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The former Daily Statesman is now The Dexter Statesman and currently does not have an operating website.

Minimum wage increased...feeling rich yet?

Posted Friday, August 17, 2007, at 11:32 AM

Sorry for the delay in posts, but I've had a lot going on lately and hope to be getting back to normal now. So, as is normal, here's my first complaint of the week.

This whole minimum wage issue on last year's ballot really took away from the faith I had in the people of this state.

These people who think that by increasing minimum wage you are going to bring home more money are just simply wrong.

For the few people in Missouri earning minimum wage, that is a few extra bucks. The vast majority of minimum wage jobs in this state are both part-time and held by young people who still live at home. Even Wal-Mart pays more than minimum wage to its full-time employees.

The problem is, when you raise minimum wage the companies have to make back that expense somewhere. Where? The products they sell.

You can't buy a value meal for under $5.50 in Dexter now and the prices changed at the beginning of the year when their cost for labor went up.

Here's my other issue. I make more than minimum wage, but I'm nowhere close to wealthy. I didn't get a $1.35 per hour wage increase, but I still have to pick up the increased cost because of minimum wage.

So, basically while you might have helped a few high schoolers make a little more money to burn on the weekends, those of us with families to care for who work long weeks get punished.

As a former boss told me once, raising minimum wage doesn't move PEOPLE farther up the economic ladder. It just raises the ladder. Those same people are still on the bottom rung.

The key is to make yourself as an employee worth more than minimum wage. Learn, study and educate yourself and make yourself worth more than minimum wage.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Good to have you back, complaining as usual, Corey!! Even I.B. LeTruth missed you!

As for the minimum wage issue, nothing is ever as simple as it seems, is it?

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 3:51 PM

GL -you are so right! Not only are wage inceases passed on, but so are excuses I have heard in my minimum wage former life.

CoreyN, I really enjoy your viewpoint, but I must disagree with you somewhat on this issue. I even hate the phrase "minimum wage" because it's really saying "we'd like to pay you less but the meddling federal government won't let us".

I was blessed to come from a family where education is everything,but not everyone has that support,direction and has been put on the right path. Alas, my parents gave us all that and our drop dead good looks,but no silver spoon or trust fund,so we all have or will have to work during our college years! (Note to younger siblings-unless my number comes up in Powerball or as the future ex-Mrs.Donald Trump-the current one will make the mistake of turning 30 sooner or later-lol).

Anyway CoreyN. you sir must make food runs at different times than I do,because I see plenty of older fast food workers.You are very correct that you must make YOURSELF worth more, but how do you instill ambition in some people who have made poor choices or are in a downward life spiral and minimum wage is the rung that is keeping them off welfare?

I remember how my bosses always threatened us with losing jobs or hours if we voted for wage increases.

They also passed along insurance costs,utility increases,food prices,any increase is passed along if possible.

You also bring up a good point-two major USA employers are McDonald's and Wal-Mart. I have worked for both,so I was an "insider"so to speak. What percentage of "associates" and "crew persons" do you think are full time employees in either company? Yes, you make SLIGHTLY above minimum wage, but you need not look for your name on Forbes list, you still qualify for medicaid,food stamps, housing and heating assistance. If you are offered insurance at either place,you are full-time and it's so darn high it's tough to pay bills after it's deducted.

I hope I never go back to either place unless as a Walton or a Croc heir,but I can't forget where I came from or those I passed on the ladder up!

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 6:17 PM
Corey Noles' response:
I partially agree with your point. My question is why should a minimum wage increase cut what I make while others get more. Sure, prices go up after an increase and for those people who got raises it balances out. But, those of us who make, say less than double minimum wage, are literally punished. Costs go up and we don't have a way to make up the difference from how we've been living.

I may not make minimum wage, but I have a family to feed and clothe, too. To people like me, a minimum wage increase is no different from a decrease in my pay.

Not to mention that fact that on minimum wage you can still qualify for welfare. Free food, free insurance, free money, discounted electricity and even cable. When you factor those things in, heck they're making more money already.

And I agree. I wish I was a Walton and not like John Boy. More like Sam, Jr. or something.

It would have been nice, although I know asking too much, to have everyone get a pay raise when this increase took place. I used to manage a store for a corporation- which shall remain nameless. =) Anyways, they didn't pay people half of what they should have. When I took over I had a new district manager who told me I could give a raise every three months of a measly 15 cents. (This was a shock because I had been the assistant manager and had never heard of this.) Anywho, I gave the people who deserved the raise a raise every single time I could because they truly deserved it, and if they stuck it out long enough it added up. This one woman who had worked there for YEARS, was an excellent worker. When this went into effect the new people were still earning more than her. How is that fair?

