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Eric Hazelle

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A stepped minimum wage

In the U.S., minimum wage has come up again. If it is raised, employers say they'll have to lay off minimum wage workers to cover the extra expenses. Proponents say it will give minimum wage workers a "living wage".

How about this? Have a stepped minimum wage. (The following numbers are just for discussion sake, not proposals for definitive compensation.) Let's permit kids age 14-15 to get work permits, for something like Macdonald's, or Walmart. They'd be allowed to work, say, 15 hours a week flipping burgers or stocking shelves and getting, say, $6 an hour. It would give them an income, teach them to handle money, contribute to their family, and they'd be able to work as long as their school work didn't suffer.

When they turn 16, increase their hours and pay to 20 and $7 an hour. Again, subject to school performance. At age 18 permit full-time employment as long as they've graduated from high school at $8.50 an hour, unless they're married and have a family, then give them the proposed new minimum wage. (What is it? $10.50 an hour? Anyway.)

From there, put percentages on the number of employees in each category an employer could have. Say a MacDonalds could have 20% 15 year olds, 20% 16, 20% 18 and so on. Tweak the numbers so they'd be paying no more than what they're currently paying.

Benefits; kids off the streets and productively employed, contributing to the family's income and learning working skills. A system that employers of minimum wage workers could support, and not be out extra money.

As I say, this is just for discussion; tweak the numbers, percentages and ages to get a workable plan, then see if congress could go for it.

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  • Mar 20 2013: As long as money is involved, nothing will ever work.
    Why not get rid of money and then all jobs will be of equal value and each person will be of equal value?
    All the work currently done will still need to be done and everyone can participate in working at something.
    Just because a job is some form of menial labor doesn't mean it isn't necessary.
    All the things, chores, activities and efforts humans put forth into living are equal in value and importance and can be done by more humans sharing more of the work load instead of long hours, added stress and dog-like competition to survive.
    Everyone needs to survive and all can survive and thrive not if, but only when we are all equal.
    That is how we create equality by making all our job-like endeavors of equal value.
    Still, because we are human, curious, creative, daring and so on, we will still desire, seek, learn, teach, build and do all the things we already are doing but doing mostly because we are struggling to survive.
    What we see in societies around the world that is negative behavior and actions, is not because that is our human nature but it is because so many are not getting their needs met and survival kicks in with all its strength.
    That is natural and there is nothing wrong with surviving and we humans can do this differently if only we could seriously think in a different state of consciousness.
    I call that state, "sanity."
    Most cannot because they are not sane.
    They can only think 'round and 'round in the circles they've been given as a form of consciousness.
    They are asleep and boxed in, so they can't think or imagine outside the box.
    Thus, all the talk revolves around all the same old methods, tweaked anew, and the same old philosophies which are openly failing.
    Things don't........"get done".........because of money.
    Things ...........don't get done".....because of money.
    Nothing costs money.
    Everything costs people.
    • Mar 20 2013: That would pave the way to communism because it would create a disincentive for work; you'll call me crazy and I'm not smart enough to understand your utopia. I live in the real world where no one is equal, we're all different, unique, and have abilities others do not. We are born equal but achieve different results based on actions and motivations.

      Which is why America has the most robust and innovative economy in the world because people are rewarded for their talents and hardwork.
      • Mar 21 2013: First of all, please don't try that sad old method of demonizing and dismissing with one word. That word is communism. Your use of the word implies I am suggesting that, as far as I am concerned. The world has never had a communistic system that didn't involve money, hence any system involving money becomes corrupt because of money, not because of theory. And the corruption is in practice and that is reality.
        No money does not create a disincentive for work, which is disingenuous of you to say that. Not having a monetary system means humans could finally go about solving their problems because it is money and always has been money, that stands in the way of solving them. Read this again until it sinks into your programmed brain.
        Things don't........"get done".........because of money.
        Things ...........don't get done".....because of money.
        Nothing costs money.
        Everything costs people.
        No we are not born equal but so what? We parse out value and worth to individuals based on birth, country, belief, luck, greed, occupation and many other features that increase inequality and widen the gap between our common bonds.
        All jobs are of equal value because we humans need them all done. Thus, everyone can contribute and survive while we produce all we need for everyone's survival. That is what people are trying to do for Christ's sake and you think, what? that it is somehow wrong, immoral, of lesser value, not worthy of dignity, or comfort, or lack or worry? The list could go on.
        And don't leave out how Americans hard work involved stealing a country and stealing the resources of other countries so they could "realize their dreams". Americans have worked hard at killing other peoples, invading and destroying democracies forever, and then using their advantage to keep the rest of the world poor as best they could. They have contributed more pollution, more use and waste of earth's resources and use the threat of terror on their own citizens.
        Rethink your position
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          Mar 24 2013: your basing your idea on everybody getting along perfectly. government is a useful tool. but only without corruption. maybe fight corruption instead of infrastructure. a.k.a. "money"
          there are too many problems in the world stemming from other issues (mostly morality issues) to be blaming it on "money" start at the base of the problem then work out of it.
          a house with a weak foundation will always have a weak foundation no matter how you make it look.
    • Mar 21 2013: Essentially what you're describing is communism and while it sounds all wonderful and utopian,in practice it has been anything but. Worker disincentivization is just one of many problems. Another major one is that communism historically has led to dictatorships, violence, and war.
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      Mar 21 2013: agreed with the two statements above.
      this would effectively limit a lot of research, organization, and job motivation.

      besides the whole America Paragraph.: "Which is why America has the most robust and innovative economy in the world because people are rewarded for their talents and hard work." America is so far from getting it right.

      minimum wage issue is not the problem. maximum wage difference increases productiveness minimally while it massively separates the country into inequality. From this stems some of America's oh so obvious problems.

      please watch this talk if you don't believe it.
      http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson.html
      • Apr 16 2013: Commenting on your ABOVE above statement. The one 2 comments up.
        Money causes corruption.
        If someone has it they want more of it.
        The government is corrupt because of many business owners decide to take up
        politics as a hobby. And then they lobby. And they protect each other. Business, HUGE ONES, monopolizing ones, give government what it needs to keep going. Money. Government in turn gives protection to make even more money. MONSANTO IS THE PRIME CANDIDATE FOR CORRUPTION OF GOVERNMENT USING CROOKED BUSINESS.

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