Poll: Should american minimum wage be raised?
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Should minimum wage be raised in America?

#1
This has become a pretty prominant question for american politics in recent years. Should minimum wage be raised?

Some argue that being paid minimum wage barely gives you anything to live by, and is basically an insult to employees. Others argue that if a business cannot afford to give  higher wages, a job on minimum wage is better than no job at all. What are your thoughts?
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#2
The way I see it, minimum wage is basically like saying "we'd pay you less if it was legal to do so"
But without minimum wage, they would pay you less. In the US, minimum wage varies from state to state. In Texas its $7.25/hr, which is what I (will be) making.. not a whole lot but its just enough to get by.
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#3
Many people are paid minimum wage, and just barely get by. Honestly, I think that it's an incentive for people to work harder in society, get college degrees, etc..., but honestly in this economy, minimum wage is often the best people are able to get, regardless of how hard they work.
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#4
I agree with cheese. Being paid minimum wage (and not getting any bonuses/benefits, etc.) is like the employer saying "We'd like to pay you less, but we can't." I know that although minimum wage varies throughout Canada, it is usually around $10/hour. That seems to be higher than most of the U.S.
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#5
$10/hour? Wow, not bad.
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#6
Indeed, but some provinces have frozen minimum wage, even as the cost of living rises. Even though minimum wage in Canada is higher than the US, it still isn't high enough. And to say that you shouldn't expect to earn much more than that being a cashier, etc. is a little off, as people usually think it is because someone doesn't have an education or is lazy. Many post-secondary graduates are working in places like Walmart, Future Shop, Tim Hortons, etc. even with a degree. It's not out of laziness.

But back on topic, minimum wage is a little insulting. Some places do offer a bit more. I know Cineplex Entertainment typically pays minimum wage (can't completely verify that) but I know they do offer a commision for each concession combo an employee sells at the concession stands. Explains why they always push for you to order a combo. Tongue
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#7
I've heard some terrible up-sell offers from workers who work on a commission. I'm one of those people that is prone to fall for that stuff too, which sucks. Tongue Movie theaters especially are already too expensive as it is, and to spend $60 between tickets and popcorn at one trip to the theater is way overboard in my mind.
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#8
It's why I love the movie theatre at the mall near my campus. It offers a student discount deal to university students. $14 for the ticket AND a regular (medium) popcorn and drink. Big Grin It's an Empire Theatres theatre, I think.

Cineplex has the Scene card, which gives you a 10% discount on concessions everyday, and bonus points for ordering combos. So I have the card. I've collected enough for 4 free movies from when I signed up, since I also opened a bank account and the supporting bank. It's the one nearest campus, so when I'm there it makes banking more easy. Tongue
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#9
Wow, maybe I need to move to canada then. Those are some pretty nice deals. Big Grin
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#10
So I recently discovered today that Wall Mart apparently pays many of its employees in China only pennies per day. Wow... just wow. I guess the value of the dollar is a bit different there, but still.
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#11
Government should have no say in what a business decides to pay a person who freely chooses to work for a business.
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#12
Frankly, no. It would lead to less hiring. Also, it could possibly slow down the economy by putting more a burden on businesses. OK, what's the alternative? I'm not sure. Any suggestions?
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#13
(February 4th, 2019 at 4:39 PM)TheJason Wrote: Frankly, no.  It would lead to less hiring.  Also, it could possibly slow down the economy by putting more a burden on businesses.  OK, what's the alternative?  I'm not sure.  Any suggestions?

In addition to inflation which lead to a direct increase in the cost of goods. Which would render the minimum wage raise pointless, and increase prices for those making above minimum wage while not giving them additional salary.
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#14
There are pros and cons. If you increase minimum wages, businesses would be reluctant to have new employees simply because they can't afford or are trying to invest in something else. For example, McDonald's is now using kiosk systems which makes things easier for customers as they can choose what they want and pay directly, no need to hire a cashier. If minimum wages increase, businesses might look into automating existing systems in such a way where employees will no longer be needed.
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#15
well... I for one welcome our new machine overlords...

but seriously though, honestly the way things are going if there isn't stability found soon the rich are either going to have to pay more to balance things out or the number of people losing their homes due to being unable to find a living wage will increase.
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#16
The bad thing about giving people a higher minimum wage is companies are going to do one of two things (or maybe both).

