Intelligent Debate on Minimum Wage
I missed the last bloggers meeting... I enjoy the meetings because it's such a diverse group that comes together to share ideas. We may not always agree with each other but we respect each other (well, except for maybe John!) and have a great time sharing our ideas.
Though I wasn't in attendance for the last meeting I can still participate in an intelligent discussion. Earlier I posted a little rant regarding my view on the minimum wage, and attempts to increase it. In summary, I said if people want to make more money they should earn it.
Ron, of Chatter, posted a reply, to which I also responded. I thought the discussion was interesting enough to recap. I truly would like to understand where the opposing view is coming from and solicit more input on the subject from the local blogging community (except for maybe John). Ron wrote:
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?
To which I responded (edited for grammar, typos, and spelling, 417pundit):
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. 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).
As 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 survive on $412 a week, though I wouldn't suggest it.
What I do suggest is that people take some personal responsibility and make decisions to get where they want to be under their own means instead of crying and complaining.
If you've decided you want to raise a family you better get a job that pays more than minimum wage. That way you can support your family and the 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 minimum wage increase will be crying that they can't afford a big mac after the market adjusts to compensate for the increased cost of burger flippers.
I noticed I didn't answer Ron's last question, do I think it's a fair wage. Yes, for the jobs I know that pay minimum wage I do think it's a fair wage, in some cases more than fair. Take this job for example. Think he ought to find a better use of his time to support his family?
So Springfield Bloggers, what's your $0.02 on the subject? Better hurry and respond before the cost of creating the $0.02 thought goes up because of an increase in the minimum wage! ;)
Note: the church image and the open house image were taken from flickr. Credit belongs to their respective authors.
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