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06:48 AM on 02/13/13 
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suicidesaints
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I don't know if raising/not raising the minimum wage would be a good or bad thing, but I think that we need to reevaluate our welfare system and also think about a living wage.

Where I live (Dallas, TX) the minimum wage is $7.25/hr. This equates to $1160 a month BEFORE taxes. After taxes you're looking at somewhere around $900. A one bedroom apartment in a neighborhood where you're not likely to get shot, is going to be at least $500 or more... Leaving you with $100 a week to eat, pay bills, clothe yourself, etc... If you have a child, it's virtually impossible.

I'm not sure what should happen exactly, but I think we need to realistically look at the cost of living.
06:52 AM on 02/13/13 
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Well the fact that the current minimum wage is lower than the living wage in almost all US counties is a pretty good reason to raise it. forcing companies like walmart to pay a living wage is a good thing considering how many employees they have and just how much they hate giving those employees a fair salary.

Just because WalMart is the devil doesn't mean their wages should be regulated any differently than any other employers. Obviously a small business owner is going to have a harder time paying their employees more, but it shouldn't matter.

The only people who would want an increase in minimum wage are the workers who are being paid the current minimum wage now. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 73.9 million American hourly-paid workers, 1.7 million earned exactly the prevailing Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and about 2.2 million had wages below the minimum. Together, these 3.8 million workers with wages at or below the Federal minimum made up 5.2 percent of all hourly-paid workers.

Only 5.2 percent of the work force. Why should we care about only a small percent?

First off, there may be only a small percentage of people working for minimum wage, but there is a much larger percentage of people working for slightly above minimum wage. If the starting point is (let's say) $7.25, then $10/hr sounds like a lot, right? But it's still next to nothing. The minimum wage is still a guide by which employers will decide to pay their "non-minimum wage" employees. If the minimum wage was $10 instead of $7.25, then the people that are currently making $10, would be making (i dunno) $12... and so on and so forth.
06:58 AM on 02/13/13 
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If you are over the age of 18 and you make minimum wage, you are doing something wrong.

I agree to an extent. I don't work for minimum wage, but I know people who do... or would if they could even find work.

The problem is that (even if it's a small percentage of people) there are uneducated, disabled, etc... people out there that need to be able to support themselves. Just because they are less fortunate, doesn't mean they should have no chance at ever bettering themselves.

Let's assume that someone is raised in a broken home, doesn't finish high school, and is forced to raise themselves. They are basically doomed to work at a minimum wage job unless they can somehow work their way up (by doing a good job, furthering their skills/education, etc...) The only problem is that this person is making just enough money to scrape by... leaving them with little to nothing to go back to school or save up...

I agree that if you work hard and really want to succeed, that you can, but even with perseverance, it's incredibly difficult to work your way up from minimum wage
07:00 AM on 02/13/13 
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What would be the cons of tying minimum wage to the relative size of the company?

The cons would be that everyone and their brother would be trying to get a job at Wal-Mart and no one would want to work at Joe's Corner Store
07:17 AM on 02/13/13 
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But there isn't an infinite amount of jobs, so many would be forced to go to Joe's Corner store no? Instead of 10 people making minimum youd have 3 making minimum and 7 making more than minimum?

I agree that there is isn't an infinite amount of jobs, but shouldn't the minimum wage be universal.

Isn't the purpose of a minimum wage so that people aren't paid less that they should be. In the situation where the minimum wage is one amount for one business and another amount for another business makes the job market completely uneven for both prospective employees and the employers.

I feel like there should be a minimum wage based on the cost of living... anything above and beyond this wage would be awarded to people with skills, good work ethic, good job performance, longevity in the company.

Someone who gets hired at minimum wage running a register at WalMart shouldn't be making more than someone who gets hired at minimum wage doing the same job at Joe's Corner Store
07:18 AM on 02/13/13 
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Do you want to pay $10 for a hamburger just so McDonald's worker gets a 20% increase?

Why would McDonalds have to raise the price of their food 300+% in order to give the workers a 20% pay raise?
07:41 AM on 02/13/13 
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I've just been playing devil's advocate in this thread. The $10 hamburger was taken from fox news article commenters.

you needn't say more
07:48 AM on 02/13/13 
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Has anybody ever proposed raising the minimum wage for those who work full-time, rather than high school kids? I know the vast majority of companies would still work around it (ie make somebody work 39.5 hours), but... maybe some wouldn't?

