Thursday, January 11, 2007

Wow! This Makes You Think

Congress is looking at raising the minimum wage to $7.25 - the House has already passed the bill, the Senate looks at it next.

I read this Washington Post article, "Living Life at $7.25 an Hour," and all I can say is "Wow." It's been a long time since I've had a minimum wage job - and when I did, I was in college and still living with my parents. I can't imagine what it must be like and it makes me realize how wasteful I am and how good I actually have it.

One guy in this article has to support his parents (and himself) on $7.25 an hour. He had $70 every two weeks to pay for food and gas. I've spent $70 at Target without even thinking about it. (Well, I thought about it...but not for very long.)

You know, I understand if minimum wage goes up, some expenses are going to increase as well and it may cause businesses to lose profits. But, expenses have already increased and people aren't making more money to counter that effect. When I think about how wide that gap is between the very rich and the very poor, it makes me sick. Oprah Winfrey has so much money, she's building schools in Africa; Joe Schmoe down the street is choosing between eating and putting gas in his car.

Some of the business owners in the article are saying "Well, I don't want to make less money."
That's understandable...I don't want to make less money either. However, when people are making so little money, they only have $30 a month payments to pay off $8,000 medical bills, that's crap.


shroud said...

Not that there aren't plenty of things that Oprah and other rich people do with their money that are questionable... but "building schools in Africa" isn't exactly a waste of money... at least it's going to someone needy for something productive.

Steven said...

I am sorry...but I have a problem with this one. Economically speaking, you are giving Joe a temporary fix for his increase in min. wage allows him to ~ideally~ save what he is now making in access since it takes a while for the market to catch up. This allows him to further himself along professionally...ideally making him more marketable. The problem is joe doesn't save nor does he advance. He spends more and he still works for a company that advancement is a relative term (i.e. there is only one boss). Thus Oprah gets richer, builds another school, and me and you get to bitch about it. Our society is made to leave some hungry...and others very fat. The only society I have found that had it right are the Hawaiians. Long live the 808 and mana...babylon sucks.

Eljabo said...

OK - I'm not dissing the school. It's a good's an example of the inequity of income. You have some folks with enough money to build schools on other continents and others who have to choose between food and gas.

And I know the wage increase is a band-aid, but prices have increased and wages haven't so at least people are getting something.