General discussion

8th consecutive year with no minimum wage increase

Oct 19, 2005 10:48PM PDT
Senate Again Fails to Raise Minimum Wage.
>> Senate proposals to raise the minimum wage were rejected Wednesday, making it unlikely that the lowest allowable wage, $5.15 an hour since 1997, will rise in the foreseeable future. <<

To put things into perspective, the average American worker's salary has increased by a total of 40% over that period, according to the annual salary survey by Hewitt Associates.

Unconscionable!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Comments
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Nobody in my area makes anywhere near minimum wage ...
Oct 19, 2005 10:55PM PDT

... or the raises to MW that were considered. MW law should be done away with entirely. Nowhere does the Constitution give Congress the power to set wages.

Evie Happy

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Evie, I have a friend who works for a fast food place
Oct 20, 2005 2:01AM PDT

-- he's 56 years old, single, and that's about all he's qualified to do, as while not ********, he's certainly on the lower part of the curve. High school diploma, VietNam vet (the VA medical care he gets is all that keeps him going, physically and financially). Despite working for the same place for years, he makes a dollar over minimum wage -- the last raise he got was in 1997. The claim that "no experienced adults make minimum wage," oft repeated by conservatives, is first of all untrue, and secondly beside the point. Minimum wage is the floor, and when it rises, all the working poor who are slightly above that level get a raise that they rarely get otherwise. How would YOU be doing financially if you hadn't had a raise since 1997?

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Not true.
Oct 20, 2005 4:14AM PDT

My very first job was in the restaurant business. I started at minimum wage, and earned raises so that after 2 years I was making $2.05/hr.

Minimum wage was then raised to $2.00/hr. None of us "working poor making slightly more" ever got a penny more. I finally approached the owner about a raise, and told him 2 years of experience and good work history was certainly worth more than a nickel an hour over some schmuck walking in off the street?

I parted company with that company that day. Just because minimum wage goes up does NOT constitute "raise day" for everyone else.

--Cindi
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email the mods

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I remember working at Grants
Oct 20, 2005 12:35PM PDT

We started at 1.25. One of the girls started before me and she got a 7 cent raise. The minimum wage went up to 1.35 and it wiped out her raise.

I am working at the local grocery store and was making some above minimum wage (not much) and got a raise when NYS raised the state minimum wage.

Diana

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That's fine, Cindi -- but you have more to offer than this
Oct 20, 2005 1:11PM PDT

guy. He's doing a good job at what he does, but will never set the world on fire. Justice and morality say that anyone who works 40 hours deserves a living wage -- the minimum wage once was that, but certainly isn't now.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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"Justice and morality" HAW,HAW,HAW
Oct 20, 2005 9:44PM PDT

If that applies, the slugs who DON'T work (the welfare class), should get NOTHING.

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Some people have no choice...
Oct 20, 2005 11:36PM PDT

but to fall into the welfare system, and I resent your post! NOT ALL ARE SLUGS.....
My sister had a very good job, but lost it due to a CEO that was "cheating" medicare. She had to give up her car because she couldn't meet the payments with the little over minimum wage she is earning now. She rode her bicycle to work, and walked in the winter time, and yes, she receives food stamps. I admire her, and despise people who look down on her.
I hate when people classify all welfare recipients into lazy, no good for nothing bums. And yes, if minimum wage was increased, there would be less people having to use welfare.
The senators always seem to pass their pay raises, and they pay no taxes, and even have a health care plan.
Go figure!

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I'm working two jobs
Oct 20, 2005 11:45PM PDT

I just lost my health insurance from the state because I'm now making too much. To get insurance from one of my employers would be $100/month plus a higher copay for my prescriptions. I will probably lose my little bit of food stamps for the same reason.

Diana

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My brother, also.
Oct 20, 2005 11:49PM PDT

He was working two jobs but needed food stamps to feed his family.

Anyone who makes such blanket criticisms has no humanity.

Dan

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(NT) (NT) How did this happen?
Oct 21, 2005 9:05AM PDT
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Reply
Oct 20, 2005 11:59PM PDT
My sister had a very good job, but lost it due to a CEO that was "cheating" medicare...

