How much should minimum wage be?

Just read an article that if minimum wage had kept up with productivity (and C-suite increases), it would be from $22 to $33 per hour, not proposed $10.10.

Guess I have to think this one over.

What do you all think the minimum wage should be?


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  • From a financial/business perspective, I am not sure some of the businesses that I work with can handle an almost  40%  increase (from $7.25 to $10.10/hr)....especially on top of the increased cost of benefits/taxes/fees of the PPACA.    I suspect it would mean more layoffs and worse unemployment. and worse working conditions for thase that are left.  A good portion of our employees at some locations make less than $10.10 an hour (low end retail/service positions). Would I love to pay them more than I do now? Sure!  We try to start out most employees at a minimum of $8 per hour.  Do I have the net income to do more? No, in some cases we aren't even breaking even between current income and expenses.  They truly are lucky to even still have a job as am I!

    Maybe it's because I've studied compensation in depth, while I do feel there should be a minimum, if you set that minimum too high all it does is drive up the wages that are tied to it (such as wages in union contracts that are tied to the federal minimum wage). And it drives up wages of those already above minimum wage. That in turn, drives up costs to employers and onward to consumers which makes it even less of a "living wage" again. It seems to be a never ending cycle. 

    Should min wage go up over time? yes. But I know a lot of people who have taken significant pay decreases in the last few years. Wages are in no way rising at the rates that they used to!   And minimum wage is supposed to be a platform to grow from. No one is really meant to stay at minimum wage their whole career.  They should be accruing experience, working on their skills and education so that they are truly worth more to an employer.

    And I truly believe that different jobs/positions should have lower/higher pay based on factors such as education and experience needed, risk, stress, decision-making abilities, productivity, etc. And it should be up to the employer and their relationship with the employee to work out "fair" compensation between them.  Unfortunately at a time of high unemployment, employers hold the advantage.  Until unemployment decreases and employers have to pay more (wages and benefits) to compete for the same employees, they will continue to hold the advantage.  If the federal minimum wage is forced upward, that will put most minimum wage earners at more of a disadvantage rather than in a better position.  Unintended consequences to something that sounds helpful?


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