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Raising Minimum Wages

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#1
Butero

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What is the minimum wage where you live? Do you feel that the minimum wage should be raised? If you are or were to be in a position of unemployment and you are unable to find the job in your profession due to the lack of job market, how do you feel about temporarily taking a minimum wage job?

 

I live in the state of Illinois. Our minimum wage is currently at $8.25/hr. I feel that our minimum wages should be raised up to at least $10.00/hr. The cost of living is steadily going up. The average 1 bedroom apartment in Chicago starts at about $750/mo.

 

I lost my job of 11 years in June of 2013. I was working as a Full-Time Teacher Assistant. Chicago Public Schools closed down 50 Schools due to the lack of enrollment. The job market has been low in that area of work that I'm looking for. I am currently looking for another job. 

 

I don't believe there should be any minimum wage.  All minimum wage laws should be abolished.  All they do is lead to jobs being cut or prices being raised, and they make us less competitive with the rest of the world.  If you raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour for instance, the employers will either cut jobs and put more work on those still employed, or they will raise the price on everything to make up for the higher wages.  Take the fast food places for an example.  You raise the minimum wage for burger flippers at McDonalds, and the price on everything goes up.  Now those on a low income don't have enough money to buy that big mac, so they don't stop at McDonalds.  This means they don't need as many workers, so people are laid off.  As prices have gone up, I have reduced the amount of money I spend on fast food.  I have even cut down on buying coffee at truck stops because their prices have gone up, and I drink instant coffee instead.  I know a lot of textile jobs that were lost because the minimum wage made them unable to compete with imports, and I can't tell you how many people lost their jobs entirely.  It was not a "living wage," but in many cases it was an extra income in a household, and it made a huge difference when it came to buying food, clothes and paying the utilities.  There are always consequences to the government getting involved in things, and the minimum wage was a bad idea from the beginning.  My position is that we abolish it completely on the state and federal level and let the market determine wages. 


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#2
OakWood

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I have mixed feelings about this, since I have been unemployed for about six weeks. It seems nice to have a minimum wage but it's economically unrealistic. I realise that minimum wages are meant to keep workers from being exploited, but if the market was free to do its own thing then jobs would boom and wages would rise anyway.

Saying that. it's no fun to work for minimum wage and to work for anything less than that would be a travesty.

In the end, I would have to settle for economic sense and say that minimum wages are a bad thing.

 

Just for the record, the minimum wage in the UK is about £6 per hour (I think), which is between $9 and $10.


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#3
shiloh357

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Minimum wages should be determined state by state.  I would say get rid of a federal minimum wage.   The reason is that economies differ from state to state.   $10.00 an hour in West Virginia is not the same as $10.00 in New York City.   Rather than having a one-size-fits-all federal minimum wage, let each state decide on its own based on its unique economic realities.

 

If we get rid of minimum wages altogether, we would revert back to a time when employers were paying people almost nothing. There does need to be safeguard in place to keep employers from paying wages that are unfairly low.  

 

Raises in pay need to be based on merit and affordability for the company. 


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#4
Butero

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Minimum wages should be determined state by state.  I would say get rid of a federal minimum wage.   The reason is that economies differ from state to state.   $10.00 an hour in West Virginia is not the same as $10.00 in New York City.   Rather than having a one-size-fits-all federal minimum wage, let each state decide on its own based on its unique economic realities.

 

If we get rid of minimum wages altogether, we would revert back to a time when employers were paying people almost nothing. There does need to be safeguard in place to keep employers from paying wages that are unfairly low.  

 

Raises in pay need to be based on merit and affordability for the company. 

As far as I am concerned, if someone will work for 10 cents an hour, you should be able to pay them that wage.  Reality is, nobody will work for that salary, and the market will force employers to pay a reasonable wage for the job someone is doing.  I agree with everything you said about wages in one state needing to be different than in another state.  A person can survive on a much lower wage in North Carolina than in New York or California.  The free market will force wages to be higher in places where the cost of living is higher. 


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#5
shiloh357

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As far as I am concerned, if someone will work for 10 cents an hour, you should be able to pay them that wage. 

 

 

The problem is that business would exploit the ability to pay low wages and it wouldn't be the case that someone chooses to work for extremely low wages. They would not have a choice because no one is going to pay you say, $6 an hour if they can legally get away with paying $2 an hour.   So basically, everyone would be end up being almost like slave labor.

 

 

Reality is, nobody will work for that salary, and the market will force employers to pay a reasonable wage for the job someone is doing. 

I agree with everything you said about wages in one state needing to be different than in another state.  A person can survive on a much lower wage in North Carolina than in New York or California.  The free market will force wages to be higher in places where the cost of living is higher. 

If that were true, there would have not been a need for min. wage in the first place.  The reason we needed a min wage was because employers were not paying reasonable wages.
 


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#6
Butero

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As far as I am concerned, if someone will work for 10 cents an hour, you should be able to pay them that wage. 

 

 

The problem is that business would exploit the ability to pay low wages and it wouldn't be the case that someone chooses to work for extremely low wages. They would not have a choice because no one is going to pay you say, $6 an hour if they can legally get away with paying $2 an hour.   So basically, everyone would be end up being almost like slave labor.

 

 

Reality is, nobody will work for that salary, and the market will force employers to pay a reasonable wage for the job someone is doing. 

I agree with everything you said about wages in one state needing to be different than in another state.  A person can survive on a much lower wage in North Carolina than in New York or California.  The free market will force wages to be higher in places where the cost of living is higher. 

