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Pennsylvania to increase minimum wage statewide
by Rustbelt Radio Sunday, Jul. 09, 2006 at 1:05 PM
radio@indypgh.org (email address validated) 412-923-3000

Recently passed state legislation will raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania by $2 over the next year. Governor Rendell has pledged to sign the bill into law.

Legislation increasing Pennsylvania's minimum wage by $2 received final approval from state lawmakers last weekend in a 38 to 11 vote. Final approval will go to the desk of Gov. Ed Rendell, who has promised to sign it.

The bill calls for Pennsylvania's minimum wage to rise to $6.25 an hour on Jan. 1, 2007, then to $7.15 an hour on July 1, 2007. The increase will affect the 423,000 workers in Pennsylvania who make between $5.15 and $7.14 an hour. The wage changes will occur over the next two years.

The increase would take effect more slowly for employers with the equivalent of 10 or fewer full-time employees, although franchises of larger chains would not qualify for that exemption. Those employers that do qualify would pay $5.65 an hour beginning Jan. 1, 2007; $6.65 beginning July 1, 2007; and $7.15 on July 1, 2008.

Rendell's signature would make Pennsylvania the 22nd state to approve an increase in its minimum wage since Congress last raised the federal minimum wage to $5.15 in 1997.

Rendell said in a statement released Saturday quote :"We should not accept the fact that in our great commonwealth, and in our country, someone can work full time and still live well below the poverty level."

Min. wage increases hurt small business!
by Logic Monday, Jul. 10, 2006 at 7:55 PM

And how are all these mom-n-pop grocery stores and restaurants supposed to afford 7.15 per hour for entry level workers!? Sure Burger King and Wal Mart can afford 7.15 per hour but what about everyone else? All this increase is going to do is drive inflation and housing costs thru the roof and put mom and pop places out of business while the big corporations (which leftists just love :) ) will remain unscathed.

Minimum wage is not something that people can live on and there's a reason for that; people who work minimum wage are usually high school or college kids who just want to make a few extra bucks. McDonalds is not a career. No one that is worth a crap picks "cashier" as their career choice. Minimum wage is about jobs, living wage is about careers.

In short, maybe the min wage could use a small boost but 7.15 is ridiculous. Anyone that worries about what minimum wage is lacks ambition to do more with their lives.

Here's some real logic
by John Lacny Sunday, Jul. 16, 2006 at 2:23 PM

The person calling himself "Logic" here is either very stupid or a master of irony, since there is no "logic" at all to what he writes. He maintains that minimum wage workers are all "teenagers," which is untrue -- so "Logic" is either a liar or very, very stupid. Here's a fact for you:

"An estimated 14.9 million workers (11% of the workforce) would benefit from an increase in the federal minimum wage to $7.25 by 2008. Of these workers, 6.6 million would be directly affected and 8.3 million would indirectly receive raises due to the spillover effect of a minimum wage increase. Of the total affected workers, 80% are adults and 59% are women. Over half (54%) work full time and another third (30%) work between 20 and 34 hours per week. More than one-quarter (26%) of the workers who would benefit from an increase to $7.25 are parents of children under age 18, including 1,395,000 single parents. The average minimum wage worker brings home over half (58%) of his or her family's weekly earnings."

Source: http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/issueguides_minwage_minwagefaq

It's not too hard to locate the facts in this debate, though right-wingers are inevitably too stupid to do it. That said, these facts are all beside a rather elementary point, which tells the whole story: if you can't afford to pay your workers $7.15 an hour, then you shouldn't be in business. Period.

Logic
by yinzsolidarity Sunday, Jul. 16, 2006 at 5:28 PM

Perhaps the first comment poster was Dan Denliger...of co-op scab union fame.

Would you like fries with that?
by Logic Monday, Jul. 17, 2006 at 3:17 AM

From Libertarian Party newsletter:

Minimum wage increases destroy jobs. Unless a business creates additional revenue [read: "raises prices"] to cover the enlarged salary expenses, the business must spread their work among fewer workers. Companies are thus pushed to inhibit hiring and potentially eliminate existing jobs. Teenagers and others seeking initial job experience that will allow them a first step onto the economic ladder are usually the ones impacted.

A study in 2004 by Duke University supports this claim. The study found that increases in the minimum wage decrease job prospects and increase the number of unemployed minimum wage workers.

Second, minimum wages limit businesses and workers economic freedom. As Doug Leard, Media Relations Director of the Libertarian Party explained, “when I first started working, I was willing to work below minimum wage to get established in my field of interest. Once in, I was confident I could work my way up the ladder. Increasing the minimum wage makes it harder to get that first step onto the success ladder.” This sentiment is supported by a study of economists at Florida State University and Miami University of Ohio that found that full-time workers hired at the minimum wage received a median pay increase of 13 percent within their first year.

