Nov1 ’10 is absolutely right! Level of minimum wage and why aren’t we saying / asking level of maximum wage too! Don’t you think enough stagnant economy by aristocracy is as bad as communistic oppression… so why not watchdog investments and do in fact make justified leadership pay of coorporations.. business is suppose to be in a productive quality healthy legal way to benefit our society not make criminally justice. Keep smiling Christmas is your excuse to , so enjoy it!

      • How is it that you think the rich are some stagnant economic force? Thats simply ignorant. The rich don’t just keep their money stored away in their matresses. Usually its not even kept in banks. Most of it is kept in stocks, bonds, and all sorts of other funds where that money is used by others to fund more economic activity.

    • There are so many things wrong with this post its hard to know where to begin. The ‘logic’ all sounds nice, but it doesn’t work that way. In the first place, where does anyone get the authority to tell me what a job is worth. As someone who has worked the whole gamut of minimum wage to being the ‘robber’ tha I am accused of being now as an owner let me say this.

      When did the writer of this post ever put their house on the line to be sure the employees got paid. how many nights did he lay awake wondering where the money was coming from to pay all the companies bills knowing that if they didn’t get paid , everything he had would be taken by creditors.

      I’ve rarely seen my minimum wage workers willing to work the 80 hours per week it took to get my business started, even when they would get time and a half for those hours.

      It is all about risk reward. I took the risk for years…I’m entitled to the fruits of my labors.

  3. If the minimum wage rate were to be raised to the level needed to support a family of four (as the article suggests), prices would shoot up drastically and thousands (if not millions) of positions would be eliminated to cover the increase in cost of labor. People complain about high prices now, so you could just imagine the outcry. Then, since the cost of living would become drastically more expensive, the minimum wage earners would be no better off.

    Perhaps instead of looking at raising minimum wage, it would be more prudent to find ways to train people for higher paying in-demand jobs? And perhaps the Government could eliminate all taxes for minium wage earners, thereby increasing their purchasing power.

    • You must remember, those people that are complaining and raising cost are the ones that are greedy filthy rich and if they paid a person what they should be paying, they would still be rich. Just not greedy.

    • Lets think about productivity for the good of personal potential.. that is right Jason of Nov…. consider how much welfare and unemployment are falling from the sky down on us over what fear we have of the cost of living being raised … no… the trama of higher prices if any just couldn’t last at alll any time.. we’d be stable soon… I am a homemaker, I think , though I have worked by filling in unpaid soo much that people do need career adjustments over time to keep working healthily… that may be our root issue of fear of letting those changes and benefits we don’t need to over or under appreciate.

    • Jason of 11/1/10, the prices you speak of shooting up drastically could stay the same if the corporate leadership would take SANE salaries instead of the insanity that prevails now. However, we all know that greed never relents and never repents, so the samity I ask for will never come to pass. They will continue to oppose paying fair wages to anyone but themselves and will continue to take tens of millions in salary and bonuses each year, justifying that outrage to the shareholders by only showing them the bottom line. Since they are the ones that line senators’ and representatives’ political coffers, we can expect the minimum wage to come under fire for as long as we live, or until they have successfully eliminated it, especially in light of the activities of lobby groups.

    • The combined wealth of the top 5% of the rich in the US in 1985 was 8 trillion dollars.
      The combined wealth of the same 5% in 2009 is 40 trillion dollars.
      For the same time period the average wages remained flat. No trickle down economics
      Only double talk, pie in the sky and misleading phony party glorifying statistics.
      Al the stories about “I started on the bottom, worked 3 jobs, pulled my own weight etc. etc. etc.)
      Al they are just STORIES. This problem with minimum wages, jobs lost, unemployment,
      lost manufacturing to foreign countries go hand in hand. Until other countries (The ones where our jobs vent)
      increase there minimum wages to the same level as ours, or our minimum wages sink as low as there’s
      business wont be satisfied. The consequences of either of those events could change the economics of the
      NEW WORLD ORDER (ala George Herbert Walker Bush)
      Until major changes in the attitude of business and Government, the only life west does the average low skilled
      working family has is the minimum wage law. Live with it, or stop buying foreign good’s, when you ask for services
      On the phone and you can’t understand the person at the other end, put the phone down and call customer service and demand to speak to some
      local employee. Don’t buy anything on a credit card. If you must buy go too stores that offer interest free financing.
      I do that. Believe me it works. And Last but FOREMOST> BASE YOUR SPENDING ON THE MINIMUM WAGES YOU HAVE.