- They are going to hire less people to work for their company because they have to pay their people more money. This means that you'll be doing more work than you were previously.
- They are going to charge more money for their products/services etc. This means that you're still not making enough money to live on.

They just decided to boost the minimum wage in my state to $11 per hour not that long ago....that's the reason for me bringing this up.
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#17
Guess I'll drop my two cents in here, since we had a pretty big minimum-wage increase not long ago here (Ontario, Canada) and there's some more upcoming changes about it.

Note: Wages are under jurisdiction of provincial regulation. Basically like how state-laws can override federal laws in the U.S. except we don't have states, and provincial regulations are still limited in power (i.e., they can't completely override federal laws, but for any non-existant federal law, they can make their own law about something.
Since there is no federal minimum wage, provinces have their own which is dictated by the provincial government.

Note: All amounts of money are in CAD, not USD. Do the conversion yourself if you think we get paid a ton.
For reference, most of the time the Canadian Dollar sits around 0.75$USD to 0.80$USD. It's tanking quite a bit right now mainly because of the market crashes.

Before the increase, we were paid 11.60$/hour as minimum. If you were a server (or bartender or service industry or any sort) then you might have been paid a bit less (around 10$) because of the fact that you also get tips.

Now that wage is up to 14$/hr from 11.60$/hr. That's a 20%-21% increase.

Not to mention that the hike probably wasn't needed if you weren't a complete bitch. No offense. But seriously, it is INCREDIBLY easy to get at the very least an inflation raise at almost any business. We don't have to deal with shitty management nearly as much as those south of the border. Almost every single boss I've ever had did one of two things:
1. Started my pay at a rate above minimum.
2. Gave me a raise (>3%) within a few months of working (<1yr).
3. Upon request of inflation raise (~3%) I would have been given it (after 1yr of work).
All of these with very little argument or discussion. I'm not a special case; I helped a girl get a job recently and her starting pay was 16$/hr (although because it's restaurant work, she's off for the next while.)

But that's more of a side note. I guess with increasing costs due to inflation or the housing crisis, the minimum should generally increase over a certain time frame.

So, how did the hike affect Canada? (Or at the very least, Ontario?)

Well, the hike came in two parts, the first part being the beginning of 2018 and the second part being the beginning of 2019.
First, in 2018, 11.60$ became 14$ in Ontario. Then, in 2019, wages for students (<18yrs) and servers (10$ min. + tips) became a bit over 12$.

So, naturally, students and servers were screaming that they couldn't get in on it. Students usually don't absolutely need huge amounts of money in high-school since they typically don't pay rent as they're typically dependents, but I already have very little sympathy for servers because of my experience working in restaurants, so f*** them in particular, they get enough in tips already.

But in 2019 their prayers were answered and they got higher wages, again sitting around the 20% mark of increase. Some complained that now they were still further behind, but they got the same percentage increase so again they can go f*** 'emselves.

How did it affect businesses?
Small businesses (family-owned, rural areas, farmers, etc.) got pretty screwed since their margins were already low enough (Canada is incredibly monopolistic; you need tons of permits and licenses to start a business like a restaurant or shop, something between 50k$ to 100k$ depending on the business.) They couldn't afford to hire as many workers

Large businesses took the opportunity to increase their margins.
Most people don't know this but Tim Horton's isn't a Canadian company anymore. In the early 2010s, they got bought out by Burger King. Around the same time, Tim's quality went to shit. I can't drink their coffee anymore, it's too garbage it actually tastes like mud. Their hot chocolate is also too sugary now (and too little cocoa) so my girlfriend who doesn't like coffee doesn't like drinking that either anymore. Iced Cappucinos (their most popular summer drink) is also too sweet and I feel myself getting fatter as I drink it so I stay away from that too.
Quote:Another side note is that around that time, McDonalds coffee became pretty d*** good. I actually enjoy drinking it. So most people around here (that are actually in-the-know about that situation) speculate that when Burger King bought out Tim's, they changed the coffee supplier to BK's which was cheap and shit. Since Tim's didn't have the monopoly on the old supplier anymore, McDonalds went ahead and cut a deal with that supplier and now serves the old Tim's Coffee. No one can be too sure about all this, though, since it's all corporate stuff that isn't discussed with store employees and managers.