A minimum wage increase hurts the poor by destroying jobs and providing workers with less employment options. Rendell’s proposal is bad for Pennsylvania!
------------------------------------------

By the way, to call someone stupid just because they don't agree with you is pretty ignorant.

"People who don't have a right to run a business don't have a right to be in business unless they pay 7.15 per hour" Try telling that to my neighbor who owns, runs, and lives above a mom & pop store. For years he's been able to compete with the Giant Eagle and the Cogo's down the street. Once he has to raise the pay for his 5 part-time workers (4 of which are in high school, one is a disabled veteran with no children who only works as something to do) he will have to raise prices and probably will not be able to compete with other businesses. Get it clear: A MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE LIKE THIS WILL NOT BE GOOD FOR SMALL NON-CORPORATE BUSINESS.

Something else I forgot to mention before was how this increase will affect people on welfare. Unless changes are made to the welfare system in conjunction with this wage increase, thousands of people are going to make too much money to keep their food stamps, cash assistance, and health insurance. Many people will have to make choices between having a job or having the same hours at their job and paying for their medications (which alone can be hundreds, even thousands of dollars per month) and health care. Rendel has made no statement on how he plans to deal with this coming fiasco.

The link from the EPI makes some good points albeit some circular logical ones (there was an increase among workers wages after the minimum wage increase in 1996...well duh!). But what it doesn't mention is how it ends up raises housing costs and inflation, affects personal determination related to higher education and technical training, and creates higher tax revenue for the state (because who cares if a few small businesses tank if the state can save a few bucks at their expense). This minimum wage increase will only help in the short term and will become moot once inflation catches up with it.

A few alternatives to ridiculous minimum wage increases:

1. Overhaul the welfare system. Increase the amount of money that people can make while being able to keep their benefits, namely health care. People shouldn't have to choose between working and being able to afford their medications.

2. Better invest and make changes in our poor excuse for an education system. Start kicking the delinquents out so that children that actually have futures can put a higher worry on classwork rather than wondering if they’ll get mugged today. No more onsite day care centers and probation offices: kids don't have a right to convenience when they break the law and don't use birth control. Speaking of which, it’s about time we started using a mature and realistic sex education program. The "wait until marriage" crap that the Republicans have been handing us is a failure both statistically and practically. TEACH OUR CHILDREN THAT THEY ARE WORTH MORE THAN MINIMUM WAGE!

3. A SMALL minimum wage increase. Even I’ll admit that 5.15 is a pittance but 7.15 is just way too high. Just my opinion, but if I was governor I wouldn’t accept an increase of anything more than 6.15, which is what I personally feel the federal minimum should be as of now (too bad the wealthiest presidential cabinet in American history can’t seem to understand that – surprise, surprise).

Feel free to respond on how “stupid” I am; god forbid if you should hear an opinion that isn’t exactly the same as yours.

Small error
by Logic Monday, Jul. 17, 2006 at 3:19 AM

Any chance I could get the bold removed from my last post and have it changed to "text/plain"? I forgot to put the </b> tag in my post.

Ignoring the real villians
by penny ante, Monday, Jul. 17, 2006 at 6:56 PM

Where are you when insurance rates, utilities, or fuel prices are raised? What about the massive corporate welfare entitlements? These all cut into profits, too.
Why just worry about wages?

Wealthfare and other excrement
by Logic Monday, Jul. 17, 2006 at 8:05 PM

"Where are you when insurance rates, utilities, or fuel prices are raised? What about the massive corporate welfare entitlements? These all cut into profits, too.
Why just worry about wages?"

What you brought up is of definite concern to almost everyone but the subject at hand is the minimum wage.

Wealthfare is an abomination to both the real spirit of capitalism and to the tax payers that suffer because of it. Fuel prices are only going to go up in the long term just because fossil fuels are not renewable. Utilities increase in conditions of higher demand for housing, fortunately programs like LIHEAP and Section 8 help with both utilities and heating.

I don't know why you included insurance rates with the rest of these things, you're not legally required to insure anything other than your car and even then there are plenty of insurance companies to choose from to keep rates low simply by market competition.

Huh?
by penny ante' Monday, Jul. 17, 2006 at 11:14 PM

I was referring to the fact that people cry the blues about business and minimun wage, but you make no mention of the other crooks. I was referring to the effect on business, it had nothing to do with LIHEAP or section 8.

The crooks are in the next town over
by C Tuesday, Jul. 18, 2006 at 2:12 PM
maxfarrand@hotmail.com

I think they made no reference to the other crooks in this because the other crooks weren't the subject of the post.

Just a note.

Save the rich
by massa's voice Wednesday, Jul. 19, 2006 at 10:43 AM

It's a good thing someone is speaking out on behalf of the downtrodden wealthy.

Let's get him!
by C. Wednesday, Jul. 19, 2006 at 1:17 PM
maxfarrand@hotmail.com

Where are they? Lemme at 'em! C'mon guys let goooooo!

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