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Minimum Wage Hike Is Desperately Needed

March 10, 2013

To the Readers’ Forum: When I was in high school, I worked at a grocery store in Jamestown and received minimum wage. This was adequate as my parents supported me financially....

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(105)

Jamestownite

Mar-10-13 1:22 AM

Minimum wage needs to go down, not up. We need a shot in the arm in highly skilled jobs like manufacturing. Why should we spend 13 years going to school only to learn that after busting your royal britches on calculus, the farthest it'll ever get is, "Hi welcome to Burger world..May I take your order?" Service in these fields has slacked off, gas stations no longer have attendants pumping/washing your windshields, the likes of Wal Mart are using more Self Serve machines, ones that'll never quit, go on break, retire, eat, be fired, or UNIONIZE.

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BudZilla

Mar-10-13 4:29 AM

Minimum wage goes up, prices on everything go up MORE, punishing those at minimum wage and those above it.

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BudZilla

Mar-10-13 6:25 AM

"All workers are entitled to a Living Wage that gives them the freedom to meet their family's basic needs, afford healthcare costs, and save for retirement in order to be self-sufficent."

Sounds good, but reality says that a business can only pay an employee what they are worth. Pushing a broom, answering phones, or assembling parts is only worth so much. Demand more than that and businesses wisely move offshore where labor is affordable.

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Coppergoat

Mar-10-13 6:26 AM

Before we get a flood of non-economists talking about how an increase in minimum wage will just be "passed along" to the consumer resulting in higher prices (just like corporate taxes would be "passed along"), please google "price elasticity" and educate yourself on modern economics.

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BudZilla

Mar-10-13 6:27 AM

An WAY too typical employee who shows up most Mondays hung over, demands a smoke break every 45 minutes, and does shoddy work simply does not merit a "Living Wage."

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BudZilla

Mar-10-13 6:30 AM

Coop: After minimum wage goes up, we can blame $5.00 a gallon gasoline on other things, but there are reasons it has stayed $4.00 and below. One of those reasons is minimum wage levels.

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khulumzurug

Mar-10-13 7:37 AM

eliminate any kind of mandatory wage, let the marketplace determine the value. bet wages would go up.

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Brianmel

Mar-10-13 7:47 AM

Keep the Government out it, they cant do much of anything right.

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KCW007

Mar-10-13 8:14 AM

There are other detrimental aspects to increasing labor costs, which are not offset by productivity gains, besides a reflective increase in pricing. If costs increase, something has to "pop", doesn't it? If not the price of goods and services sold then a reduction in return on investment (lower profit) is a real possibility, maybe to the point be being unacceptable and resulting in liquidation. But before that, an effort will be made to lower labor input while attempting to increase the the productivity of labor still employed (fewer people doing more work). Ultimately, it's the now struggling middle class that's going to foot the bill in one way or another, and what will they have to show for it; other than a lighter wallet?

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Palin2012

Mar-10-13 8:30 AM

I am wondering where the letter writer thinks the money will come from to pay the increased wages. I am sure the business owner(s) and the CEOs will generously offer to cut their income, right? Right, I doubt that will ever happen. Any increase will ultimately be passed on to the consumers, gobbling up the pay raise given to the employee. And what about those who have worked their way up to higher paying jobs? They will be forced to also pay more for goods and services while being paid the same wage they make today. Of course this is after businesses attempt to reduce their labor pool, consider moving out of NY state, or possibly decide to close their doors forever.

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CREDENCE

Mar-10-13 8:58 AM

It's not a wage hike that's needed. Who are you trying to kid? What is needed is for the CLOWNS in Wash. DC. to stop with the wasteful spending on nonsense and the flippant printing of play money !!!!

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duckster

Mar-10-13 9:20 AM

There are different schools of thought here. However, one fact that can not be denied is this: Min. wage hikes in the past have absolutely not had the detrimental impact that was feared. Some fairly new companies (like Costco or Whole Foods and to a lesser degree,Wegmans) use a model of employee friendly work environments and compensation) The result? They are doing unusually well in this down economy...

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southernman

Mar-10-13 9:27 AM

This is not a simple issue. Many good points are made on both sides. I think that small increases to Min. Wg., perhaps tied w/inflation would be a better approach. Say M.W. is 7. Say I make 9. Raise MW to 9. Will I get a raise too? No. Was I demoted? Depends on your point of view. If prices go up, like many said (probably right), and my wage stays at 9, then my buying power is decreased, my wage value that was earned of being 2 above MW is now gone, and my morale is diminished. Next Point: From the other side, 'entitlement' is not a good point or reason. Yet, our society will pay for those making MW one way or the other. ie: Either we pay them enough to live on in the first place, or we will pay them through entitlement programs with our taxes. Which is better? I see many pros and cons to the issue and do not see an easy answer. The loss of our Mnfng. base jobs has led to many, many problems.

