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Tiered minimum wage?

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Old 01-04-2007, 12:38 PM   #1
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Tiered minimum wage?

Hey guys, thought I'd run an idea a colleague and several others were discussing...

The subject of minimum wage and education came up. One guy brought up an idea that minimum wage should be tiered to represent your education level. Ungraduated from high school would be the base, GED would be the next level and high school diploma would be next. The idea would be to encourage students to at least finish their high school education.

Any thoughts on this?
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Old 01-04-2007, 12:51 PM   #2
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

Naw...I don't buy that one at all. For a lot of different reasons really. But I think the current system works well.

People haven't finished high school for a lot of different reasons, so bringing them in at lower rate could actually be a disincentive to finish high school.
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Old 01-04-2007, 12:54 PM   #3
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

Actually the thought is raising the rate for the GED and HS graduates, the current base rate would be for non-high school graduates.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:00 PM   #4
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

All I know is the current min. wage rate is a joke. Let's get it raised to a decent level first and go from there. It's not a livable wage as is.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:08 PM   #5
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

Not necessary...most minimum wage jobs are FOR non-high school graduates anyways. There's no reason to have any qualification system for minimum wage and really, no reason to raise it. Working at these jobs are not permament arrangements, not intended for or used for raising a family (mostly kids looking for their first job or a summer job and retired people looking for something to do take the jobs) and it would actually hurt the entire US economy to raise the min wage. It would force the employers and businesses to raise prices to make up for their lost profits from the government-mandated payroll expense. McDonald's wouldn't pay for the rate hike, their customers would. Also, it would make a lot of employers have to cut the number of minimum wage employees they can afford to keep, so the "feel good" political tactic of raising the minimum wage would end up puttting a lot of the people they want to help out of work instead. We haven't even gotten into the higher-paid employees' demands of raises to stay the same "value" ahead of the kids at the counter or cleaning the windows.

If you have ANY skills at all, you can do better than a minimum wage job. Sure there are a lot of kids having babies, but they better not be relying on burger-flipping to support the child.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:08 PM   #6
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

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Originally Posted by Mattyk72 View Post
All I know is the current min. wage rate is a joke. Let's get it raised to a decent level first and go from there. It's not a livable wage as is.
As I said, it's not INTENDED to be.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:16 PM   #7
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

Most jobs these days start at well above the minimum wage, so it really shouldn't be an issue.

As Buster said, minimum wage is not intended to be a livable wage. It's routinely for kids working part time while in high school/college to earn a few bucks. It should be incentive for those making minimum wage to bust their asses to make more money. I almost equate it to the newer grading systems in school...trying to get everyone to pass so they don't feel the negativity of failing. Raising the minimum wage will only help those people squeek by instead of working harder to gain their own incentives.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:19 PM   #8
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

They do something like this in Europe and some countries factor in age as well.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:23 PM   #9
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

Education should not drive the level of minimum wage. Think about it, if you're McDonalds and you need to hire cashiers, are you going to hire the ones that cost $9.00 an hour or the ones that cost $7.00 an hour?

It doesn't take a high school education to work a cashier at McDonalds, so they're going to hire the cheaper labor.

Besides, education is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. Education is designed to give you more skills, which makes you a more desireable employee. But if you come out of high school without any skills, you're still no more deserving than the guy who dropped out and doesn't have any skills.

You also must leave room for people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Some high school dropouts work their ass off and gain skills, and move up the old fasioned way.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:26 PM   #10
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
They do something like this in Europe and some countries factor in age as well.
The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution prevents age from being a factor in employability or wage rates. AKA the Civil Rights amendment.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:32 PM   #11
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

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Originally Posted by Buster View Post
Not necessary...most minimum wage jobs are FOR non-high school graduates anyways. There's no reason to have any qualification system for minimum wage and really, no reason to raise it. Working at these jobs are not permament arrangements, not intended for or used for raising a family (mostly kids looking for their first job or a summer job and retired people looking for something to do take the jobs) and it would actually hurt the entire US economy to raise the min wage. It would force the employers and businesses to raise prices to make up for their lost profits from the government-mandated payroll expense. McDonald's wouldn't pay for the rate hike, their customers would. Also, it would make a lot of employers have to cut the number of minimum wage employees they can afford to keep, so the "feel good" political tactic of raising the minimum wage would end up puttting a lot of the people they want to help out of work instead. We haven't even gotten into the higher-paid employees' demands of raises to stay the same "value" ahead of the kids at the counter or cleaning the windows.

If you have ANY skills at all, you can do better than a minimum wage job. Sure there are a lot of kids having babies, but they better not be relying on burger-flipping to support the child.
I agree with all of this... except the bolded part. Salary inflation in the country has been about 2-3% per year over the last 7 years. Over that time, the minimum wage has not been raised, not even to adjust for inflation. So speaking in relative terms, the working poor have lost value to the higher paid employees. To be truly fair, we should give minimum wage a boost to make up for 7 years of inflation. I don't think minimum wage should be raised in that min wage employees should have more money in their pockets, but they certainly shouldn't have less than they did 7 years ago, which is exactly what happens when the wage doesn't keep pace with inflation. A 14.8% boost in the min wage would put employees on the same footing as they were 7 years ago, assuming inflation was 2% per year.

But you are right, minimum wage is not intended to support a family, and it should not be expected by anyone to do so.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:40 PM   #12
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneed10 View Post
Education should not drive the level of minimum wage. Think about it, if you're McDonalds and you need to hire cashiers, are you going to hire the ones that cost $9.00 an hour or the ones that cost $7.00 an hour?

It doesn't take a high school education to work a cashier at McDonalds, so they're going to hire the cheaper labor.

Besides, education is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. Education is designed to give you more skills, which makes you a more desireable employee. But if you come out of high school without any skills, you're still no more deserving than the guy who dropped out and doesn't have any skills.

You also must leave room for people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Some high school dropouts work their ass off and gain skills, and move up the old fasioned way.
I thought of a similiar point on my drive back to work. It would be difficult to prevent a company from employing "education level" discrimination. Why hire the hs grad when I can pay the 6th grade education guy a lesser rate?

Minimum wage may be a joke and also intended as a launch pad for teenagers but many adults earn minimum wage. Given their circumstances (single parent, medical problems, etc) their opportunity to further enhance their skill set or education is nigh impossible.

I'd rather have an increase in minimum wage instead of unlimited duration of welfare payments.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:40 PM   #13
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

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Originally Posted by Buster View Post
As I said, it's not INTENDED to be.
Personally I think it should be, or at least a lot closer to being a livable wage than it is now.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:47 PM   #14
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

I've had a lot of 2 cents lately, why not another?

The reason for minimum wage is not to prevent people from being exploited by thier employers. The real reason is to get votes.

Having a minimum wage hurts the economy, by increasing the amount of unemployment. Bottomline: people will not take a job that's not worth the work. If there's a low paying job and there are people who are willing to work it -- why prevent that, even if the wage is lower than what some people think is acceptable? Minimum wage is a product of the employment market (much like all other markets). Setting it artificially high just means that companies cannot/will not employ as many people as they would like to.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:54 PM   #15
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Re: Tiered minimum wage?

One could make a (weak) argument that a person earning more is happier and thus production increases. An increase in production yields greater output which could lower consumer costs.

Also, the people now earning more money have more spending power on luxury items (cars, electronics, etc) which increases overall revenue.
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