Anyway, when the minimum wage hike came, employees at these big companies didn't get fired. As a matter of fact, Tim's opened up like another 200 shops that year in Ontario and Quebec (they are close enough in proximity given that Downtown Ottawa is literally a 200m walk from the Quebec border). But at the same time, Tim's also increased their prices, and of course, when there was a public backlash from employees not getting their dollar large coffee anymore, they obviously blamed the minimum wage hike.

Except they didn't increase their prices by 20% like the wage hike did; they increased their prices by almost 50% for coffee, donuts, and some other menu items (while others had a smaller increase.) Now, from 1$ to 1.50$ for a coffee isn't too bad, but add up that cost over a month and you find yourself spending 45$ for your daily coffee instead of 30$. Especially for larger sizes, which went from 1.50$ to 2.20$. Iced Capps are now nearly 5$, basically Starbucks pricing, and even though I don't like Starbucks coffee much, it's still better value than Tim's at that point, especially for the service and choice of beverages and add-ons.

Now this year, turns out that those extra 200 shops that opened across Ontario and Quebec are now closing.
Sucks for them. Be greedy and get what you have coming to you. People don't like the coffee anymore, and combined with the price hike, their business is tanking.
Since Tim's is basically fast food, you'll usually find a McDonalds nearby, and McDonalds, having better coffee, didn't increase their prices. As a matter of fact, you can get McDonalds coffee for 1$ at any size. I usually find myself going over there for a quick drink maybe once a week or something, and I'm always pleased with the quality. They also have a loyalty thing going on that if you buy seven coffees, you get your eighth (medium size) free. Grab a little card at the counter (sometimes on the cup itself as a tear-off) and each cup also has a sticker on it that you can add to the card, then you bring it to the counter when it's full and you get your coffee.



So, in short, it sort of worked in Canada, but it really does depend on the economic climate.
It can screw over small businesses if the change is too drastic in too short a period of time, but it can also tempt the larger companies to get greedy and increase their margins under the guise of 'trying to keep their margins the same.'



Now, I mentioned that there are more changes coming to the minimum wage here.
I'll cover them briefly.

Starting 2020, on October 1st of every year, the provincial minimum wage (in Ontario) CAN have an INCREASE. It cannot decrease, but given the use of the word 'can,' it may also stick to the current wage. For other provinces, there's a similar changes, although the date is usually set in April.

As much as I don't trust the government, I would speculate that maybe around 75% of the time, the wage WILL increase by a modest amount of 1%-2%. Not quite enough to cover inflation, but just enough to keep people happy.

Why do I think this?
Because it's not really new. It's new given that it's set in stone by law now, but before the huge hike in 2018, this was mostly the norm as well.
In 2016 the minimum wage was 11.40$/hr. In 2017, the minimum wage became 11.60$/hr. About a 1.8% increase.
Although I don't feel like looking through all the historical data for the last two decades, I would imagine it's been going on for a while. In the mid 2000s, the Canadian dollar was almost entirely on-par with the US Dollar (minus a couple percent, perhaps.) In part because of the U.S. stock market crash back then with the DotCom bubble, but also because of our new-found GDP booster of oil in Alberta. So wages would have been way lower back then because of how strong the Canadian Dollar was, but then safely climbed up to 11$.

Given the fact that the law says it CAN increase, I already know that every now and then, they'll skimp out on it and keep it the same, because it's not illegal to do so.
But in the past, it has increased by a small amount, so I don't think they'll stop that. I mean, it does boost employee morale when they get a raise, so I reckon the government would try to keep that up, even if it's not enough to cover inflation entirely.