    • Jason, you have just outlined the entire problem and made some fair suggestions on how to deal with them, however I sincerely doubt that any of our suggestions will be employed.
      The most significant point that you made was the fact that if the minimum wage is increased so too would be the cost of goods and services. The justification of increasing one can be done considering the amount, value and sustainability of the whole. For instance it would involve the IRS or some sort of business bureau assessing the finances and determining if the increases are justified or not. Employees production help businesses to increase their earnings, at least this is the case in most job markets, therefore should such businesses not reward their employees. This revelation is not made to those beneath a certain level and often incentives are paid to management, leaving the line staff out of the equation. We are being robbed by thieves and often we pay a percentage of our earnings to our employers, buying the very goods that we made or helped produce in the companies where we are employed. There is no way that anyone can justify increasing the price of an established product, that has been in existence for decades. For corporations to suggest that it is more costly today, in this technologically advanced world, is perhaps the greatest hoax ever conceived. A bag of chips, which once cost ten cents, is now worth anywhere from a dollar to a buck fifty plus tax. A car was far more affordable in the fifties, sixties and seventies but today they have exceeded their value. To offset the questions, the automobile industries use technology as a scapegoat. This is all they need to mention to justify themselves to the feeble minded, and having no way to determine the reality is pure ignorance.

      America needs to give itself a research grant and get the bottom of this plight, and allow someone to do something that can change the course of this country. Maybe that means that we will have to buy or establish our own industries and employ just minded people to conduct a series of trials to find the best solutions to the problems that are bound to ruin this country. So much corruption reside here that it has established a foothold of normalcy which is interpreted as success, but contributes to everything that is deplorably destructive to people.

  4. Capping or eliminating the minimum wage will not create more jobs. What it will do is allow companies to pay the workers they already have a lower wage, or dump them in favor of being able to hire workers at a lower wage. That is my biggest concern, that workers will get dumped in favor of those that can be hired at a cheaper wage.

    Only those who don’t have to try and live on minimum wage could possibly think eliminating it would be a good idea.

    • Look at the shift in pay. The ones that argue against minimum wage are the ones holding jobs that pay them huge amounts. Executives collect tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. Manager that collect huge bonuses and we are complaining about the people making seven dollars an hour. We should look at pay caps for publicly traded companies. Major big businesses and banks start on a board, vote themselves raises and options that are insane and cut benefits and wages to the lower class workers that are on the line making things happen. I don;t beliieve a minimum wage should be a huge salary but if a company can pay millions at the top they can shave a little of that off and put it in the bottom and invest in their people. How dare someone say that ten thousand dollars is enough to live on!!!! Especially when many organizations are paying executives extravagant salaries, bonuses and expense accounts. Make it reasonable for both sides and you would not see a huge jump in costs. STop being cheap and eating off the dollar menu.

      • Earl, I don’t disagree with you on capping the salaries of management. However, that isn’t something that Congress will ever propose. Leadership salaries are under the jurisdiction of the shareholders. Unfortunately, the shareholders a.) aren’t shown that x jobs were eliminated that only paid so much per hour or year, and b.) since they are getting dividends from company profits, they have no motivation to care about the little guy. As long as their investment continues to appreciagte in value, there is no reason for them to consider a pay cap. Even when their investment doesn’t gain value, they’ll pay the replacement CEO a bigger salary than his predecessor in hopes that HE/SHE will help them get richer.

  5. Companies are making record profits, yet they continue to off-shore their work. They complain that salaries are too high, yet executives are making 300-400% more than the lowest paid in the company, which is – get this – the minimum wage. If the minimum wage is lowered or eliminated, we are going to be the next China as far as workers goes. You can kiss any standard of living that you have experienced good-bye, no matter what level of education or experience you have. Make sure you vote and vote for the right party.

    • Dude. Mc Donnalds and Alll fast food places are allways hireing. Jobs are out there. If you want money ya have to do the dirty work. Or SOME ONE ELSE WILL!

      • Dude, Fast food chains are NOT always hiring!!!! Specially not in rural USA…..The retired and people who lost jobs are working them to TRY to stay afloat……It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a teenager willing to work for 7.25 an hour…..

