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What is a fair minimum wage?

By Richard Westlund

January 22, 2013

Politics has become the avenue of career for many, who pass name recognition down from father to son, keeping their family in our “ruling class....

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(23)

localresident

Jan-26-13 11:18 PM

So wait, the middle class is growing in Asian countries despite the lack of unions??? But how can this be? And comparing Asian countries and American countries is actually completely viable. The u.s. was once able to innovate and produce on a scale unlike any other country, ever. Now, we've grown into a bunch of anti-productive ******* who would rather hold a cardboard sign than be part of productive society. Yo reap what you sow, not what you write on cardboard with a magic marker.

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Christopher

Jan-25-13 9:01 PM

I think some people need to read a bit more about China and India. The poverty in both of those countries is mind numbing. The pollution is horrendous, worse than anything here by 10. Do they have a middle class, a growing middle class? Yes they do, provided by large American companies shipping jobs there and paying wages less than minimum wages here. They don't even have adequate water or sewage, and I should admire them because a select few have SOME wealth compared to the bottom of the economic spectrum? Again, a ridiculous comparison.

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Nathan

Jan-25-13 5:09 PM

Apparently you have me confused with a Republican... I didn't lose anything. The country lost by electing a liberal... and not a democrat or republican.

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optimistAMONGSTpessimists

Jan-25-13 11:39 AM

Nathan, that's a pretty large brush you're painting with, ain't it? What's with opinion that 'libs don't work/don't want to work', maybe it's opinions and generalizations like that, that lost you the election in November, and continues to drive 'young folks (alll libs ha)', out of this area. Comeon, get a life, facts, and back away from GB and Rush....

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Nathan

Jan-25-13 10:25 AM

It's funny to see some disagree with my hard work beliefs... then again liberals don't want to work.

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Marcia

Jan-25-13 8:51 AM

The NYS retail council has backed the call for an increased minimum wage. They understand if anyone is going to buy their products, they need to be making more money.

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Marcia

Jan-25-13 8:50 AM

thinklongterm, you are correct, minimum wage was not meant to support a family, but many employees still pay their experienced work force minimum wage. And jobs that used to be worked by kids are now having family supporters in them. Some department stores in California are looking for BA degrees for their sales staff.

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Nathan

Jan-24-13 10:06 PM

I actually enjoyed this article. Raising minimum wage is not the answer. Working hard, obtaining additional skill sets/education and dressing and acting professionally can get you noticed and further your opportunities with a better income potential. When I was younger, I had two to three jobs, and got an education. I made smart decisions and worked hard.

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stangv8

Jan-24-13 9:51 PM

Interesting how those people working for "slave wages" are the fastest growing middle class in the world. With those slave wages they're buying electronic gadgets that haven't even been introduced in the US yet.

Why would I want to move there? I'm not one of those here whining and crying about the inequities in this nation and how the wealthy are cheating me out of money because I choose not to get the education and training necessary to earn top dollar.

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Christopher

Jan-24-13 2:27 PM

"Middle class is growing in China and India? I wonder why? It must be because they're all unionized with massive government regulations." No, it's because they have little if any safety or environmental laws, people work for slave wages, and their countries, for most people, offer nothing. You and Steiner think it's so great there, move. I'm sure you'll love it. Comparing the United States to India and China is just stupid.

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stangv8

Jan-24-13 10:04 AM

Middle class is growing in China and India? I wonder why? It must be because they're all unionized with massive government regulations.

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Steiner

Jan-24-13 8:28 AM

All the libs are wrong as usual. Christopher with his extinct unions, dinosaurs to another age. The minimum wage was meant to keep blacks out of the market , pure and simple. Greed we hear from the libs, right Judeye? No cries of greed over outrageous taxes or the grip of the public employee unions on our govt.Or when the libs say make the rich pay their fair share. those cunning libs, dumb but cunning. Christopher strangely silent on that. There are plenty of studies showing higher minmum wage makes less jobs. But libs, ever business clueless cant understand that. Look at the inner cities. Used to be they pumped your gas, now they do not. Blame minimum wage, it hurts everyone.

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THINKLONGTEREM

Jan-23-13 11:12 AM

Min. Wage workers wasn't made to support a family but help out the family. If the wage goes up it hurts everyone the cost that is added hurts the workers who are above. M.W. the cost of goods increase the gov. Get more taxes we consumers get less buying power. You can't live off of MW but it does supplement a home income. It's like this my 12/hr job looses more than the increase MW creates. We need to live within our means work hard by American and life will get better.

