What Should the Minimum Wage Be (USA)?

by Village Idiot 66 Replies latest social current

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    During the GOP debates Donald Trump said that American’s “wages [are] too high” and later said “that having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country” (7:25).

    Do you agree and if so why?

    My two cents on this issue; do the math.

    • Federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
    • Full time work (if available) is slightly over 160 hours a month.
    • $7.25 x 160 = 1160 before taxes.

    Now subtract:

    • A one bedroom apartment in many cities: $1,000 a month.
    • Food bills: $150 a month per person.

    Is there anything left for:

    • Car expenses and insurance?
    • Or riding the bus which is more expensive than gasoline?
    • Internet which is needed for getting a job?

    I remember in the 1980s how conservatives used to mock the misery of Russians living under the communist regime because 2 families had to share a 2 bedroom apartment. Same thing in Cuba with 3 generations having to live in the same apartment.

    Here in the US I know of a 40 year old man who has to live with his mother because his $9 an hour job cannot afford him anything else. Multiply him times 10 million.

  • Finkelstein

    I think it should be higher than what it is now, maybe $12 or $13

    One must keep in mind that Trump has many minimum wage earners within his many business establishments.

    He knows whats at stake if the minimum rate rises.

    I would be assumable that he also pushed to stop any organized labor union to develop within those businesses.

  • juandefiero

    If your job isn't paying you enough, perhaps it's time to find a job that pays more.

    If you can't find a job that pays more, perhaps it's time to learn a new skill.

    If you can't learn a new skill, perhaps $7.25/hour is all you're labor is worth.

  • slimboyfat

    $13 an hour, maybe?

    But I think the argument has moved beyond minimum wage or even living wage. Citizen's income is where it's at now and what level that should be.


  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    juandefiero, that reasoning can be used to justify pure slavery. Those higher paying jobs regardless of skill level simply do not exist in sufficient quantities to employ everyone who's earning low wages.

  • PaintedToeNail

    People are only FINANCIALLY worth the amount they produce, plus a profit, to whomever they are working for. If you raise the minimum wage across the board, the cost of goods and services will go up. It doesn't take a lot of skill or intelligence to flip hamburgers over and over. It does take some skill to be a plumber. It takes even more skill to be a surgeon. The pay is commensurate to the skill level and need for said skill at any given time.

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot


    "If you raise the minimum wage across the board, the cost of goods and services will go up."

    Again, do the math. Labor costs are about 20-30% of expenses in the retail sector (Supermarkets, hardware and department stores). If you were to double all wages the costs would go up by 20-30 cents on the dollar. That would allow for those who were earning minimum wage to buy more products and invigorate the economy.

    In any case, how low would you go? How low do you think the minimum wage should be?

  • talesin

    Capitalism, run rampant (ie, Randism) doesn't work. No minimum wage will ever work, because the old network of the 1% controls the system.

    We (in the west) have deluded ourselves long enough - the "American Dream" is now a fantasy. Yes, you can scratch your way into a decent wage-bracket, but let's face it. We are mostly just wage slaves, and have the same life as the peasants have always had. It's just in a prettier package, and we can delude ourselves into thinking we are all equal. ahahahaha!

  • Saintbertholdt

    First let me say this: Price floors and price ceilings are generally a very bad idea. They express themselves in unexpected and more often than not negative ways in an economy and one ends up with unintended consequences.


    The beauty of the minimum wage is that there is nothing that labor intensive or service industry businesses can do about it. For example: McDonald's can't hire less personnel unless they bring in more automation (which is a good thing in itself as it drives down prices). So they either bite the bullet and the minimum wage is reflected in their product pricing or it gets reflected in a reduction in profits. A company like McDonald's cannot mess with product pricing too much because they rely on volume so inevitably it will be reflected in profits.

    I believe minimum wage is a primary mechanism for determining the basic living standard of a population.


    Minimum wages were increased in the USA during the Great Depression as a counter against exploitation. The result was that Businesses stopped hiring. So a minimum wage increase can also have a severely deleterious effect.


    I am very conflicted on the subject. I feel that there is something to be said for a reasonable minimum wage and as Village Idiot pointed out: "I remember in the 1980s how conservatives used to mock the misery of Russians living under the communist regime...Here in the US I know of a 40 year old man who has to live with his mother because his $9 an hour job cannot afford him anything else."

    I sometimes feel that the minimum wage can be used as a powerful economic tool to uplift a population's living standards. For example: What if a country decided that two adults did not have to work full time to support a family of four but only a single adults minimum wage income should suffice. The country could increase minimum wages accordingly and encourage a return to the nuclear family. But what about a single person? They would now be living in luxury. Well that would be an incentive for people not to procreate and remain single. Perhaps that is what one wants in a particular circumstance.

    On the other hand it could undermine an economy if the economy is already under strain.

    In short: I REALLY DUNNO

  • talesin

    There was a study done in the late 90s, in Canada. It determined that if we got rid of the social welfare system, and all the administrative costs, each Canadian could receive, from birth, $10,000 / year. That's how much it costs to ADMINISTRATE welfare. THe costs of the admin. people, social workers, etc.

    So think of that - each working class family would receive $10,000 for each family member. That would be a real secure base for everyone.

    The system is set up to benefit those who control it. It's all poppycock, and yes, we may be technologically advanced, but socially? Ahahahaha........... it's all about the money. We don't care about the poor and the sick, as a SOCIETY.

    We are far too complacent, and demand little from our governments. Hey, plug in the gaming system and have a go....... it's much easier to do that, and let ourselves be led by the nose.


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