Obama Proposes Increase in Minimum Wage

  1. 1
    "Indeed, had the federal minimum wage rate kept pace with inflation, it would now be at $10.56 per hour. Even with the Presidentís proposed increase the minimum wage to $9.00, a minimum wage worker would only be getting the buying power that he or she had in 1981."

    "America should not be a place where someone willing to work hard for 40 hours a week cannot manage to break through the poverty line."

    Conservatives argue this will increase the unemployment rate and put a burden on small businesses.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickunga...ive-america/2/
    TheCommuter likes this.
  2. Poll: How do you feel a/b minimum wage increases? Select all that apply.

    • View Results
  3. Get our hottest nursing topics delivered to your inbox.

  4. 49 Comments so far...

  5. 2
    The data show that minimum wage increases have little effect on unemployment among college graduates. Minimum wage increases lead to higher unemployment among high school graduates, though, and significantly increase unemployment for the least skilled, least educated workers. The minimum wage may be a well-intentioned public policy, but it often hurts the workers most in need of help.

    Artificially raising wages for unskilled workers reduces the demand for those workers at the same time that it increases the number of unskilled workers looking for work, which results in an excess supply of unskilled workers. Period. The laws of supply and demand are not optional.
    Spidey's mom and Jolie like this.
  6. 2
    Quote from pigginsrn
    The data show that minimum wage increases have little effect on unemployment among college graduates. Minimum wage increases lead to higher unemployment among high school graduates, though, and significantly increase unemployment for the least skilled, least educated workers. The minimum wage may be a well-intentioned public policy, but it often hurts the workers most in need of help.

    Artificially raising wages for unskilled workers reduces the demand for those workers at the same time that it increases the number of unskilled workers looking for work, which results in an excess supply of unskilled workers. Period. The laws of supply and demand are not optional.
    Does this mean that we should allow the minimum wage to lag far behind COLA?
    Not_A_Hat_Person and OCNRN63 like this.
  7. 1
    Quote from pigginsrn
    The data show that minimum wage increases have little effect on unemployment among college graduates. Minimum wage increases lead to higher unemployment among high school graduates, though, and significantly increase unemployment for the least skilled, least educated workers. The minimum wage may be a well-intentioned public policy, but it often hurts the workers most in need of help.

    Artificially raising wages for unskilled workers reduces the demand for those workers at the same time that it increases the number of unskilled workers looking for work, which results in an excess supply of unskilled workers. Period. The laws of supply and demand are not optional.
    I would like to know where to go for the data you refer to.
    TheCommuter likes this.
  8. 1
    Jolie likes this.
  9. 2
    The quote below is from the first link above. It makes no sense to me.
    ... Imagine you are a medical doctor earning a salary of $120,000 per year, approximately $57.69 per hour.

    Now, assume the new minimum wage for doctors was increased to $100 per hour. Due to the new wage hike, your new salary would now be $208,000. With wages that high, the naÔve assumption is that your employer would soon be forced to cut jobs. But, a more likely scenario would be a slash in employee benefits. In other words, what you would earn in wages you would more than pay for in lost employee benefits.

    Now, in order for the hospital to pay your higher wages, the hospital could raise the cost of its services. But because businesses are loath to raise prices, your employer, like many others would instead cut employee benefits. For instance, it would only pay you for the time you actually see patients. You would no longer get all 12 paid holidays. Nor would you get the generous 24 vacation days. You would lose your insurance benefits. You would lose any shift premiums or severance pay. You would lose any paid on-the-job training, conferences, professional development or continuing education.

    If, after all those cuts, your cost of employment was still too high, the hospital would look for other ways to limit your pay. They might refuse to pay for your set-up and clean-up time. Time spent on chart dictation and billing justification might not be allowed to be included in your hours worked. After all that, if your employer still needed to reduce costs, it might require you to pay for your medical supplies and to rent your equipment.

    In order to net your original salary of $120,000, you will likely be working more hours, taking less vacation, and paying out of pocket for your insurance and continuing education costs.

    If your employers could not reduce your benefits enough to pay $100 an hour, then by law they would not be allowed to continue employing you. Although you want to continue work as a doctor, the market says your skills are only worth $57.69 per hour.
    But, with the minimum wage set at $100 per hour, you won't be hired as a doctor because your skills aren't yet worth the minimum wage. You have not only lost your job as a doctor, but you have also lost out on the opportunity for professional development so that one day your skills will be worth $100 per hour.

    However, this doesn't mean you would be unemployed. Instead, you would likely be pushed downward into dead-end jobs which don't have minimum wage requirements. Current minimum wage legislation exempts several jobs such as: farm laborers, switchboard operators, newspaper deliverers, employees of seasonal recreational establishments, babysitters, and drivers. These jobs offer little opportunity for upward mobility. Like the doctor, those who don't possess skills currently worth the going minimum wage are locked out of jobs which provide the opportunity for advancement to higher job classes. ...

    ... If raising the minimum wage for the rich doesn't work, then why think it will foster better work opportunities for the poor? Voting for a minimum wage increase is no more compassionate than if someone were trying to set your minimum wage to $100 per hour, forcing you to lose your benefits or your job. There is no such thing as a free lunch. ...