Was that the only job available?

And yes, if minimum wage was increased, there would be less people having to use welfare.

More likely that MORE people would be on Welfare if the minimum wage were raised because there would be more layoffs.

The senators always seem to pass their pay raises, and they pay no taxes, and even have a health care plan.

Not to defend their pay raises but Senators DO pay taxes.
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Reply to Ed
Oct 21, 2005 12:48AM PDT

To answer your questions:
As far as my sister, the company closed down due to the Ceo's actions. SHE APPLIED EVERYWHERE. In the meantime, she had to give up her car, so you have to keep in mind she had to take a job in "walking" distance. She had to take whatever became available to her.

I apologize about the mistake of saying Senators paid no taxes. Glad they do; so do I.

I won't argue the point about raising minimum raise would mean more job layoffs which would equal more welfare, since I can't predict the future;
But I will argue the point that not all people who use welfare are no good, lazy SLUGS. The posts above prove that.

Hope these answered your questions.

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Details missing
Oct 21, 2005 8:43AM PDT
My sister had a very good job

Then she made good money and should have put some away for a rainy day. She also would have received unemployment benefits for a period of time.

She had to give up her car because she couldn't meet the payments with the little over minimum wage she is earning now.

What kind of car? Surely there are affordable alternatives.

if minimum wage was increased, there would be less people having to use welfare.

According to every economic analysis of minimum wage, etc., this is simply not true.

She can't find another job? Has she considered moving somewhere where her skills (presumably she has some she used for her former "very good job") are in demand? There are missing details here.

Nobody looks down on those that need welfare on a temporary basis. It is the "welfare class" which is often intergeneration dependence that most have little patience for.
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More details. . .
Oct 23, 2005 7:41AM PDT

The "money" my sister put away for a rainy day is still paying for her schooling that she put herself through. She also had to have surgery during this period, and guess what? Her rainy day money was used again. It doesn't grow on trees or multiplies.

It doesn't matter "what car"? It sure wasn't a Mercedes, if that was the thought. When you don't have a job, you can't make the payments. Tell you what happened to the company. The boss caught "wind" that he was going to be investigated, and little by little the employess were being "let go". As if an explanation is needed.
By the way, she now has a beater, which gets her back and forth to work; with what little she had saved from her job she has now, and with the help of her family.
SHE IS TRYING!!

Don't know if you realize this, but it costs LOTS OF MONEY to move. And, with the way the job situation is today. . .

And yes, people do look down on those who use the welfare system. Just look at some of the comments here!

I was taught never to judge a person, especially if you haven't been in their shoes.......

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Reply
Oct 23, 2005 8:26AM PDT

Yes, "what car" does matter. If she had a good job and was saving, she would have been better off buying a cheaper (used) car outright. Water under the bridge I suppose ...

Student loans can be deferred for financial hardship. There is no excuse for not knowing this! Hospitals are notorious for working with you to pay off bills, you just have to ask -- that's if other assistance isn't available to defray the costs entirely.

Where do you hail from? How about letting Sis move in for a while till she gets back on her feet? Or Mom & Dad? Or other family? Moving CAN cost a lot of money. It doesn't have to. The job situation today is quite good in most regions of the country. Why a forum member with experience but no college education just moved practically clear across the country and found a new job in a matter of weeks. There have been co-workers of my hubby's that have gotten fired (for personal behavior issues like messing around with subordinates and playing cards in the back room instead of working) and found new jobs within days, some better paying at that! What does your sister do? What are her qualifications? It is easier than ever these days to job hunt from a distance. My own sister was laid off from her very good paying job. She took a six-month assignment in San Diego (she lives with her husband in PA). She didn't wait until her unemployment benefits ran out to do so either. Ideal? Hardly! But it paid the bills. She now has been commuting 1-1/2 hours for going on two years now on another contract job. Still not ideal, but ...

