Thursday, December 17, 2009

Already Making Next to Nothing? Here's How to Make Less!

Right now, minimum wage is around $7.25. It could be worse, but it's not great either. You can't really live a life comfortably by making $7.25 an hour doing 40 hours a week. You wouldn't be able to have any kids, you would be living paycheck to paycheck and probably asking friends and family for money for gas. Now, some people like Charles Lane from The Washington Post thinks that LOWERING minimum wage would stop job loss. Lowering it from $ something even more improbable to live on.

Heather Horn from The Atlantic made a very nice statement about this idea that Lane projected:

"You know, I generally like to start off my arguments by linking together two pieces of almost entirely unrelated information. Charles Lane works for the Washington Post. There were dozens of unsolved murders in Washington, D.C. last year. I'm not saying Charles Lane is a predatorial super-killer; far from it ... But Charles Lane really likes taking college students into alleys and savagely beating them with 2 x 4s. It is unwise for the Washington Post to continue to hire this man." 
I don't know much about Lane, but I did read his story in full on the Washington Post (which you can see if you click on the Charles Lane link above). He went from talking about fixing the sugar industry to lowering minimum wage. Those were his points to trying to fix the job market. It didn't make any sense to me, and it didn't make any sense to Horn either.

As I have stated multiple times in the past few days, I recetly graduated. But before that happened, I was sending out resumes left and right to everyone and everything. I sent them to newspapers, magazines, restuarants, convenience stores, diners, etc. Everywhere! The only job interviews I got were ones for me to sell things door to door or to start my own business through someone else's business. I was willing to take minimum wage because I didn't have a choice. If someone would've given me a job and offered me minimum wage, I would have snatched that up so fast because the market is already bad. There aren't many options, even for recent grads. Lowering minimum wage would simply make things even harder for the recent grad, or the high school student, or the retiree who is looking for something less stressful. If you can't live off of $7.25, then you can't live off of $7. Or $6. Or $5.15. You just can't do it. You need at least $10 an hour to be OK. And that's even a stretch. It's just not feasible and to say that it would be is a lie. And you know what...YOU ALREADY HAVE A JOB THAT PAYS MORE THAN MINIMUM WAGE. It really makes my blood boil when people who have warm and fuzzy, stable jobs think that they should try to make decisions for the poeple who don't have one or who are paid less. I'm already paid nothing. Now you want me to get less than nothing. You want me to get -$7.25? Will that help the job market, Charles? Charles Lane has nothing to worry about. But, with the newspaper industry not doing so great...maybe he does. I bet he would really love it if he got laid off and could only work an entry-level job at McDonald's. Ten bucks says he wouldn't try to write articles about lowering minimum wage then!


  1. I live in one of the states that pays LESS than the Federal minimum wage. I have a son and a daughter who are trying to find jobs to put themselves through college. My wife has a job, but it's only temporary.


    You write very well and I enjoy reading your thoughts! BTW -- if you'd ever like to read a book about someone who tried to make it on minimum wage, try NICKLE AND DIMED by Barbara Ehrenreich. Great book -- and the section where she tried to make a living working FT at WalMart? That happened right here where I live!

  2. Guy -

    Thanks for your kind words! I will definitely check that book out and write about it on my other blog dedicated to my readings. I hope you continue to follow my blog! And tell your son and daughter I said good luck!

  3. So I guess NO JOB is better than $5 an hour ? If you want to make $10 and hour, youll find jobs paying that much. Theres so many opportunities lost because some small businesses cant afford to pay minumum wage. Its better than NOTHING. and your pay will probably rise as the business succeeds