Something else I have found out... a lot of people aren't raising the "other" salaries. A local business pays their part-timers minimum wage, but the assitant manager a dollar more! Wow. All of the extra responsibility for one whole dollar more? What is the point?

-- Posted by vambfly on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 6:46 PM

On the same note, people screeming for tax cuts are the first ones complaining about services being cut...duh

-- Posted by LUFER on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 9:37 PM

I don't know about complaining about services being cut. I do think we pay way too much taxes and the problem is the people who decide how our taxes are spent. Out taxes are spent on a lot of things that are of absolutely no use other than to get a politician re-elected because they bring home the bacon. It is time for all that to stop. A huge amount of our income is given to the government in taxes. This year it took until the end of April for a person to make enough money to pay all their taxes.

As for the minimum wage I think it was about time. There are a lot of people making minimum wage that work very hard and just crazy hours and a lot of them are not in Wal Mart or fast food. Go to a Nursing Home and take a look at who is doing all the dirty hard work. Minimum wage employees. Just an example. If the prices go up, so be it. I feel better about giving it to them than the federal government.

Could make a good human interest story. Minimum wage earners make America go.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 10:18 PM
Corey Noles' response:
Corey, hope you don't mind: This is Madeline butting in on your blog to respond to I.B.'s point about nursing home workers!

Our "Community Reflections" (used to be "Progress") edition of the NSC is coming out on August 29 (hopefully!), and I did a story on the CNA's (Certified Nurse Assistants) who work at the Advance Nursing Home. I really feel they fit this year's "Making a Difference" theme. They have to work so hard to make so little! I know I couldn't do what they do, and they get so little recognition or respect for it! It's truly a thankless job.

A good book to read on minimum wage america is: Nickel and Dimed ( On (Not) Getting By In America) by Barbra Ehrenreich ISBN 0805063897

-- Posted by LUFER on Sat, Aug 18, 2007, at 1:44 AM

CNA's get minimum wage in many places and as I said they do all the real work and work all the hard hours. I am not saying though that this is the only occupation that this happens to, it is just an example. I can tell you that what minimum wage workers make will barely pay for the gas to drive to work and pay for child care if they have a child. Nothing left for theirself or family. Don't know why you would do it. So, lets give them a little more, we can afford that. I would rather give it to a person who is working than a give a way program to one who will not.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Aug 18, 2007, at 8:59 AM

PS, thanks for noticing them Madeline.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Aug 18, 2007, at 9:01 AM

First off, welcome back and I hope all is well for ya Cory!

I agree with how we're feeling the effects of the increase and its funny how you first notice it at, of all places, McDonald's. Thats where I first noticed it back in January when it went into effect, one day I was just like "wow, when did this become this price?" Especially when they started taking my precious double cheeseburger's off the $1 menu *shakes fist maddly*

But it is kind of funny how some people can just assume that it will be more money going one way, rather than how it will pan out over everyone. I make more than minimum wage as well, but I am like you, far from wealthy and I do feel the effects on higher milk prices haha. But at the same time, those people who need the jobs and are only able to work part time or to whatever extent they can, I think its a good thing for them. I understand where Yellow Rose is coming from, I was taught that education was first and that I was going to have to work towards it as well and those part-time minimum wage jobs helped me end up where I'm at. Many can look at it as a double edged sword, but ultimately the benefits and repurcussions will balance out for everyone.

-- Posted by semosmitty06 on Sat, Aug 18, 2007, at 10:47 AM

Ok, where to start? I have been working since i was 14 yrs old. From picking cotton, babysitting, working at a grocery store, to a gas station. Im only 18, but of all the years that i have worked i have always been paid minimum wage, not b/c im not a good worker but the companies are to self-fish to give an employee a raise. They dont care about the workers but only themselves,and i hear the excuse "we cant afford to give a raise". everyone deserves a raise, i know that the only two ppl at my job work just as hard or even harder but still get paid minimum wage. Why is that fair? When everyone else make two or three dollars more than we do? Also, society is under estimating teenagers that work, we work because our parents cant afford our school clothes, or maybe we want to have a little responsibilty, or just maybe we're not the brightest out of the bunch and we have to pay for our college, or our car, help pay the utility bills , and after that little bit of money we have left and all our hard work we may want to have a little fun.

-- Posted by essexgirl on Sun, Aug 19, 2007, at 10:47 AM

And you deserve that essexgirl, but here is some advice for you. Go to college, no matter how hard it is. If you don't, unless you are Bill Gates it will be minimum wage and hard all your life, more than likely.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Aug 19, 2007, at 7:26 PM

Judging from your postings on these blogs, Yellow Rose, I would say that you can make it in college, so don't tell us that you're "not the brightest," dear child! You sound plenty bright to me -- and I should know. I've been in education all my life.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Aug 19, 2007, at 8:28 PM

Dear GL I are a graduate of kollage. It may astound you that I am not Essexgirl.