And because that change isn't as drastic as a full-blown 20%, there was never any insane backlash or massive price-hike in everything else. So I think it'll probably benefit the economy way more than the harm we experienced in the last two years.
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#18
Guess I'll drop my two cents in here, since we had a pretty big minimum-wage increase not long ago here (Ontario, Canada) and there's some more upcoming changes about it.

Note: Wages are under jurisdiction of provincial regulation. Basically like how state-laws can override federal laws in the U.S. except we don't have states, and provincial regulations are still limited in power (i.e., they can't completely override federal laws, but for any non-existant federal law, they can make their own law about something.
Since there is no federal minimum wage, provinces have their own which is dictated by the provincial government.

Note: All amounts of money are in CAD, not USD. Do the conversion yourself if you think we get paid a ton.
For reference, most of the time the Canadian Dollar sits around 0.75$USD to 0.80$USD. It's tanking quite a bit right now mainly because of the market crashes.

Before the increase, we were paid 11.60$/hour as minimum. If you were a server (or bartender or service industry or any sort) then you might have been paid a bit less (around 10$) because of the fact that you also get tips.

Now that wage is up to 14$/hr from 11.60$/hr. That's a 20%-21% increase.

Not to mention that the hike probably wasn't needed if you weren't a complete bitch. No offense. But seriously, it is INCREDIBLY easy to get at the very least an inflation raise at almost any business. We don't have to deal with shitty management nearly as much as those south of the border. Almost every single boss I've ever had did one of two things:
1. Started my pay at a rate above minimum.
2. Gave me a raise (>3%) within a few months of working (<1yr).
3. Upon request of inflation raise (~3%) I would have been given it (after 1yr of work).
All of these with very little argument or discussion. I'm not a special case; I helped a girl get a job recently and her starting pay was 16$/hr (although because it's restaurant work, she's off for the next while.)

But that's more of a side note. I guess with increasing costs due to inflation or the housing crisis, the minimum should generally increase over a certain time frame.

So, how did the hike affect Canada? (Or at the very least, Ontario?)

Well, the hike came in two parts, the first part being the beginning of 2018 and the second part being the beginning of 2019.
First, in 2018, 11.60$ became 14$ in Ontario. Then, in 2019, wages for students (<18yrs) and servers (10$ min. + tips) became a bit over 12$.

So, naturally, students and servers were screaming that they couldn't get in on it. Students usually don't absolutely need huge amounts of money in high-school since they typically don't pay rent as they're typically dependents, but I already have very little sympathy for servers because of my experience working in restaurants, so f*** them in particular, they get enough in tips already.

But in 2019 their prayers were answered and they got higher wages, again sitting around the 20% mark of increase. Some complained that now they were still further behind, but they got the same percentage increase so again they can go f*** 'emselves.

How did it affect businesses?
Small businesses (family-owned, rural areas, farmers, etc.) got pretty screwed since their margins were already low enough (Canada is incredibly monopolistic; you need tons of permits and licenses to start a business like a restaurant or shop, something between 50k$ to 100k$ depending on the business.) They couldn't afford to hire as many workers

Large businesses took the opportunity to increase their margins.
Most people don't know this but Tim Horton's isn't a Canadian company anymore. In the early 2010s, they got bought out by Burger King. Around the same time, Tim's quality went to shit. I can't drink their coffee anymore, it's too garbage it actually tastes like mud. Their hot chocolate is also too sugary now (and too little cocoa) so my girlfriend who doesn't like coffee doesn't like drinking that either anymore. Iced Cappucinos (their most popular summer drink) is also too sweet and I feel myself getting fatter as I drink it so I stay away from that too.
Quote:Another side note is that around that time, McDonalds coffee became pretty d*** good. I actually enjoy drinking it. So most people around here (that are actually in-the-know about that situation) speculate that when Burger King bought out Tim's, they changed the coffee supplier to BK's which was cheap and shit. Since Tim's didn't have the monopoly on the old supplier anymore, McDonalds went ahead and cut a deal with that supplier and now serves the old Tim's Coffee. No one can be too sure about all this, though, since it's all corporate stuff that isn't discussed with store employees and managers.

