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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Denying the poorest workers a raise

I somehow followed some links to a press-release from Nancy Pelosi. Here's a line that really got me:

"For nearly nine years, the Republican Congress has denied American workers an increase in the federal minimum wage, freezing it at $5.15 per hour.

Now, it's true that the congress did not raise the minimum wage, but let's be sure to understand it's a MINIMUM wage.

You want a raise? Here's a few helpful tips. You're going to have to get an education, work harder, or become more valuable to your company. At least that's how I was taught to get an increase, by EARNING it.

A friend of mine told me an experience where some of his minimum wage employees were discussing their wish for a dollar raise to the minimum. He agreed that 4 out of 5 of them would be getting a raise, and one would be looking for another job.

Hell, why just a dollar, let's make it so the minimum wage is $40k a year. Everyone has a right to a big screen don't they? No, I'm sorry, everyone is ENTITLED to a big screen.

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Blogger Betsy said...

Duane.. I love reading your blog Even if I agree or not (which I do agree) its nice to read something of substance every now and then.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Duane Keys said...

I'm glad someone enjoys it! I was expecting some response on my un-caring point-of-view regarding the minimum-wage.

I must be too nice to argue with... ;)

Or more likely, no one else reads this stuff! Ha!

9:26 PM  
Blogger Ron Davis said...


Of course the best way to earn more money is to work harder, have an education and be an asset to your employer. But what does that have to do with a minimum wage?

Could you live on $206 a week? Could you support a family on $10,712 a year? Do you think that's a fair and adequate wage, especially with current gasoline prices?

8:23 AM  
Blogger Duane Keys said...

No, Ron, *I* couldn't live on $206 a week. I decided early on that I wouldn't be able to survive on my minimum wage job I had in high school.

So I decided to do something about it. So I got an education and that allowed me to get a job that lets me live the lifestyle I want to live. I didn't do it alone, I had family and to help and Uncle Sam to subsidize me (and early on, Uncle Sam even gave me money to go to school).

Now I'm not saying others can't live on $206 a week. I know people who are, but that's the lifestyle they've chosen for themselves. It certainly doesn't include worrying about things like paying for gas (see you at the bus stop).

Af far as raising a family on $206 a week, I'm not arguing the fact that no one can properly care for a family on that wage. However a family with two parents earning minimum wage probably can survice on $512 a week. Though I wouldn't suggest it.

What I do suggest is that people take some personal responsibility and make deicisions to get where they want to be under their own means instead of crying and complaining.

That is, if you've decided you want to raise a family you better get a job that pays more than mimimum wage. That way you can support your family and your lifestyle that you've chosen. I'd sure like to have a boat, and some other toys but I'm not whining to my employer that they don't pay me enough to support the lifestyle I want.

The same people that will cry about not getting a minium wage increase will be crying that they can't afford a big mac anymore after the market adjusts to compensate for the increased cost of burger flippers.

10:08 AM  

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