When did we stop shooting for higher goals?

Pat Griffin’s letter “Raise the Minimum Wage for Workers” suggests a $12 minimum wage, and then tells the reader that a person would have to work four full-time jobs at that rate just to receive a living wage.

That kind of confirms that a minimum wage is not designed to be a full-time job and support a family of four. I raised my kids to work hard in school and at their jobs in order to advance themselves and make a better living. Griffin seems to think that a certain class of people are too stupid to advance themselves and need to just settle for the bare minimum. How degrading is that?

There are many lower wage positions needed to be filled by part-time student and seniors looking to supplement their retirement years. Raising a family on $25,000 a year isn’t going to cut it. And by the way, it is not the responsibility of an employer to pay those positions more money — of course, unless, you want to pay $9 for a cheeseburger.

Ric Mayle, Pinehurst

(23) comments

Jim Davis

Mr. Heim....as usual has left out critical facts. Seattle's minimum wage is not as simple as "Seattle's minimum is now at $15 to $16 an hour and the difference on supermarket prices is scarcely noticeable." In truth, the minimum wage in Seattle is $12.00 and only as high as $15.00 based on business size and benefits provided. The bigger question is...how much control should/does government have over private business? For the record, it is not business nor governments role to provide for or set rules that provide a so-called "living wage"...how about this, if you have not reached a point in life where you can afford a family or the purchase a home....then don't. This really is a discussion about government oversight versus personal responsibility and those that share Mr. Heim's mindset scare me....

James Heim

Correction: The rise would raise the pay for 20 million and lift 1.3 million out of poverty per CBO.

Peyton Cook

Your figures are wrong. The CBO estimates that a $15 minimum wage would pull 1.3 million out of poverty at the cost of 1.3 to 3.7 million jobs.

Ed Pieczynski

Why did you leave out the part of the CBO report that said it would also COST between 1.3 and 3.7 MILLION jobs!

Mark Hayes

Mr Heim commented on Job Destruction, making an important point, and just by tweaking his comment a slight bit, I have used some of what he has stated. If a job ( employee ) doesn't create enough revenue to make it ( them ) worth $15. or more, it (that employee ) has no place in this economy ( employment ). Hard truths, if an employee has not been recognized for their talents and contributions to a business owner within a reasonable time period, they are either not generating enough profit, and the employer is willing to lose that employee due to their lack of expectations, or that employee will receive recognition and increased wages, private sector business owners do not want to lose valuable employees over a few dollars. Politicians on the other hand are not the funding source of this nations economy, they are the drag we all pay taxes to fund their political aspirations , easy for them to mandate pay increases, they are not the ones paying them.

ken leary

Another perspective. A guy/gal works for you for eight hours. After four hours the guy/gal's labor has resulted in their reaching the limit of their reward. The capitalist, that would be you Mark, pockets the other four hours. Kind of like wage slavery after the four hours. (C+V+S) My way of thinking, you want to rob people after four hours, maybe pat them on the head and tell them what a great little worker they are, maybe dangle another buck in front of them to inspire their productivity, they should tell you to find someone else, You want to pay fairly, or even better, start a coop, then maybe your on the right track to my thinking. Just out of curiosity, is what you do of any real use or necessity to anybody? Chris Rock said that minimum wage really means, "if I could pay them less, I would."

James Heim

Shocking news. CBO study shows a $15/hr minimum wage would raise prices by 0.3%. Surely that's too high a price to pay for lifting 20 million fellow Americans out of poverty.

Kent Misegades

The folly of minimum wage laws was exposed decades ago but people do not learn from it. First, the federal constitution provides no right to the government to dictate what wage an employer pays his employees. The whole notion is absurd - free markets determine the value of our work, not a politician or unelected bureaucrat. Meddle in the free market of labor and all one does is encourage illegal aliens or the investment in automation and other means to reduce head counts and payrolls. The best minimum wage law is no minimum wage law.

Ric Mayle

Well said Kent. You're right on!

Kent Misegades

“In 2017, 80.4 million workers age 16 and older in the United States were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.3 percent of all wage and salary workers. Among those paid by the hour, 542,000 workers earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.”. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Basic math shows that less than 1% of hourly wage earners are paid minimum wage.

Mark Hayes

We live in a society where people use their $800 iPhone to check the balance on their EBT card.

Peyton Cook

Mandated minimum wages lock out the young inexperienced youth, in particular, and those who have not done well in secondary school.

James Heim

Message to the kids; stay in school. Why should millions of workers suffer for people not willing to get a free education?

Peyton Cook

Many are not getting a good education especially in the big cities. Where there are programs allotting vouchers they are oversubscribed. Most of these programs are opposed by Democrats.

James Heim

58% of American workers make minimum wage. That's a solid majority. That's over 84 million. To expect them to live in their cars with their children because that isn't enough to rent a two-bedroom apartment in any US county just to avoid a few cents on a cheeseburger is a moral failure. Seattle's minimum is now at $15 to $16 an hour and the difference on supermarket prices is scarcely noticeable. There is no justification for condemning most Americans to a life of poverty when they work hard to provide for their families.The current federal minimum is shameful.

Conrad Meyer

James, you are not entitled to your own facts. I say BS on your numbers as they make no sense. For those that want the truth (if you believe our government), here is a link to the truth. https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/minimum-wage/2017/home.htm The truth is (2017 data): 58% of Americans are paid hourly wages or 80.4 million workers. Of those 80.4 million workers, only 1.8 million were paid the Federal minimum wage or lower. 1.8 million is barely a solid minority, but it sure is a great campaign talking point when you have nothing else to run on.

James Heim

Numbers are from Bureau of Labor Statistics

Conrad Meyer

You had better check your interpretation of the BLS numbers - I provided the link. There is no way your interpretation is anywhere close to being right.

Jim Tomashoff

Thank you for providing the link. Now if I could just get some of your ideological kindred spirits to do so.

Conrad Meyer

I agree with you Jim, data is always your friend. Unfortunately, people can see the same data and come up with wildly differing interpretations. However, this is the Opinion section, so some will simply opine.

Ric Mayle

Way to go Conrad. Libs are great at making up their own facts. James is another who believes people cannot have drive and potential. They must settle for a hand out. Socialism is great as long as the payers money holds out.

Jim Tomashoff

"James is another who believes people cannot have drive and potential." Ric, you were able to deduce this belief of James Heim from his mere five lines of comment? Amazing! Well, maybe not so amazing, I as able to deduce that your ability to deduce facts from scant evidence are not a threat to Sherlock Holmes, or the other 99.99% of actual people who live on earth.

Ed Pieczynski

Not sure where you get your information but the comment that "58% of workers make minimum wage" is delusional. Fro a 2017 labor report: "other people who have confirmed that only a little more than 4% actually are paid at precisely minimum wage levels in the US, this obscures the reality that almost a third of our hourly workforce is “near” that level".

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