  6. With the ecomdy like it is raising a family is hard to do unless u are on well fare. Alot of girls lost the value of themselves and don’t know what the word of a women means anymore. We had to go out in the mans feild to add to our burden. What happen to the kings of the family. we ladys don’t know, now we half to wear 2 crowns. We got to wear both crowns. either we live on warefare or work mimuman wage and believe it or not warefare u get more u get more out of. Like houseing and food,gas,ins. furture,cloths,buspasses,and so much more.You can’t live on mimuman wage at all. The rich get richer and the pore ride the system. They got to much time on their hands and so now they all steal cloth, food, and anything else they can get their hands on. Sad but true.We are all in a cycle and if we know this then why can the presadent come and talk to those who are living in it. Than people that never have lived in it. It doesn’t take a rocket sciencest to relize that hey we the people are out here and we are the ones waiting paitently on him. HELP

    • Let’s see, I believe women wanted equal rights….please feel equal to work next to your man. When the moms left home, it left no one home with the kids which is a story for another time. The President whom you call on for help has his head so far in his own investment accounts that you won’t earn in your lifetime what he’ll make this year. Before world war II, most Americans owned their own business. WHAT?…..yeah, farmers, you heard of ‘em? While farming is not for all, making your own life better is your responsibility not your boss’! As far as CEO’s being paid too much, can you direct a multi-national company? Maybe that’s why you make min. wage. As far as China or India or Mexico taking our jobs, a little history lesson might strike a memory that it was cheap labor that built most of the railroads. Who were those laborers?…..Oh, Chinese! Now I see this cycle thing.

      • Yes women wanted equal rights,,, that has nothing to do with this presidentor today economy,,,, Women wated equal rights,, they got it,, now use em,,,,, But also too,,, judging from this guys response,,, we can tell right away that he has “no problems”…. Good for him,,,, yet,, it is hard to makes ends meet on minimum wage,,,, should it be capped… NO,,, should it be done away with???? NNNNNOOOOO,,, otherwise it will cause a domino effect further widening the gap between the Rich,, and the Middle class…. I agree,,, CEO’s are overpaid for one,,, they come out more often than not unscaved even if their companies goes to SH!T….. Lay workers off,,, cut wages,, benefits,,,, cut hours for workers,,,,, or worse,,, pay no overtime and work em more,,,, finally,,,, collect 100 million plua in stock,,,, bonuses,,,, and pay,,,, mmmmmmmmm Yea,,, really sounds like “fair” pay for someone that “runs” a company even though it’s someone else doing the actual “work”….

        • Also too,,, for all your pre-war “business” owners,,, (farmers),,,, more often than not anymore,,, their dependent on credit,,, loans,,,, and oh yea,,,, government aid too nowadays,,,, it’s known as “FARM Subsidaries”,,, ever heard the phrase???? So maybe you need to know alittle about things before you pop off and run off at the mouth about things to people you evidently know very little about…..

      • lol…make it 5 or 10, I wonder how much weight they would lose from lack of food and how many wrinkles they’d get from all the stress!!!

    • I so totally agree. Our governor tried to survive on food stamps for a month…he couldn’t do it. He raised the amount people get on food stamps but it isn’t enough. So I don’t think that our government officials could survive and would never try because they plain don’t care unless it is an election year.

      • Are you nuts? Food stamps not enough???!!! I receive the full amount of foodstamps for my fiance and our daughter and it is enough for us to eat in luxury. $562 a month for food for 2 adults and a baby. Anybody that says that isnt enough is eating lobster or selling their foodstamps for crack!!! I am a student and my ol’ lady takes home $950 a month (around $1,200 gross). I receive enough financial aid at my university (CWU) to pay tuition AND pay my rent! The government helps those who apply themselves to become greater. MINIMUM WAGE SHOULD NOT BE ELIMINATED. But the complainers saying how it is not enough to get ahead need to push themselves towards success, and take RESPONSIBILITY to get ahead! I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!

        • How the heck did you qualify for 562 dollars of food stamps? My wife makes about 70 cents over minimum wage. I earn about 3/4 of minimum wage. Our social worker told us we might as well not even apply because a family of 3 making that much money only qualifies for a maximum of 35 dollars a month of food stamps.

        • Hmm…I live in Washington state. My partner and I have a 12 year old son and our gross wages are around $900 per month, give or take. We get $514 in food stamps, and pay $625 a month for rent. How the hell are you able to get $562 a month when your fiance makes $1200 gross? Something about your post does not seem right to me.

        • @Martin

          How the heack do you get all that? Are you claiming singleparenthood and “forgot” to mention your fiancee (or her job) to the state??

          I AM a single parent that gets the barest minimum in child support. When I was laid off, my food stamps were only half what you claim… and my CS is only 1/4 of what your fiancee’s take home is. Going back to college, I received enough financial aid to cover classes & textbooks. The “refund” from it went to my son’s Christmas presents, no where NEAR enough to cover “tuition & rent”.