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Coppergoat

Mar-10-13 9:44 AM

Just so everyone is clear, corporate profits have broken records for the last three years in a row; Wall St. just hit a new historic high on Friday. All in the midst of the so-called "Obama Recession." Yet for even a crumb of those profits to be diverted to the workers sends the Foxbots off a cliff. Again, educate yourself on capitalism before you weigh in. Historically, gains in productivity and profitability have been shared (albeit unequally) between labor and capital. Capital has reaped 100% of the gains over the last decade. That kind of imbalance cannot stand; it undermines the economy, and leads to the ridiculous situation of people working three jobs to make ends meet being denounced as "lazy takers" for qualifying for food stamps.

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Badnewsbear

Mar-10-13 10:33 AM

Duck, you are right about those 3 retailers having a model that pays more than minimum wage. However, from doing business with all 3 of them, I also know that they set their employee standards much higher and the typical minimum wage slacker does not last long. By expecting, and receiving, more from each employee, they also hire less people than the average business would at minimum wage, so there are trade-offs. I disagree that there were no adverse effects of prior increases as there is a reduction in minimum wage positions, so greater unemployment. While large companies can handle it better, small business is crushed by minimum wage increases.

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KCW007

Mar-10-13 10:35 AM

Southernman makes a very point as to the demise of our higher profit manufacturing base and the advent of the service based economy. Of course this turnover began in the late 1960's, but it really has come home to roost now. If you where in the job market in the mid 1960's you know that the differance between then and now is...simply shocking. The expensive entitlement programs instituted on the mid 60's assumed that there'd be an industrial based economy to fund it forever. Today is a VERY differant ecomonic reality from 1965, the old models of post ression economic rebound may no longer apply and it may very well be that general standards of living will be reduced. Of course that's been the situation regionally since 1970. I know that people don't want to deal with that likelyhood, but I doubt that the smart money is betting against it.

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Badnewsbear

Mar-10-13 10:48 AM

Goat, your numbers are highly unrelated and misleading. Record profits are a result of cutbacks and sitting on cash due to uncertainty of what new regulations, fees and taxes that will be coming, especially with Obamacare. In fact, most companies are making the same profit percentage as they always have, but with all prices having risen, you have record profits in total dollars. Don't kid yourself, businesses exist to make profits and if they cannot meet certain criteria, they close and move the money to another business or investment where they can. They arent charities. Increased minimum wage adds costs, not just in wages, but to the cost of benefits, insurances, etc..., many of which are based on a percentage of income, so if the wage goes up, those costs go up. No business is going to simply absorb this withoUt making cuts somewhere. Minimum wage increases are counter productive.

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KCW007

Mar-10-13 11:12 AM

I'd bet that most people who are for this huge minimum wage increase are also opposed to WalMart, as it supposedly kills off the local mom & pop retail operations. But as Badnewsbear points out, it is the larger operations, with their ability to better increase worker productivity & otherwise better control other costs, that can absorb higher labor costs & yet retain an acceptable investment return; something that the little places on old Main Street are far less able to do. "Be careful of what you wish for, as you just might get it."

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Harold

Mar-10-13 11:13 AM

What some of you fail to realize is that the majority of corporations have fewer than 50 employees, many fewer than 10. These corporations have not seen record profits, but soft sales and profit losses. Don't lump everyone in with WalMart and Exxon.

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johnee

Mar-10-13 12:03 PM

The problem people have with minimum wage is that the do not try to improve themselves in order to have more employment opportunities. I started out making 2.85/hr which was fine in high school, after getting out of the service looked for a decent paying job and went to school. It can be done and having a family & a job is no excuse for not doing it. You have to be willing to make the sacrifice in the short term for the long term gain. Problem is too many want the government do it for them.

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Coppergoat

Mar-10-13 12:05 PM

It's the Land of Oz in here. "Pay no attention to the record-breaking trillions in corporate profits behind the curtain! An all-time bullish Wall St. means nothing!" How completely owned by the corporate media you are.

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GioAllie

Mar-10-13 12:13 PM

"huge minimum wage increase?"--the audacity of it all---to support a pay scale for a working family above the poverty line.

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Badnewsbear

Mar-10-13 12:23 PM

Goat, forget the media, what business experience do you have? What type of degree do you have? I'll put my 2 decades in the food industry and a degree in a finance related field behind my comments. What do you have?

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Badnewsbear

Mar-10-13 12:25 PM

Allie, ever heard of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY? Minimum wage is for starters or supplemental income. People who want to earn more need to take responsibility for themselves, get educated/trained, seek more responsibility and, if necessary, move for better opportunities. Businesses do not owe anybody anything. It's up to you to earn it and improve yourself to get there.

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Girlyman

Mar-10-13 12:56 PM

It just wants to make me puke listening to the "yes people" making excuses for the crooked business people who have all the advantages in there favor already. If you can't make an honest buck in the USA and pay your employees an honest wage and give them the respecvt they have earned then you are not a business man you are a scumbag!!!!! allowing the business people to keep wages dirt low hurts everyone in the USA and most certainly our buying power that drives the economy.

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