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Marcia

Jan-23-13 9:24 AM

You are absolutely right, Christopher. Americans got paid better and our economy was booming when there were more unions, and CEOs got paid less. But ever since Reagan espoused the trickle down theory that has turned around. Now all corporations are multi-national and don't care if the people in America to buy their products, because the middle class is growing in India and China and they have enough customers there. I suggest you all watch the movie "Network." Because I'm mad as h-e-l-l.

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Christopher

Jan-22-13 4:00 PM

Of course, "bettering yourself" to "make yourself more employable" requires those "job creators" to actually hire people for work in THIS COUNTRY, not China! Oops, I forgot, we're all supposed to work for 10 bucks an hour and be happy with that. Garbage. Since the 70's, to keep pace with inflation, the minimum wage would have to be $10.50 per hour. If nobody makes any money, who's going to buy anything? Oh, I forgot, that's already happening and the economy is in the tank because of it. Now, since more than 90% of the country's private employment is non-union, and other states are even worse off than we are, I guess that anti-union cr_p is just that. But then, that would require accepting actual facts, not spitting one parties rhetoric.

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optimistAMONGSTpessimists

Jan-22-13 1:28 PM

A 'minimum wage' and 'living wage' are two different things. Sure, you can be paid $9.19 an hour, but can you support anything on that??? Take a look at the minimum wage calculator, livingwage.mit.edu, to get an idea. Dunkirk's 'living wage' is $8.76 for one adult, and no kids, BTW.

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MikeDavis

Jan-22-13 1:18 PM

Well, the local area here had another raise in the M.W. and the food workers took a hit on employment. Small number employers couldn't handle it. Subways, McDonalds and the like lost at least one worker per store, according to various news sources. Again anecdotal, but that is in Washington. The M.W. here is $9.19 per hour. Cost of living is about double that in Dunkirk. Although the taxes aren't as bad. Then again I don't think there are many areas with higher total taxes.

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Marcia

Jan-22-13 11:37 AM

There is no statistical proof that people lose their jobs because of increases in minimum wages. I would like to see company owners go a decade with no increase in their salary. Prices go up, and the workers must earn more to keep up.

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stangv8

Jan-22-13 9:45 AM

Article is spot on the money and so is Phil's comment.

Dcronig, you think maybe fast food employment increased in NJ because more people eat fast food there, calling for more restaurants?

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Dcronlg

Jan-22-13 9:38 AM

It's as obvious as one's nose that Mr Westlund is no economist, has no idea what's he talking about and hence, by spewing a column of unfounded opinion, has confirmed his ignorance.

In 1992, NJ raised its minimum wage while neighboring PA did not. In studying fast food restaurants on both sides of the border, economists found that employment INCREASED on the NJ side. Or as we economists say "the negative employment effects of minimum wage laws are minimal if not non-existent." There some equilibrium modelling stuff, etc, on which I could continue, but suffice to say, I might as well be recite Shakespeare in Mandarin.

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PhilJulian

Jan-22-13 9:05 AM

Mr. Westlund makes some excellent points. Increasing the minimum wage simply raises the cost of goods for everyone. It forces employers to raise the price of their products and provides ammunition for unions to ngotiate increased wages for all their members. So, the loaf of bread that used to cost $.25 will now cost you $2.00 and the new car that used to cost $2,000 will now cost you $30,000. Who really gains in this environment - the government that collects taxes based on your income! Should we have a minimum wage of $10.00 per hour? Why not $20.00 or why not $30.00? The effect is the same, no one wins except the government that collects income taxes and unions seeking to impress their members. I would add to that, if we can justify a minimum wage, why not a maximum wage? Maybe no one sould be paid more than $30,000 per year regardless of your skill level, productivity or responsibility. If you believe the the politician who support minimum wages then maybe socialism is the way to g

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judeye

Jan-22-13 8:46 AM

Not sure about minimum wage.

However, I am sure that the gap in incomes between the upper 1% and the rest of us is growing. In fact, the gap is the largest it has been for decades. Almost as high as it was just before the Great Depression. Just google gap in incomes in the USA to read numerous reports on this.

This is a major issue. Used to be when a company was doing well...everyone made more money, not only the CEOs. It seems these days that greed has taken over. Those at the very top only want more to feed their greed, which is never satisfied with 'enough'.

I am not taking income redistribution. Rather, income fairness. When a company is making a huge profit, their workers should be rewarded with raises in pay and benefits as well. These days too many companies cut benefits, and lower wages, not to break even, but rather to add to their greedy wealth.

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Steiner

Jan-22-13 8:34 AM

The minimum wage was done to keep low skilled labor, blacks especially out of the work force. To this day it does that well. Black unemployment is at least 25% or more. They vote democratic and support it. There really should be no minimum wage. Just as union membership is declining, except for the rabid teachers union, the minimum wage has done more damage than was supposed. Another progressive mess up.All for the little guy .

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