In several so called civilised countries we still may find people who have to work for wages which should put us to shame.
Many people may look with Argus eyes to the New World where everything seems so much better than the rest of the world. Many consider it to be the richest country of the world, next to the Arabic Emirates.
In the emirates slavery is warp and weft. Nobody would expect it to be the order of the day for the United States of America. But when you look closer at some wages you may doubt if not many are taken advantage of. Lots of companies in the states battens on their labourers. In certain areas also many sweat migrants can be found.
In the land of the mighty American dollars many grind the faces of the poor.
In the country where so many set their eyes on it is possible that there are people living in carton boxes, but trying to make a living by the work they do. There are mothers who have put their hopes to have their sons and daughters going to college one day. But with a service job that pays just $7 or 8.25 an hour, several people living in the land of honey have to rely on food stamps and help from friends and family just to keep food on the table — much less build the future they’d like for their kids.
Those working as a tip server at two local D.C. restaurant even when they do not (yet) have to support a family, still struggle to make ends meet when they just have to rely on tips to get by. Those tips also create a black market, opportunities to bribe and to have tax evasion.
In many countries of what we call “the West” the minimum wages are not really sufficient to have somebody living correctly and neatly in a society where everybody should be able to live nicely.
It is not just about a couple teenagers earning extra spending money to supplement their allowance. We’re talking about providers and breadwinners.
President Obama is also talking about those working Americans with bills to pay and mouths to feed, with millions of them who have to manage to do that on just $7.25 an hour.
“Too many Americans are working harder than ever just to keep up,”
“It is a central task for all of us to build an economy that works for everybody, not just for some.”
In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, and announced he would issue an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for the individuals working on new federal service contracts.
Raising the minimum wage nationwide will increase earnings for millions of workers, and boost the bottom lines of businesses across the country.
Today, the real value of the minimum wage has fallen by nearly one-third since its peak in 1968. And right now, a full-time minimum wage worker makes $14,500 a year, which leaves too many families struggling to make ends meet.
In this week’s address, President Obama says this is a year of action, and he will do everything he can to restore opportunity for all. The President already lifted the wages for federal contract workers, and he calls on the American people to tell Congress to finish the job by boosting the federal minimum wage for all workers to $10.10 and give America a raise.
The President said this in his State of the Union, and we can’t lose track of it:
Here in America, no one working full-time should have to raise a family in poverty.
Think about that for a second:
Right now, around the country, there are parents who, despite working full-time jobs, are living below the poverty line. We’re better than that.
- Obama urges Congress: Give America a raise (kansascity.com)
Obama was joined by Govs. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island and Peter Shumlin of Vermont. He noted that in the year since he’s been pushing to raise the federal minimum wage, six states have passed laws to raise theirs, including Connecticut.
- A Quarter Century Without A Raise (readersupportednews.org)
Wouldn’t it be just lovely to go nearly a quarter century without a raise?
Astonishingly, that’s what restaurant servers–whose wage floor is set by the federal government–face.
Despite opposition from Republicans and business groups, President Barack Obama is picking up his campaign for an increase of the minimum wage. Largely lost in the debate over Obama’s initiative, the need to raise the subminimum wage for tipped workers, a group that also includes bartenders and busboys, is finally getting some attention.
“Somehow the subminimum wage has fallen through the cracks,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Barack Obama, noting that the U.S. Congress failed to boost the subminimum wage in the latest instances in which it hiked the minimum wage.
“Now at least the subminimum wage is receiving a little more attention,” he said.
The so-called tipped wage has been stuck at $2.13 an hour since 1991. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
- Obama Praises Wage Hikes for Upper-Middle Class Households (freebeacon.com)
An EPI review of the state found that only 7.6 percent of beneficiaries in Connecticut will be single mothers, while the vast majority represent second or third earners. Seven in ten Connecticut beneficiaries live at home with their families and are not the main breadwinners.
“The average family income of a beneficiary is $80,125. Even the median income of a beneficiary is above $54,000 a year [the national median income]—so, half of all people who benefit are living in families making more than that,” Saltsman said.
Obama praised Malloy and fellow New England governors for adopting higher wages and “fighting to give hardworking folks in these great New England states a raise.”
“If they succeed in their efforts, New England will have some of the highest minimum wages in the country,” he said to applause from students at Central Connecticut State University.
- 7 Bipartisan Reasons to Raise the Minimum Wage (konigludwig.wordpress.com)
President Obama, liberals in Congress, and liberals seeking office are making the federal minimum wage a central plank in the effort to combat runaway inequality—now at levels unseen since the 1920s—and push back poverty. Obama has called for increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10, with a built-in cost-of-living adjustment tied to inflation. He later announced an executive order requiring federal contractors to observe the $10.10 minimum. And activists at the state and local levels have gone further. California may vote this year on raising its minimum wage to $12.
