Phil for Humanity Phil for Humanity
A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.

Minimum Wage is a Joke

One of my personal pet peeves is the so called minimum wage in the United States of America. Basically, the minimum wage is a law that legally ensures a minimum salary for all workers. In theory, this ensures employees can afford their basic necessities and are not exploited by their employers. In actually, the minimum wage is typically not sufficient enough to survive with. The minimum wage may have been sufficient in the past; however the cost of living increases at a much higher rate than the minimum wage. Thus, the minimum wage is no longer adequate to live on in the United States.

One of my biggest annoyances with minimum wage is that not everyone is entitled to it. For instances, waiters and waitresses are not guaranteed a minimum wage, since they earn most of their income from tips. Most tip earners typically earn more than the minimum wage, but they sometimes do not earn the legal minimum. Some people say that forcing tip earners to earn the minimum wage would hurt businesses, since this would force business owners to increase their prices. However, I believe the tipping rate would probably decrease to compensate for the increases in the prices of services, so tip earners would eventually earn about the same income and the costs to the customers would also eventually be about the same too, while guaranteeing a minimum salary for all tip earners.

On the other end of the spectrum, another annoyance that I have is for CEOs who only earn $1 per year as their salary. This is obviously illegal or at least very questionable. I donít feel bad for these already wealthy CEOs, especially since their bonuses are typically millions of dollars if their company does well. Yet these ultra low salaries are essentially displays of a "donít care" attitude for the governmentís laws. Furthermore these low salaries are an affront or insult to regular employees, because CEOs are so much financially better off than regular employers that CEOs do not need a regular source of income. Therefore, CEOs who only earn $1 are openly stratifying themselves into a social class above the common person.

At the very least, it is only fair for the minimum wage to be equally enforced for everyone, no matter what their situation is. Furthermore, there are several very good reasons to support an increase to the minimum wage, as well as there are several very good reasons to NOT support an increase to the minimum wage. Yet, it is a certainty that the minimum wage is insufficient to live on in the United States, therefore something needs to change in order to guarantee that the standard of living does not decrease for the poorest of the poor. Without this guarantee, minimum wage earners might not survive. Instead, these minimum wage earners would rather collect unemployment benefits instead of working, since these benefits are greater than working.

by Phil for Humanity
on 03/07/2008

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