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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 25 2013: True, Australia climbed while the economies of other countries fell. I've seen nothing to attribute this disparity to a stepped minimum wage.
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      Mar 25 2013: I agree there is no evidence to suggest that the stepped minimum wage is responsible for the economic success but it does show that a stepped minimum wage doesn't instantly destroy your economy like many tedsters seem to think.
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        Mar 28 2013: Too small of a sample test, Pedro come on you are a man of science aren't you?

        No it is not instant but it surely is a lowering of the VERY people you purport to help.

        Do I really have to teach you remedial economics. Sad to say that is my lot in life, learn the heathens which way is up.
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          Mar 28 2013: Can you give me an example of a country where the introduction of a stepped minimum wage system resulted in calamity. Irealise my assessment is based on one result from one country, but that's one more result than any of the nay sayers have produced. Yes Pat I am a man of science and science tells me that even insufficient evidence is better than no evidence.
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        Mar 28 2013: Ok Pedro

        Oh here is one, this county called the United States, through the Davis Bacon act, please peruse the words of a couple of the smartest fellers I know the Sowell man and Walter E (not jazz musicians but economists) the facts are there but you won't hear me anyway so I'm not going to go to much trouble on this.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jv1Zae0sgo
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          Apr 2 2013: All your problems would be solved if you could just get dem boys to work for nuttin like in da old days.
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        Apr 2 2013: Nope them fellers have learned me plenty.

        What they are saying indicates a very real problem with the minimum wage you are so proud of.

        You are trying to divert my point, hopefully most will see through your digression and it's dubious intent.

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