The “middle class” myth: Here’s why wages are really so low today
Stanley’s wages would be the equivalent of $17.17 today — more than the “Fight For 15” movement is demanding for fast-food workers. Stanley’s job was more difficult, more dangerous and more unpleasant than working the fryer at KFC (the blast furnace could heat up to 2,000 degrees). According to the laws of the free market, though, none of that is supposed to matter. All that is supposed to matter is how many people are capable of doing your job. And anyone with two arms could shovel taconite. It required even less skill than preparing dozens of finger lickin’ good menu items, or keeping straight the orders of 10 customers waiting at the counter. Shovelers didn’t need to speak English. In the early days of the steel industry, the job was often assigned to immigrants off the boat from Poland or Bohemia.
The argument given against paying a living wage in fast-food restaurants is that workers are paid according to their skills, and if the teenager cleaning the grease trap wants more money, he should get an education. Like most conservative arguments, it makes sense logically, but has little connection to economic reality. Workers are not simply paid according to their skills, they’re paid according to what they can negotiate with their employers. And in an era when only 6 percent of private-sector workers belong to a union, and when going on strike is almost certain to result in losing your job, low-skill workers have no negotiating power whatsoever.
- New Castle County Minimum Wage Workers To See Boost (roysrants.wordpress.com)
Gordon’s executive order will cost the county about $100,000 a year, Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi said Monday. At any given time, between 20 and 50 employees in the county’s 1,950-person workforce earn the minimum wage. Many of them are part-time or seasonal workers.
“It’s hard to do anything while earning the minimum wage, let alone raise and feed a family,” Gordon said. “It’s just the least we can do.”
- The Minimum Wage: Tipping Points and Slippery Slopes (olyirv2.wordpress.com)
Debates about taxes and regulations boil down to differences about how much we can tax and regulate before entrepreneurs stop investing. Just about everyone agrees such a Tipping Point exists, but differences are great as to where it lies on the continuum.Disagreement about the welfare state or size of government is more in the Slippery Slope category. The more benefits or “goodies” handed out — as proponents of small and limited government like to call it – the more people will want and demand. And the more we want and receive, the closer we get to unsustainable spending and lack of personal responsibility, or so the argument goes. Income inequality is yet another tipping point issue. How much of it can be tolerated before the overall economy suffers, or before a political system is destabilized?
- Minimum wage (ourdinnertable.wordpress.com)
People who aren’t productive enough to make minimum wage will still be able to find sub-minimum wage work and those people won’t show up in unemployment statistics since they are not looking for a job.Some sub-minimum wage jobs are legal. If you are self-employed, you don’t have to make minimum wage. A buddy of mine once owned a used car lot. While he was a staunch advocate of a minimum wage, his sales people were ‘self-employed’, so he wouldn’t have to pay them the minimum wage if they didn’t sell cars.
So, in other words, while economists use the argument that a minimum wage hike will have ‘little or no effect on employment,’ they don’t come right out and that’s because those who ignore it already will continue to do so, as drugs will continue to be sold.
- More challenges and questions for minimum wage proponents (aei-ideas.org)
At Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux recently posed several challenges for supporters of the minimum wage, and I added one of my own here on CD. In a new Cafe Hayek post, Don poses another challenging question for minimum wage proponents, and that inspired me to pose some questions of my own for those who support the
minimum wage lawgovernment-mandated wage floor that guarantees reduced employment opportunities for America’s teenagers and low-skilled workers.
It seems to me that to support federally-mandated minimum wages but not support other wage and price control seems to be a logically inconsistent and indefensible position.
- Migrant Workers in Qatar Face Widespread Abuse, Amnesty Says (bloomberg.com)
Qatar needs to better enforce labor regulations amid “widespread and routine abuse” of migrant workers, Amnesty International said, as the country starts $200 billion of building projects to host soccer’s 2022 World Cup.
Some maltreated workers were employed by subcontractors who worked for companies including state-owned Qatar Petroleum, South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. (000720) and Spain’s OHL Construcción (OHL), the human-rights group said in a release on its new report, “The Dark Side of Migration, Spotlight on Qatar’s Construction Sector.”
Amnesty said some workers in Qatar weren’t paid wages, were subject to “harsh and dangerous” working conditions and “shocking standards of accommodation.” The group documented the cases of dozens of workers who were prevented from leaving the country for “many months” by their employers. The accusations came after U.K. newspaper The Guardian reported in September that 44 Nepalese workers died between June 4 and Aug. 8 amid “appalling labor abuses.”
- Christy Clark, labour leaders agree to disagree on proposed $13 minimum wage (theprovince.com)
Clark and B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair emerged from a meeting to say they don’t agree on raising the minimum wage but do agree to co-operate on hiring and training more B.C. workers.
Clark said she’s concerned raising the minimum wage from its current $10.25 an hour could hurt job creation, even though Sinclair has said it isn’t enough for people to make ends meet.