Maybe a tiered system for the minimum wage?

I think this is a decent idea, but it would have to be regulated. Obviously (like you mentioned) companies would try to work around it (39.5 hours) the same way they do with healthcare (currently) but if it was regulated I think it could work... maybe it could even come as a tax break or something for those that could prove living expenses to be more than what was affordable based on their minimum wages
07:51 AM on 02/13/13 
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Everyone can't do everything all the time. That's the problem I am having. Government trying to solve everyone's problems all the time by picking out a relatively minor issue and making it a national problem to tug at people's heart strings. I don't think the issue is that Walmart pays $7.25 an hour, I think the problem is you have people in their 30s and 40s with kids, working at Wal Mart for $7.25 an hour.

The reasons aren't always going to be something the government could or should fix.

And again, I don't really know what a company should be required to pay someone who is easily replaceable and has no skills. If you have ever been to a Wal Mart, it isn't like we are talking about the most engaged and polite employees here, I don't think I have ever gotten so much as a smile at a Wal Mart, even when I worked there as a kid.

I agree with most of this.

I think that people should have the opportunity to work their way out of poverty, but I agree that the problem stems from people older people with kids working these jobs.

If you work a minimum wage job and keep popping out kids, then I really have no sympathy for you, but if you are underprivileged and work two jobs, have no kids, and still can barely feed yourself, then there's a problem.

Obviously the government can't help all the people all the time. I believe that we should focus on the greater good, but in "the land of opportunity", it seems like there's only so much... opportunity
07:52 AM on 02/13/13 
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Wouldn't that cause companies to just hire more high school kids, making it harder for adults to get jobs?

It seems like it would, but maybe it should be like Affirmative Action... You have to hire at least one Hispanic, one African American, and one elderly woman
08:28 AM on 02/13/13 
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Forget about a decent living... let's just focus on "a living"

This is why I think there should be a living wage.

People should be able to work full time and be able to put a roof over their head, feed themselves, pay the bills... basic living expenses.

As long as that is do-able with whatever the minimum wage is, then fine...
08:52 AM on 02/13/13 
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That's what I meant by "decent living".... being able to survive, without going into debt, while working full time.

I know what you were saying... but I don't know if birdman was defining "decent living" this way or not...
09:14 AM on 02/13/13 
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I make way more than the minimum wage at my full time job and can hardly save anything. I also make more than minimum wage at my 20-30 hours-a-week part time job. Still can't really save anything. And I don't pay rent. I flat out don't get hoe somebody can afford to get even the cheapest apartment at a minimum wage job.

I make quite a bit more than minimum wage too and have trouble saving, but I think that it's all about living within your means. If you are working 2 jobs and making "way more than minimum wage" you shouldn't have trouble saving. Where does your money go? Do you eat out a lot? Party? Go to lots of concerts? Buy lots of material things?

I know it's hard to save money. Trust me. I spend WAY to much, but I'd like to think that I could save money if I didn't eat out so much, drink, smoke pot, go to shows, etc...
09:26 AM on 02/13/13 
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I could definitely be more frugal. $1,100 a month is student loans, $665 is my car payment and insurance, $100 for the cell phone. Then between gas, food and some booze, that's pretty much it. I don't buy myself much of anything and see maybe 3 shows a year.

Well, the student loans are where you're getting bent over... that and the car.

It's funny that in order for someone under privileged to get out of poverty, they'd probably have to take out a student loan which would then be virtually impossible to repay.

How much do you have in student loans to have to pay back $1100 a month?
09:36 AM on 02/13/13 
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Yeah, the student loans are fucking me. And that's a 30 year loan.

The car is my fault. I haven't been the best driver.

My loans now are at like 130k I think? I've lost track. The government loans aren't that bad, cause they're lenient with deferments and helping you out when you need. But my biggest loan (around 100k) is a private one that basically tells you to fuck yourself.

when you say a 30 year loan, do you mean you are supposed to pay $1100 a month for 30 years?

That's just insane and equates to WAY more than $130K.



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