Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Even If the Minimum Wage Does Rise, It Will Still Suck

So Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to $9.  It's currently $7.25.  It all sucks!  I'm just taking my own past 17 years as an example.

Back in 1998, I could fill up my 11 gallon Ford Escort with gas for about $10 - it would fluctuate from .88 - .92 cents a gallon my college years up in NH.  This was no big deal.  I was big pimpin' at the time - making about $6 an hour as an ice cream server at a local ice cream parlor and minimum wage in 1998 was $5.15 an hour.  So a tank of gas would make you work 1.94 hours.  Let's say 2 hours in 1998.

Now in 2013,  I fill up my 11 gallon Ford Focus with gas for about $40 (assuming a $3.69/gal rate for gas) in Massachusetts.  If I was a minimum wage worker making $7.25 an hour, I would have to work 5.5 hours to afford that same tank of gas.  Massachusetts has it's own minimum wage of $8.  So a MA worker has to work 5 hours to afford that 11 gallons of gas.  Doesn't that suck?  So even if the minimum wage does go up to $9/hr.  That $40 in gas will still be 4.44 hours of work.  Half a day of work JUST to fill up your tank?  That just sucks - even with the minimum wage increase.  

Another thing with minimum wage - it's not meant to be a "living wage".  It's meant to not exploit workers.  Don't get me wrong - I think minimum wage is way too small - or should I say, the economic disparity in this country is nuts.  But if minimum wage does go up - think of the types of workers who that affects.  Dunkin' Donuts, McDonald's, Wal-Mart, convenient stores, grocery stores, summer camp workers, etc.  So if their wages go up, guess what happens?  The product they are selling there goes up to cover the costs.  So that $2 cup of coffee is now $2.50.  The extra value meal at McDonald's that is $6 is now $7.  Not to say "rich" people don't frequent these places - but for the most part, it's the lower and middle classes who do.  So they are picking up the slack for wage increases - which sort of negates the minimum wage increase.  Heaven forbid the CEOs or head honchos take a pay cut.  What really needs to happen is a wage ceiling.  I'm all about "if you work hard, you deserve every penny you make" - but seriously.  Look at the 2010 salaries of some popular company CEOs (includes salary, bonuses, stock and other perks):

Starbucks:  $21.7 Million

Coca-Cola:  $19.2 Million

Aflac:  $15.9 Million

GE:  $15.1 Million

CVS:  $15.5 Million

Pepsi:  $14 Million

Kraft Foods:  $13.5 Million

FedEx:  $7.4 Million

These figures are PER YEAR.  And they are higher now because I took data from 2010.  Sure the CEOs are smart and deserve something - but let's take Starbucks for example.

If you are a barista making $10/hr working almost 40 hours a week every week of the year, you'll make $20,000 a year.  A far cry from the $20,000,000+ the CEO is making.  My point being - the CEO does deserve more - but does he deserve over 1,000 times MORE than the barista?  If you made $20 Million a year - that is like bringing home $384,615 a WEEK.  Most of us can't even fathom what it is like making $384K a year - little alone a week.  It's just scary and gross that it's completely legal that multi-million/billion dollar corporations are allowed to funnel such a huge portion of their money into a handful of people.  It just seems that the rich in this country is the bigger problem - the richest 20% of America owns 85% of the country's wealth.  The rest of the 80% of us - own the combined 15% rest.  That's scary.  This is what needs regulating - not the minimum wage people.  Because it's gotten out of control.

ariely wealth
From the Washington Post

If you have 6 minutes - check out this video.  It's really interesting - well, if you like this crap.

Found on YouTube.

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