I have never picked cotton,except for class projects and Girl Scout crafts.

Essexgirl, we have many college graduates in our little community and I look forward to you joining our ranks.

I had to work at many minimum wage jobs through high school and college, and I feel your pain.

When you go to your first high school reunion, you will be able to hold your head high because you were not only tough enough to make it through crap jobs but to do it while taking college classes. The ones who are not as tough as you will be absent,they will be too busy nursing all the excuses they will make for all their life's failures. These excuses can trap you and depress you until all you have left is resentment against those who were tougher than you. They are the ones who just didn't quit.

You can be born to a good family,get all the advantages,new car when your 16,never have to work to help out your folks and wind up to be a big loser,because you don't have the skills to pay the bills. I know more than one of the "preps" who meets with their parole officer more than the guidance counselor.

I am rooting for you Essexgirl!

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 9:04 AM

I figure the cost of living is the same as it's always been -- everything you make.

Hang in there Essexgirl. With your work ethic you'll do well at whatever you tackle. One of my nephews got a job offer from a prestigious company when other applicants were turned away by the dozens, sight unseen. What made the difference on his application that got him noticed? During college, his summer job was roofing houses. The boss took one look at his application and knew that this young man wasn't afraid of hard work.

You'll appreciate your education and benefit more from it than some of your high school friends who got it handed to them on a platter.

-- Posted by Ducky on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 2:15 PM

What? Did I screw up? Well, if I HAD A BRAIN, I'd know that she was ESSEXGIRL, not YELLOW ROSE OF ESSEX!!

Sorry about that, but it all comes out in the wash! I thought she sounded a bit young for all that wisdom that Yellow Rose had been putting out here on the blogs!

Wow, Essex is really well-represented here! Who knew??

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 4:41 PM

No matter how hard it is, just go. If you haven't started. Start next semester. Take only one class to start out if you have to. Whatever it takes.

My grandfather raised a family with very little education. My father finished the 8th grade. My older brothers were able to survive with a high school diploma. Now, you need a Bachelors, but it is better if you have a Masters. Your kids, if you have any will have to have at least that to be competetive. Probably.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 8:32 PM

After high school, I worked summers in dollar-an-hour jobs in the non-skilled section -- waitress, shoe saleswoman, book/gift sales, carnie worker -- and that convinced me that I did not want to live the rest of my life at the whim of some jerk of a boss (as they all were). No way would I have dropped out of college!

You still run into jerks, when you have a college education, but they aren't as prevalent.

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 9:25 PM
Corey Noles' response:
Two things...about minimum wage you echoed my opinion. Minimum wage was designed for people like students, not as a means of survival for everyone. Students are doing exactly what the system is designed for: increasing their value as workers.

What we need to do is increase the work ethic of people at a younger age and that would work as an aid better than raising the minimum wage.

My other point is about working with jerks. Never ever quit a job because you work with (or for) some jerk. No matter where you work that same jerk will be there so don't let them dictate your life.

They'll always have a different name and look different, but they will always be that same jerk. He works at every job you will ever have. Don't let them dictate your life.

Jerks are everywhere, but with a degree usually you get paid more to put up with them. Usually, but not always I guess.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 11:00 PM

Fortunately, the principals and superintendents I had to work under were usually pretty good. I don't know if the better-educated bosses are less prone to jerkness than the less-educated ones.

However, my sister has worked under some pretty big candidates for jerk-of-the year, and she is in a field with college grads.

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 5:01 AM

Hey GL, it's all good up here in the 'hood. Education-that how we roll up in Essex.

My mom says the amount of real work you can do in life is inversely proportional to the amount of initials following your own name!

LeTruth,you are correct sir,at the teaching level a masters degree is now the minimum,and if you look at their entry level salaries it hardly

makes their old SallieMae loans back.

It still beats minimum wage, because you have a future income,respect in yourself and from your community,and a retirement plan!

Essexgirl,listen to LeTruth-he's been young but we've never been old so he does have some life lessons to pass on.

Just a class at TRCC if you can't take a full course load now. Did you know we often have some TRCC night courses right at good old RHS? You can get your feet wet and if you haven't graduated from RHS yet,let the guidance counselor really help you. You can also take some core requirements during your Sr. year.

Just do it! One class at a time,until you feel ready.Gotta get back to work.

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:49 AM

Wow, Counseling Essex Hood Style! Cool!

"Roll up"???

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 6:58 PM

Sorry GL, I meant to say-"that's how we roll"

Now that I'm older,I have to work to keep my lingo hip-I best get crackin' to make my chedda-gotta get the gouda-Mr. Harry Iball is coming in the door so gotta split

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 9:19 AM

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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