TED Conversations

Eric Hazelle

This conversation is closed.

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.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Apr 15 2013: Not very much in favor of a step minimum wage. Most 14 year olds will out work a 25 year old in a minimum wage job. That 25 year old didn't utilize their opportunities to improve and move up from a minimum wage. People are paid what they are worth to their organization in terms productivity and intangibles.

    We do have severe problem of under employment in this country. Raising the minimum wage will make it worse. I have always held the belief an organization should have the bare minimum employees and compensate them well because they are the most productive people you can get.

    If you don't like your compensation, go find a place that will pay you what you think you are worth.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.