          • The only thing I can agree on is the amount of food stamps can go overboard for those that are smart shoppers. Even tho my son and I don’t receive near the amount you do, I still do ahve FS$ left over each month. Oh how I wish I could convert & apply it to my heating bill. (Northern state, we do require some form of heat in the winter (aka 8 months of the year)

            • You could use your leftover food stamps to buy food for friends or neighbors and they could reimburse you with $ to pay your heating bills.

        • Martin…Proud to be an American? Don’t be too proud…you are obviously stealing my money so you and your Fiance’ can “eat in luxury.” If I could reoport you I would. Someone doesn’t know your fiance’ is living with you and contributing to the household or you would NOT be getting those food stamps.

    • actually, I think that people who want to become elected officials should be subject to some sort of permanent income limits – rich people like the Kennedys (or the Obamas, for that matter) can’t relate to the day-to-day struggles of the working class.

      • Elected officials should all be UNpaid positions, with NO (ZERO) fundraising allowed from corporations and special interest groups. The whole point is that they are ELECTED by The People, to REPRESENT The People. The early legislators and executives of this country’s government were all unpaid, and worked almost full-time as farmers, merchants, etc… The lobbyists need to be removed from Washington with extreme prejudice. New legislators would then be voted in (do not allow ANY incumbents to run for re-election), and finally, laws enacted placing caps on these REDICULOUS C.E.O. salaries, and forcing companies to invest a FAR greater share of profits back into the company with a focus on the employees and their welfare (not gov’t WelFare).

        • Neo–I agree. People either forget or don’t want to see that politiciaqns work for US…not the other way around. We are their employers and should be the ones to say how much of our hard earned money they can keep for srvices rendered. We could make it happen. We are the power…the power we let just lie there.

  7. I am completely in favor of getting rid of the minimum wage. Minimum wage jobs are not jobs that you are expected to support a family on. There are some business owners who would pay less if the minimum wage was abolished….but ya know what? Costs would be less too! It’s all a “feel good” numbers game. I was a business owner when the big jump in minimum wage took place aobut 3 years ago in our area. I was employing four people at minimum wage for low-level security guard positions. Guess what happened? Minimum wage went up almost $2/hr….I tried to raise my rate to the complex by $3/hr to cover the increase + tax increase….I lost my contract and 4 people who were happy to make the old min. wage were out of work! They didn’t get a new firm, they just stopped using security.

    • Believe me they were not happy, and this is a little example of A company not wanting to lose profit margin, maybe even up it a little more. the greed shut down your company

    • I would like anyone on this site to live on $9.00 per hour or $10. per hour. You can’t make it without living with someone else or without help of some kind. Good luck on getting rid of minimum wage we will all be in the soup line. The rich is not going to take a pay cut to increase wages for their employees.

      • You are ignorant of the help our government provides. It is easy. People must be disciplined and life can be lived in higher quality while pushing themselves to become greater and towards the AMERICAN DREAM> We have massive help from the government these days, well beyond the help our grand parents received, yet they brought forth success. Hear this response from one of my prior postings…………..>>>>>>>>>>>>> “Are you nuts? Food stamps not enough???!!! I receive the full amount of foodstamps for my fiance and our daughter and it is enough for us to eat in luxury. $562 a month for food for 2 adults and a baby. Anybody that says that isnt enough is eating lobster or selling their foodstamps for crack!!! I am a student and my ol’ lady takes home $950 a month (around $1,200 gross). I receive enough financial aid at my university (CWU) to pay tuition AND pay my rent! The government helps those who apply themselves to become greater. MINIMUM WAGE SHOULD NOT BE ELIMINATED. But the complainers saying how it is not enough to get ahead need to push themselves towards success, and take RESPONSIBILITY to get ahead! I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN! “

        • Martin, you should have bothered to read further down and see the reply that gives the reality. A family of 3 — 2 adults, 1 child — that between them don’t bring in minimum wage are NOT eligible for more than $35 in food stamps per month. The guy who replied to you intially was either lying out his butt or committing fraud with the government by claiming another 4 or 5 children that don’t exist. I know that the 2nd reply IS true. BEEN THERE.

        • Sorry martin, most here who have ever been on, or tried to get on, assistance can see right through your numbers there. You’re milking the system somewhere. WHile I do agree that foodstamps can go overboard, (and I also posted to your OP that I think more should be allowed to go to things like utilities- heat, electric, etc…) your number is WAY too high to coincide with the fiancee’s take home.

          I am a single parent, unemployed, with food stamps & the pell grant (that would be financial aid). No where NEAR your numbers, nor beig able to pay tuition and rent . I think after tuition & textbooks were done, I had 100 left. It went to my son’s Christmas.