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Bring Back 1960

Can we go back to 1960?  Oh how I wish; especially when it comes to heated debates of minimum wage.  I grow tired of reading "inflation adjusted" minimum wage, blah blah blah.  It's going to kill small business.  yada yada yada.  Give me a break.  We all know prices have skyrocketed while packaging sizes have shrunk so let's look at some hard numbers.  The Fed ignores food and energy at every turn.  It's a rigged game so one has to look at prices to live, to survive each day vs. minimum wage.

In 1960, the minimum wage was $1.00 an hour.

Here's what some basics cost in 1960:

One source:
New house; $11,700
Average monthly rent: $88
Gas: .22cents a gallon
New car: $2,050
Health insurance for family: $75 a month

Another source:

Cost of a new home:  $16,500
Cost of a new car:
$1700-4000 (low to high end)
Cost of a first-class stamp:  $0.04 
Cost of a gallon of regular gas:  $0.31 
Cost of a dozen eggs:  $0.57 
Cost of a gallon of Milk:  $0.49 

In 2014, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

Here are some average costs:

Avg. median price New house: $275,800
Average monthly rent 1br Dallas: $1,100
Gas when I filled up yesterday (low grade): $3.49 a gallon
New car: $28,400
Health insurance for family: $840 a month (with enormous deductible) Cost of a gallon of whole milk $3.29 Dozen large eggs $1.99 First class stamp .49 cents

Now, tell me again that $7.75 is a livable wage.  Tell me again why the government (we taxpayers) has to help Americans live each and ever day with Welfare benefits and let's not forget that Earned Income Tax Credit......because $7.75 when prices are 10x higher DOESN'T GET IT DONE.

Meanwhile a 2012 report estimated that over $32 TRILLION dollars in assets was held in offshore accounts by the richest of the world.  I volunteer at our local Mission which has a food bank and medical clinic.  I find it difficult to pity the wealthy paying more to their employees, and not the impoverished I see there each week.  At the very least, people should be paid equal to the poverty level so that the government (taxpayers) no longer have to subsidize for their survival.  What a concept.

If some politicians are so against Welfare programs, then why tolerate Corporate welfare?  Let's cut them all and see how well that goes over.

If some politicians are afraid that a raise will cost jobs and harm small business, then why not look at the cities/state where it's already higher and look at their growth (and btw, falling unemployment).

Chuck Hammers, who owns five Pizza My Heart outlets in the San Jose with about 115 employees, says he was panicked (or a hike in minimum wage) until he realized the pay hike would also affect his competitors. To offset a 4% increase in costs, he raised the price of pizza slices by 8%, or 25 cents for a $3 slice of pizza. "Ninety-five percent of customers didn't even notice," he says, adding that his sales were unaffected.

And with wages higher, virtually no workers are leaving. "It's a huge benefit that you've got people with much more experience, and they give great service," Hammers says.

Have people become so afraid they no longer see the forest for the trees?  Are we now that supportive of Corporate America and not the American?  Truly a pity.

From MotherJones

The Minimum Wage would be $21.72 if it had kept up with productivity.
If it kept up with the rise of the 1%'s income rise, it would be $25.18!
If it had only kept up with inflation, the wage should be at $10.52 today.
In the years between WWII and 1968, productivity and wages grew together at a steady pace.

Since its peak in 1968 the minimum wage has fallen behind.

Hmmmm interesting that disconnect.

Let's do as Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn wishes and repeal the minimum wage  Yeah!  Free markets rule!  What do you think will happen then?  More on government subsidies which you and I pay for in our tax dollars..................but that's o.k. because free markets are good for Corporate profits!  Yes, I'm being a sarcastic jackass.  We fled England to get away from Robber Barons.  Are we truly, and slowly  adopting the English model?

It's Corporate welfare - and I'm so tired of it.

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  • Laura, The analysis presented, excellent. The comparisons to the 1960's gives perspective. The assertion of Robber Baron's true.

    In 1963 I was hired by the telephone company, considered at the time a good job for women, I made $32.50/week. My rent for per month was $25.00/month. I owned no car. I walked to work. By 1967 my salary after moving to the Bay Area and working in SF was $350/month. I personally owned no car. Shared rent with another. By 1968 along with a partner we bought our first home for $9000. By 1969 we purchased another house for $25,000 and by 1970 another for $35,000. By the end of the 70's I was making about $34,000/year. By 2000 I made $125,000/year.

    In 2001 it took 6 family's pooling their money to buy the last home we owned in the Bay Area. The home is trashed now, those families defaulted because of the economic down turn.

    Being against a living wage is naive. Allowing a culture of Robber Baron's is criminal. Why have conservatives been so apt to support this? Conservatives have been jerked around by the corporate and many bought their whines.

    I do think that even if a decent minimum wage could be passed -- the corporate would receive more subsidies and ringing some gov't subsidies from all groups would be near impossible. I have no answers to this dilemma to offer.

    After the revolutionary war folks found themselves in horrid straights. Wealth was very concentrated in the hands of the few. There were riots. Hate to say it but that is what might have to happen coast to coast.

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