If there are indeed NO good paying jobs within a commutable distance from where someone lives, they have two options. Sigh "woe is me" and lament the glory days of "back before that idiot CEO screwed up my life" and maintain the status quo hoping something is going to change, or change it yourself. What a great country we live in that we can do that. The period of unemployment bennies should be sufficient for the majority of people to figure out what is best for them.

Yes, people do look down on those that use the welfare system when they refuse to do for themselves. How long has your sister been on welfare now? Does she have just herself or are there children involved? More details are indeed probably missing.

I was taught never to judge a person, especially if you haven't been in their shoes....

Ahh, but I do believe that "despising" people is indeed a passing of judgment.

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No matter what I say Evie,
Oct 23, 2005 10:54PM PDT

You're just going to come back with some kind of ''perfect'' answer.
She had a Ford Focus, for your information. She rode her bike to work, but has a car now, with our help, Mom's ,who for your information is 79 yrs. old, on a fixed income, and what my sister has been able to save up with her current job. Guess you're not reading my posts. SHE'S TRYING, AND ALWAYS HAS. She worked full time as she was going to school, and you can only defer those student loans for so long.


I don't think I need to explain anymore to you, since you seem to have all the answers, but let me tell you one thing, Evie, we have always supported one another through these hard times, and none of us are ''rich.''

We are survivors, but that's another story, and I'm sure you'd always ''top'' it, somehow.

I still think you are missing my whole point of the discussion, but as far as I'm concerned, you're missing
a lot!! (Compassion, for one thing)

Anyway, I'm done ''explaining'' to you.
And BTW, my sister has never sighed, Woe is me; she found work, and is still submitting her resume.
The only thing she is getting from welfare, and is very thankful for, is food stamps.
And as for living with us; she moved from this town to a bigger city, to better herself, Evie, with the job she eventually lost. So she's done all those things you've blatantly pointed out, and she has always tried to better herself, and is still trying.

Sorry if I came across as ''judging''; but not ''understanding'' those who have no compassion, is not judging in my opinion.

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Student loans ...
Oct 24, 2005 12:22AM PDT

... can be deferred practically indefinitely for financial hardship. I know from personal experience.

There's no excuse for an able bodied, young, single (no kids I presume?), college educated adult to be receiving food stamps. Putting that financial demand on someone else that is perhaps struggling to make their own car payments and feed their own family is what lacks compassion.

She could get a job paying at least $10/hour in my area TOMORROW. There are rooms to rent in every Sunday paper that she can take until she establishes herself enough to rent an apartment. There are job markets like this all over this beautiful country. Have been for quite a while now. If that answer sounds too simple, I can't help you.

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I would NEVER ask for your help, Evie
Oct 24, 2005 1:18AM PDT

since you seem to know it all, and belittle people you don't even know.
My sister did not ask to be in the situation she is in today. The job that called her, SHE IS WORKING AT. She has not given up on trying to find a better one. Apparantly, if she moved wherever YOU are living, the first one she applied to, according to you, she would receive, and make $10.00 an hour.
You have no idea how "able-bodied" my sister is, and you are assuming everything is "perfect" with her. She's one that LIVED BY YOUR 3 SIMPLE RULES OF NOT BEING POOR, and Guess what, Evie? THEY DIDN'T WORK!
And yes, she SHOULD be receiving food stamps until she is back on her feet again. Remember, she helped pay for what little she is receiving now, and she's still contributing CAUSE SHE'S WORKING.

I'm soooo glad you have all the answers...for yourself.
I'm also glad everything worked out "perfectly" for you, but please don't assume it does for everyone; eventhough they are TRYING!!
THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE IF SOMEONE IS TRYING TO BETTER THEMSELVES: But in the meantime if things aren't going the way YOU assume it should go Evie, for EVERYONE, please DON'T BELITTLE THEM.

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RE: "I would NEVER ask for you..." - shaner7575
Oct 24, 2005 2:03AM PDT

AMEN!