Anyway, when the minimum wage hike came, employees at these big companies didn't get fired. As a matter of fact, Tim's opened up like another 200 shops that year in Ontario and Quebec (they are close enough in proximity given that Downtown Ottawa is literally a 200m walk from the Quebec border). But at the same time, Tim's also increased their prices, and of course, when there was a public backlash from employees not getting their dollar large coffee anymore, they obviously blamed the minimum wage hike.

Except they didn't increase their prices by 20% like the wage hike did; they increased their prices by almost 50% for coffee, donuts, and some other menu items (while others had a smaller increase.) Now, from 1$ to 1.50$ for a coffee isn't too bad, but add up that cost over a month and you find yourself spending 45$ for your daily coffee instead of 30$. Especially for larger sizes, which went from 1.50$ to 2.20$. Iced Capps are now nearly 5$, basically Starbucks pricing, and even though I don't like Starbucks coffee much, it's still better value than Tim's at that point, especially for the service and choice of beverages and add-ons.

Now this year, turns out that those extra 200 shops that opened across Ontario and Quebec are now closing.
Sucks for them. Be greedy and get what you have coming to you. People don't like the coffee anymore, and combined with the price hike, their business is tanking.
Since Tim's is basically fast food, you'll usually find a McDonalds nearby, and McDonalds, having better coffee, didn't increase their prices. As a matter of fact, you can get McDonalds coffee for 1$ at any size. I usually find myself going over there for a quick drink maybe once a week or something, and I'm always pleased with the quality. They also have a loyalty thing going on that if you buy seven coffees, you get your eighth (medium size) free. Grab a little card at the counter (sometimes on the cup itself as a tear-off) and each cup also has a sticker on it that you can add to the card, then you bring it to the counter when it's full and you get your coffee.



So, in short, it sort of worked in Canada, but it really does depend on the economic climate.
It can screw over small businesses if the change is too drastic in too short a period of time, but it can also tempt the larger companies to get greedy and increase their margins under the guise of 'trying to keep their margins the same.'



Now, I mentioned that there are more changes coming to the minimum wage here.
I'll cover them briefly.

Starting 2020, on October 1st of every year, the provincial minimum wage (in Ontario) CAN have an INCREASE. It cannot decrease, but given the use of the word 'can,' it may also stick to the current wage. For other provinces, there's a similar changes, although the date is usually set in April.

As much as I don't trust the government, I would speculate that maybe around 75% of the time, the wage WILL increase by a modest amount of 1%-2%. Not quite enough to cover inflation, but just enough to keep people happy.

Why do I think this?
Because it's not really new. It's new given that it's set in stone by law now, but before the huge hike in 2018, this was mostly the norm as well.
In 2016 the minimum wage was 11.40$/hr. In 2017, the minimum wage became 11.60$/hr. About a 1.8% increase.
Although I don't feel like looking through all the historical data for the last two decades, I would imagine it's been going on for a while. In the mid 2000s, the Canadian dollar was almost entirely on-par with the US Dollar (minus a couple percent, perhaps.) In part because of the U.S. stock market crash back then with the DotCom bubble, but also because of our new-found GDP booster of oil in Alberta. So wages would have been way lower back then because of how strong the Canadian Dollar was, but then safely climbed up to 11$.

Given the fact that the law says it CAN increase, I already know that every now and then, they'll skimp out on it and keep it the same, because it's not illegal to do so.
But in the past, it has increased by a small amount, so I don't think they'll stop that. I mean, it does boost employee morale when they get a raise, so I reckon the government would try to keep that up, even if it's not enough to cover inflation entirely.

And because that change isn't as drastic as a full-blown 20%, there was never any insane backlash or massive price-hike in everything else. So I think it'll probably benefit the economy way more than the harm we experienced in the last two years.
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