    Minimum Wage Hurts the Poor
    aknottedyarn and tewdles like this.
  10. 5
    We are talking about raising it from $7.25 an hour to $9.00 an hour, not from $57.69 an hour to $100 an hour. No one should have to work hard for 40 hours a week and still be in poverty. It's a shame we aren't keeping up with inflation & giving these workers the buying power they deserve.
  11. 4
    Quote from tewdles
    Does this mean that we should allow the minimum wage to lag far behind COLA?
    Raising the minimum wage also raises the cost of living. If I have to raise my employees' wages based on legislation rather than quality of work and output, I am then forced to raise the prices of my products as well. A price increase will cause some customers to stop purchasing my products, resulting in less of a need for employees. That vicious cycle does nothing to increase the purchasing power of minimum wage employees. The antidote to low pay is gaining education, marketable skills and work experience, not requiring employers to pay an individual more than his/her contribution merits. The latter will simply convince the employer not to hire the individual at all.

    Businesses are not social service agencies. Businesses exist to make a profit. That is how they can afford to pay taxes, wages, benefits, etc, and how workers are motivated. I am quite certain that if I couldn't afford to pay my staff, I would be the only one going to work today.
    azhiker96, Spidey's mom, SC_RNDude, and 1 other like this.
  12. 1
    Quote from herring_RN
    The quote below is from the first link above. It makes no sense to me.
    Why is this difficult to understand? It is an accurate description of the methods an employer might use to try to avoid firing employees in the event of a mandated wage increase not supported by their finances or business model.

    Contrary to popular belief, most employers do not relish firing capable workers. Most are loathe to do so and will try every other possible option to avoid it. If legislation mandates wages, but does not address benefits, sick time, holiday time, prep time, etc. then those represent possible savings. In all likelihood, they won't be enough to make up for the increased cost of wages, though, so the employer will be forced to consider other options. In this economy, raising prices is not a good choice for most businesses, as doing so will lead to predictible loss of demand, which lessens business income and lessens demand for workers, so now the employer has additional justification to let employees go.

    Ultimately, workers will be lost regardless of the employers' efforts to avoid doing so because economic principles and supply/demand can not be overcome by legislation, no matter how well meaning.
    SC_RNDude likes this.
  13. 4
    Quote from mariebailey
    We are talking about raising it from $7.25 an hour to $9.00 an hour, not from $57.69 an hour to $100 an hour. No one should have to work hard for 40 hours a week and still be in poverty. It's a shame we aren't keeping up with inflation & giving these workers the buying power they deserve.
    We rarely hire anyone without previous experience or formal education in our field. We have 2 entry-level positions: receptionist (every 16 year old is capable of answering a phone) and cleaning. By starting inexperienced, unskilled, unproven workers in these positions, we are able to learn their work habits and decide whether we are willing to invest in the significant training necessary to move them into production or sales. We come to believe that some are worth the investment and some are not.

    But I have a question. Do you believe that an inexperienced, unskilled (and unproven) worker ought to have the same buying power as a highly educated individual whose skills and experience are key to a business?

    Last year, a valued employee came to us and asked us to consider hiring her younger brother. He had just graduated high school and was working part-time at the concession stand of a ball park. He had no interest in further education and no skills or work experience to speak of. His girlfriend, an unemployed recent hs grad was giving up her college plans because she had learned that she was pregnant. Both soon-to-be parents lived at home with their respective families.

    We hired B out of respect for his sister. We made an exception and didn't start him out in one of the entry-level positions. We put him directly into production at nearly full-time hours with a plan for training that would last thru the summer. He repeatedly called off because he didn't want to miss out on the social events that his high school friends were attending. We had a meeting with him to clarify our expectations for attendance and progress in learning our production. His attendance improved somewhat, but still fell short of expectations. He was put on probation, but we continued with his training. By the end of the summer, he had mastered about 1/2 of what was needed to do his job independently. That limited the hours we were able to schedule him, since he could only work when there were at least 2 other production workers on the line to supervise and assist him. We continued to review progress with him into the fall, when attendance problems arose again. We learned that he was calling off to take day jobs at the ball park because it was fun, and was easier work. (It also paid less, but he said that didn't matter to him since he lived at home and didn't really have many expenses.) We didn't fire him, but did cut his hours back, since it was a problem to try and find coverage when he called out on short notice. After Christmas, he quit to take a job driving a delivery truck. It paid minimum wage (less than our wage) and was not full time, but it appealed to him because it was "easy work."

    He is now married and the baby is approaching a year old. His wife is a stay-at-home mother. They receive housing assistance, supplemental income assistance and healthcare coverage at taxpayer expense. I know this for certain, because as a former employer, he brings us verification forms on a regular basis to submit to the state in order to maintain benefits. They are nice people and I wish them well, but I ask...why should I (as an employer) be berated for "failing to provide them with a living wage?"

    In what circumstances will you acknowledge that a person's limited earning potential and buying power are the result of their own poor choices and not the fault of employers and society at large?
    imintrouble, azhiker96, Spidey's mom, and 1 other like this.


Top