If that were true, there would have not been a need for min. wage in the first place.  The reason we needed a min wage was because employers were not paying reasonable wages.
 

 

All laws did come about to try to resolve a problem, so I understand your point, but who decides what is a reasonable wage?  Is 8.25 hr a reasonable wage for a fast food worker?  Was $5 per hr reasonable for such unskilled labor?  Should it be $10 or even $15 per hr.?  All I see happening is politicians getting together and creating an arbitrary minimum wage for political reasons, and claiming that is now a living wage.  

 

I used to work for Wal-Mart.  As you know, the government mandates time and a half for anything over 40 hrs, so what did they do?  They wouldn't let us work over 38 hours, so this forced people to work part time, if they could do so with the flex schedule we had.  I would have rather had no time and a half laws and worked more hours at Wal-Mart.  A lot of ladies in my community lost their sewing plant jobs because of the minimum wage laws, and those jobs made a difference in household incomes.  It just makes more sense to me to let the market determine wages. 


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#7
shiloh357

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All laws did come about to try to resolve a problem, so I understand your point, but who decides what is a reasonable wage?

 

That would be up to a state to decide.

 

 

Is 8.25 hr a reasonable wage for a fast food worker?  Was $5 per hr reasonable for such unskilled labor?  Should it be $10 or even $15 per hr.?  All I see happening is politicians getting together and creating an arbitrary minimum wage for political reasons, and claiming that is now a living wage.  

 

I don't think min wage was ever meant to be a living wage.   It would be foolish for politicians to pretend that a min wage is a living wage.   It would show just how out of touch they are.

I used to work for Wal-Mart.  As you know, the government mandates time and a half for anything over 40 hrs, so what did they do?  They wouldn't let us work over 38 hours, so this forced people to work part time, if they could do so with the flex schedule we had.  I would have rather had no time and a half laws and worked more hours at Wal-Mart.  A lot of ladies in my community lost their sewing plant jobs because of the minimum wage laws, and those jobs made a difference in household incomes.  It just makes more sense to me to let the market determine wages

 

 

There is a give and take in terms of what government can do and employers' rights.  There needs to be a safeguard against unreasonably low wages, but protections for employers so that they can offer raises on wages solely on on merit and affordability.


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#8
Butero

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I understand your position Shiloh, but I still think we would be better off with no minimum wage.  Since we will never put that genie back in the bottle, there is no way to know what would happen if we got rid of it.  I don't personally think people would work for truly unreasonable wages, but there is no way to be sure, so I will just agree to disagree and move on. 


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#9
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There needs to be stiff penalties for employers that utilize undocumented workers. 


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#10
bopeep1909

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There needs to be stiff penalties for employers that utilize undocumented workers. 

I think so too man.You hear about it all the time.


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#11
Butero

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There needs to be stiff penalties for employers that utilize undocumented workers. 

I think so too man.You hear about it all the time.

 

I believe we can all agree with that. 


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#12
Marnie

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7.25 in VA.  As a small business owner, I can attest to the facts that (1) it is a job killer, because we just scale back when it's raised; (2) it kills business, because we pass on the increase to our customers, (3) nobody that works for us "lives" on 7.25 an hour.  We have students, seniors supplementing their pensions, second-job employees, and temporary employees passing through working for us.


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#13
Dawn1974

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To add on to the drama, I just found out that 2,500 employees will be laid off from Macy's Department store. Stores located in Arizona, Kansas, New York, Utah, and Missouri will be closing. There was a grocery store in Chicago named Dominicks that just recently went out of business. Over 2,000 employees lost their jobs.


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#14
shiloh357

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What was the reason for the layoff?


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#15
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What was the reason for the layoff?

 

While it reported solid holiday sales on Wednesday, Macy’s also announced several cost-cutting measures, including plans to lay off 2,500 employees.

“Our company has significantly increased sales and profitability over the past four years,” Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s chief executive, said in a statement. “We have identified some specific areas where we can improve our efficiency without compromising our effectiveness in serving the evolving needs of our customers.”


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#16
bopeep1909

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All these people being layed off and then the unemployment being cut.....not a good thing.


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All these people being layed off and then the unemployment being cut.....not a good thing.

 

It was long term unemployment that was cut, those out of work over 26 weeks, which is when the states cut one off.  These people will be ok for a while and there is little doubt the long term will be reinstated soon, too much of a political hot potato for the folks in congress to let it go for very long.


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#18
ayin jade

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There needs to be stiff penalties for employers that utilize undocumented workers. 

I think so too man.You hear about it all the time.

 

 

That will never happen. Arizona had such a law and the feds sued us to strike it down. It was called the Employer Sanction Law.


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#19
Dawn1974

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As I continue my job search I am at a crossroads. Sometimes I am concern about the wages. Other times I am concern about weather the job will offer full-time and benefits. I have medical challenges and I can really use the benefits as well. Then there are days where I think about both. Sometimes it becomes hard to figure out which is more important.


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#20
shiloh357

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As I continue my job search I am at a crossroads. Sometimes I am concern about the wages. Other times I am concern about weather the job will offer full-time and benefits. I have medical challenges and I can really use the benefits as well. Then there are days where I think about both. Sometimes it becomes hard to figure out which is more important.

 

Why should it be either/or?  It should be both/and.   You need full benefits and you need a good wage.   But if you HAVE to make a choice, go for the benefits as that will help you more in the long run.   Medical stuff is exepensive and its nice to have a some benefits to cover the cost.

 

What's the cost of living like in Chicago?. 


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