Political Platform

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Minimum Wage

I have heard the “Minimum Wage” referred to as the “Living Wage”, the wage needed to sustain a family. I have also heard the “Minimum Wage” referred to the “starting wage”. Where do this statements come from, and more importantly, what authority or study made the determination and what were the guidelines for the study? No, this was not an objective determination, it is an emotionally charged number based on social beliefs. The Federal Minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. In Florida, prior to January 1, 2014 it was $7.79 and after it was increased $.14 to the current $7.93 per hour. Recent federal initiatives have tried unsuccessfully to raise the Minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Also recently, there have been some fast-food workers who have held rallies asking for the Minimum Wage to be raised to $15.00 per hour. The current median hourly wage for a fast-food employee is $8.83, according to the Labor Department. Well…. It is easy to lose sight of some of the underlying concerns and get myopically focused on the numbers. It is a complex situation because of the number of interrelated factors. As a quick reference point, the retailer Costco Wholesale Corporation’s minimum wage is $11.50 per hour. I believe in promoting job growth, promoting business growth, and being fair to workers. I don’t think these should be in conflict. I don't believe that the Minimum Wage should be a family sustaining wage. I believe that the natural market forces will determine a competitive wage. Oh, I remember a time when the minimum wage was about $5.25 per hour and fast food workers in Boston where making over $10.00 per hour. I remember working for $1.50 per hour when I was young and I was most appreciative of the wage considering my age and no experience. Now, as a small business owner, I absolutely can’t afford to hire someone at the minimum wage, but for a struggling student desperately trying to get some experience to put on a near-blank resume, they would be grateful for me to pay them $5.00 per hour, even though I couldn't afford to hire them full-time because that would cost me so much as to make it not financially practical. Minimum Wage? Yes, I think there should be one but States are making this determination. Let them determine what is best for their State.