Gary wrote: (Minimum Wage) “Fundamental human morality is the answer to why not. There are only so many positions of advancement and pay increase. And they’re already filled. When one becomes vacant, one person advances while 99 remain at their base level of poverty. Increasing the number of applicants for the one position by hiring more people at a lower wage does not increase the number of people who advance and escape poverty, rather it increases the number who remain in poverty. If the minimum wage were set at a level where an industrious worker could scrape by, actually scrape by, with the wage he/she is paid, there would indeed be fewer jobs available, I’ll grant you that, but the total number of people on the welfare rolls would decline. As it stands, EVERYONE who currently makes minimum wage is on welfare. Contrary to popular belief, minimum wage workers are typically not life-sucking scum who want a handout. There are indeed deadbeats out there, but the vast majority of minimum wage workers are what I refer to as the industrious poor. They work like dogs, 60-100 hours a week, and they still can’t get by. They did nothing wrong, they work hard, they show up on time and they perform a full day’s work for the meager paychecks they receive. I think a system that guarantees that they can’t even make enough to buy nutritious food and basic shelter and a smidgen of happiness is an immoral system. I am one of the 1%. I worked hard to get where I am, but you know what? I didn’t work any harder than the night stocker at Walmart. By some accident of nature, I got high scores on my math test with minimal studying, while he got C’”
Fred Says, Gary, help us understand. If there are only so many positions of advancement how does this apply to the U.S. labor force rising from about 50 million workers in 1940 to over 155 million today? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only 1.4% of wage earners in California receive the minimum wage or less, and only 4.7% nationally. Half are 16-24 years old and nearly half work part-time. The average family of a minimum wage worker takes in over $44,000 per year, and 42% of minimum wage workers live with parents or a relative. For the few heads of households, many unmarried women with children and not even a high school diploma, qualify for the Government’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) granting them subsidies for dropping out of school and having children out of wedlock. Not EVERYONE receiving the minimum wage is on welfare, most are not. Only people who call themselves liberals call minimum wage workers life-sucking scum. Informed people know most minimum wage temporary workers (many if not most while in college) are part of middle-class and upper-income families. Raising the minimum “learning” wage eliminates jobs for people just starting out and since 1948 nearly every time the minimum wage has been raised black teenage unemployment has increased from under 9% to over 40%. (See Walter William’s study). Contrary to most of your uninformed statements, it’s doubtful that anyone “works like dogs, 60-100 hours a week and can’t get by,” since it is quite rare for any workers to receive the minimum wage for more than one year. As Casey Stengel would say, “You can Look it up.” Please don’t be one of those, who Isabel Paterson referred to as a Humanitarian with the Guillotine. Fred Schnaubelt, Former Chairman, Board of Public Welfare.