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Fine attitude for a "Christian" nation!
Oct 21, 2005 4:15AM PDT

Many of the "slugs" are that way because that's how God made them -- physically or mentally challenged. And yes, that's why justice and morality are PRECISELY the issue.
Isn't it odd that the folks who most want Christian prayer in the schools don't support implementation of Christian economic principles!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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There's that all-too-common Christian reference
Oct 21, 2005 4:45AM PDT

by God, with all the times that certain individuals bandy the term Christian, you'd think they'd endorse a theocratic monarchy or such. Can't expect much from representatives of a degenerate athiest (whether or not they admit it) culture.

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I disagree, Dave...
Oct 21, 2005 5:36AM PDT

Dave, I disagree. My physical problems were not the "fault" of God, sometimes things happen. Things were tough both physically and financially, but it wasn't the "duty" of God to cause me to get by.
We cut back on things and found a way. We didn't need cell phones, vacations, fancy clothes, nice cars, or other things that many people might consider as necessities, or even "rights". I don't see how justice and morality figure in. Sometimes things happen and times get tough. When such happens, it's time to bear down and better your stuation. Demanding some nebulous thing like "Christian economic principles" might be something to use as a politically motivated demand, but is not much help with the problems at hand.

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Separation of Church and State
Oct 21, 2005 8:36AM PDT

Only when it's convenient for you huh?

Minimum wage laws are not designed to insure that the mentally or physically deficient among us receive a "living wage". That's where CHRISTIAN CHARITY comes in. Your friend's employer may well be altruistic keeping him on as an employee when for the same money they can hire someone that can do more. Of course rather than acknowledge the extent to which MANY businesses, large and small, do this you prefer to demand more charity from others.

You have mentioned this man before and that he is a member of your church. What has your church done to help make his life a little easier? What have YOU done since you are so quick to judge the "Christianity" of others? Have you helped him set up a modest retirement fund? Paid for his health insurance anonymously? Or are your "so much it sends up the red flags for giving" charitable contributions only those that get your name on a plaque on the wall so you receive due recognition? When's the last time you told your employer to pay you a little less so they can pay the person cleaning your office a little more?

Evie

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No, just pointing out that a little Christian charity and
Oct 21, 2005 11:52AM PDT

humility might apply equally to those CEO's and others who so happily put the squeeze on the workforce who have supported them and earned them their bonuses, so easily steal their pensions and agreed benefits, and are so quick to ship jobs off-shore, thus impoverishing the United States while enriching themselves and their cronies.

The separation of Church and State so assaulted by the current administration, applies only to the State, not to employers considering a fair wage for their workers, or even Congressmen and Senators considering the Minimum Wage. But they're mostly PLT Christians. They only extend their Christian beliefs to "People Like Themselves". As do you, Evie, as far as I can see from your posts here.

Rob

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Have you noticed Canada's outsourcing lately?
Oct 21, 2005 12:04PM PDT
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The PLT Christian remark was not meant for you, but was
Oct 22, 2005 5:48PM PDT

meant for the guiding lights of the Republican Party. If you are one of them, then I guess it was meant for you.

The National Policy Center document is dated 1998 which makes it 7 years out of date.

The von Mieses Institute is notoriously conservative and as support for their thesis cites a document from the American Heritage Institute. I wouldn't trust them to speak my weight.

The Joint Committee document claims a depressing effect on employment but according to that logic any social legislation would depress employment. And if we adopted that view we would quickly end up in Dickens' England, Milton Friedman's favorite era of capitalism, when starvation was the prime motivator and served to "reduce the excess population".

Minimum wage, at 40 hours a week is 10 grand a year. Not much, especially when so many minimum wage jobs are part-time. I had a part-time technician's job up here in 1994 that earned me $22,000 p/a then and allowed me to take care of my son through the week. I worked weekends and we hired a child minder for the times Nancy was on duty and I was working. They replaced me by buying single use items from the Peoples' Republic of China. They spend more than they paid me, but it is now the fashion in healthcare not to re-sterilize or repair but to discard.

