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I have no polling to support this, but in my experience the type of people who oppose minimum wage increases are the following:

1. Small Business Owners (and real ones, not 500-employee 'small businesses')

2. People who make a high hourly wage and are worried future raises will be affected by the min increase, OR that their hourly wages will be cut

3. People on a decent salary (or better).

A lot of times, they'll look at the minimum wage hourly and say 'well, $7.25 doesn't seem so bad.' or '$10hr is great for flipping burgers!!'. What's an easy way to counteract that?

For #1, I would simply say 'I understand, but allowing people to be paid poverty wages so that some business owners can squeak by on such a tight margin that paying their employees a few bucks more an hour will break them is not acceptable to me.'

BUT, for the other two, I believe the best way to counteract these people and their mindset is to put the minimum hourly wage in terms they'll much better relate to: what does it turn out to per-year for 40hrs/week?

$7.25hr = $15,080 gross per year, assuming they work 40 hours a week and don't miss a week.

$9.00/hr = $18,720 per year

$10.10/hr = $21,008 per year

(that's why, in these terms, $15/hr isn't nearly so offensive).

So, when it's me having this conversation with #2 or #3, I simply say this:

'Sure, I don't think the minimum wage has to be enough for one person working a full week to support a family of four. But do you know what the current wage proposals turn out to per-year, if they were salaried? (fill in the blank).

Should ANYONE not working on their own, regardless of what work they're doing, only make $21,000 a year working a full workweek, every week of the year? '

Originally posted to GoGoGoEverton's Blog on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:57 AM PST.

Also republished by Political Language and Messaging.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:57:14 AM PST

  •  The next thing I like to point out is how much the (12+ / 0-)

    rest of society must "subsidize" that low wage earner.  People making less than $20,000/year have kids in the Free and Reduced lunch program.  They are in Expanded Medicaid programs.  Their suppressed income means suppressed tax contributions.  Charities give them Food Boxes and Clothing Boxes.  Energy and Housing assistance.  

    Guess what?  The low wage earner isn't actually the one being subsidized, either.

    The low wage EMPLOYER is the one getting the MOST benefit of those subsidies!  

    Why should cheapskate employers be subsidized?  They aren't creating more jobs with that money.  They just aren't.  

    Somebody told me that you had a boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year.

    by koosah on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 09:15:21 AM PST

  •  most small businesses, alas, are barely hanging on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, chimene

    by their fingernails anyway. As statistics show, virtually all small businesses go broke and die within five years of starting up. And many of the ones who do manage to survive, just get bought out by a bigger company.

    So the wages they pay don't really matter all that much to their survival anyway. The odds are tremendously good that any small business will die, no matter what they pay their workers. So they might as well pay them enough to live on during the short time they're likely to have their job.

    That's why the whole "small business owners" mythology in the US is so silly. Small businesses are like krill---they live short ephemeral lifetimes, and their only real purpose is to feed the bigger fish.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 09:56:49 AM PST

  •  Get familiar with the past min wages (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, koosah, chimene

    And adjust for inflation.
    In 2012 dollars the min wage of 1976 was worth $9.68
    When I graduated HS it was the current equivalent of $10.42.
    If you can tie it to a time frame that matches the opponent's life mile-stones (leaving HS, entering the full time work force, etc.) it brings it home to what it would mean to them at a time in their life when they might reasonably have been expected to work at minimum wage.

    Tools for doing this:

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 10:20:08 AM PST

    •  Not bad! However, takes more work and citations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, koosah

      that typically one has access to over beers =)

      While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 11:21:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just need to memorize two or three (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GoGoGoEverton, koosah

        Chances are the folks you have a few beers with fall into a roughly similar age cohort. For example, I graduated HS in '68. Citing that period works just fine for anybody who was around 18 anytime plus or minus 5 years from then.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 11:44:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I would tell #1 (0+ / 0-)

    that I am tired of the government picking winners and losers by subsidizing a failed business model.

    Tell the others what republicans always say; a rising tide lifts all boats. Then tell them the minimum wage is the tide, as opposed to the republicans plan of anchoring all low-wage-earners to the bottom with a short chain and letting them drown.

    Alternatively, tell them all that they have a choice. Higher taxes on businesses and the wealthy along with increased assistance from the government - or - higher wages - or - get used to seeing people starving in the streets. And if you choose the latter, don't be too surprised to see a mob with torches and pitchforks.

    Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

    by Eric Twocents on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 04:28:40 PM PST

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