Monday, January 27, 2014

Would You Do Any of These Jobs for $7.25 an Hour - or Less?

Funny how the people who really keep this country running day to day get paid the least.

- Here are 11 jobs that feature low-pay and would greatly benefit from a significant minimum wage increase
Truckers. Housekeepers. Home Health Aide. Big-box Store Worker. Fast-Food Counter Person.

Seriously those are not people you want distracted from their work because they are worried about feeding their children or pissed off at everyone who makes more money than they do - which is everybody.

If wages had kept pace with productivity over the last 40 years, minimum wage would be $20 per hour. Congressional proposals to raise the minimum to $10.10 are insulting, but apparently the best we can do.

Rep. Alan Grayson:
Every person who works full-time should make enough money to survive. Yet the federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour, and millions of people are saying, "I can't survive on $7.25."

$7.25 an hour - if you work full-time, that's only $1,257 per month. If you make only the minimum wage, that's all you have available to pay for food, rent, transportation, utilities, clothing, healthcare and taxes. For yourself, and your children. What about paying for education or vacations, or saving for a rainy day? Forget about it.

$7.25 an hour doesn't seem like very much - unless you're a waiter or waitress. The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is a measly $2.13 an hour.

Waiters, waitresses, bellhops, porters and other tipped employees are three times more likely than other workers to suffer poverty. They are twice as likely to need food stamps to avoid hunger. It's absurd to pay any American only $2.13 an hour for his work. That's less than the minimum wage in Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

For four years now, no one who makes the federal minimum wage has received a raise. Tipped employees who work for the federal minimum wage haven't received a raise in more than a decade. As a result, millions of Americans, who are working forty hours a week, and 52 weeks a year, are mired in poverty. They are struggling to feed their children, and keep a roof over their heads.

It is time to raise the minimum wage, and I'm trying to do just that. I've introduced a bill called the 'Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2013' (H.R.1346). My bill increases the federal minimum wage to $10.50 per hour, and applies that figures to waiters, waitresses and all other tipped employees. Sign our petition to raise the minimum wage at

Let me tell you why I call it the 'Catching Up to 1968 Act.' In 1968, the federal minimum wage was $1.60 per hour. If we had increased that with the cost of living, just as we do for Social Security benefits and military pensions, today's minimum wage would be $10.50 per hour. In terms of purchasing power, today we pay our lowest-paid workers less than what we paid them in 1968 - much, much less.

My bill would increase wages for 30 million Americans. What will they do with that money? Spend it, and strengthen our economy. Every one of those minimum wage workers also is a consumer. That's one reason why more than 100 economists support my bill. They explained that raising the minimum wage will improve "the living standards for low-wage workers and their families and will help stabilize the economy."

Let me put it this way: You shouldn't have to work for chicken feed, unless you're a chicken. You shouldn't work for small potatoes, unless you're a field mouse or a raccoon. You shouldn't get a Mickey Mouse paycheck, unless you're . . . .

You get the idea.

Let's show our respect for hard work by showing our respect for workers. Let's help the people who need help, and who deserve help.

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