According to published statistics, the median income in the US has not risen in the entirety of the Bush Presidency, not a cent. Now that certainly isn't true for the highest salary earners, so it must be due to a continual reduction in the earnings of the lower 95+% which means everyone is benind the 8-ball except Bush's "base". I may be wrong, but I suspect that means everybody here. But of course he's your boy. You're welcome to him and his anachronistic fiscal notions.

The US enjoyed its highest standard of living for the broad population when all those things you abhor were the norm: Fair wages, pensions, unemployment insurance, AFDC. It's been all down hill since 1972.

Rob

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The PLT comment WAS directed SPECIFICALLY at me :-(
Oct 23, 2005 12:07AM PDT
But they're mostly PLT Christians. They only extend their Christian beliefs to "People Like Themselves". As do you, Evie, as far as I can see from your posts here.

There is no other way to read this crap statement from you.

As to the dates on my references, they refer to FACTS of what HAPPENED with prior raises in the MW. There is no reason to believe that it would have a different effect this time because some do-gooders want to APPEAR like they are helping the poor.

The Joint Committee document claims a depressing effect on employment but according to that logic any social legislation would depress employment.

You are confusing theory with a MEASURED effect. I don't much care if you trust Mises or Heritage, they are merely trying to educate you with FACTUAL DATA.

Even DK's "friend" doesn't make minimum wage. CT's minimum wage is $7.10 and you can't find ANYONE to work for less than $7.50 (that's the lowest I've seen) and most of the help wanted ads start at $8 for the true MW jobs (baggers, stockers, lot associates that collect carriages) and go up from there. A little physical labor gets you at LEAST $10/hr to start. If a retailer has to pay a certain wage that the local market can't support, they will merely close shop. NO jobs. Great!

Yes Canada is a stickler about continuing education in the medical field. Don't b!tch at me if Canada outsources to disposables! LOL.

Oh well. Yes, $5.15/hr*40*52=$10,712 ... but I challenge you to find ANYONE actually making that. Most of those jobs aren't even full time -- and rightly so -- because they are NOT jobs of which careers are made.

Your statistical knowledge is lacking. Median = midpoint -- as in 50% make more than the median and 50% make less. None of my friends and neighbors are complaining about their incomes going down, and a goodly portion of them are non-college grads working in a variety of fields.

All downhill since 1972. Sheesh! Get a GRIP man!!
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If you do the research, I think you'll find that median inco
Oct 23, 2005 6:19PM PDT

income peaked in 1972 and has eroded ever since when adjusted for inflation. In otherwords: the income distribution was most equitable in 1972 and has steadily become less equitable. The rich have become richer significantly, and nobody else has done any better, most have done worse.

And yes, from your posts you do appear to be a vigorous proponent of the American Heritage Institutes' "the best statistical spin money can buy" here so I guess I did mean you.

Paul Weyrich set out in 1964 to create a Conservative revolution through funding think-tanks and advocacy groups and if I didn't dislike the results so much his success would be admirable.

As it is I distrust Conservative statistics and points of view in the same way I distrust Ralph Nader's advocacy and statistics. They're too extreme for my tastes, and are based on too much manipulation of the data which, as you know as a scientist and mathematician, can be massaged to produce just about anything you want.

It is unChristian, in my opinion, to exploit a work force, to maintain an unsafe workplace, to pay them less than a decent share of the companies earnings given how much an employer depends on them, or to cripple your country's economy by exporting jobs. But it's clearly profitable as hell since that's what businesses in the US have been doing for decades now. And as the economy gets worse for just about everybody except those at the very top remember who it was that gave free rein to the guys who screwed you.

Rob

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Nobody is exploiting a workforce
Oct 24, 2005 12:45AM PDT

Get real!

You complain that jobs you used to do now require a certification. They SHOULD, especially when hospitals will bet their a$$es sued if some uncertified worker messes something up.

You can rant all you want about the bias of sources. BLS stats and census stats are not partisan sources.

Part of the unemployment problem in your beloved Canada is directly tied to your artificial minimum wages and high taxes. But rejoice! It's worse in France and Germany!

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And screw the small business owner, right?
Oct 21, 2005 10:49PM PDT

Charity by government decree is not charity.

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