Here's an issue that no politician wants to address, I betcha: How does government encourage private companies, small and large, to create new jobs, as well as to keep current jobs, when part of the basic business model to succeed is to employ "cheap labor"?
Ah, what's that some say: Get rid of the minimum hourly wage rate.
Hoo, boy. The federal minimum wage, since 2009, is $7.25 per hour. If you work full-time at 40 hours per week, you earn a gross weekly pay of $290. Now, let's take at least 30 percent from that for taxes (FICA, federal, state, and disability). Wowza! A whopping $203 to spend for fun and essentials for the week. Bear in mind that some people receive more net pay according to the number of dependents they claim. Too bad we can't claim our pets. Oh, and let's not forget some workers may also be contributing a portion of their check to their employee health plan and, possibly, retirement plan.
Ah, but my question is not: How are people able to live on minimum wage?
Some states are kind and require employers to pay a higher minimum wage, from a few cents more to almost a couple of dollars. In 2012, the state of Washington has the highest basic rate at $9.04 per hour. Arkansas ($6.25), Georgia ($5.15), and Puerto Rico ($4.10) have minimum rates that are lower than the national one. Does that mean employers don't have to pay the federal wage? And, how can they get away it? And, if they can, why don't the other states do the same thing? Questions, questions, questions. I don't know.
There are U.S. cities that are kinder than the states when it comes to the minimum wage. The highest rate is decreed in Santa Cruz, California. As of July 2012, any contractor doing business with the city of Santa Cruz is required to pay its employees at least $14.26 per hour (if they receive benefits) or $15.55 per hour (if no benefits are given). Wowza! I bet Romney's $10,000 that churns the stomachs of a lot of anti-minimum wage people. Other cities with generous minimum hourly wages are Santa Fe ($10.29) and San Francisco ($10.24).
Hmmm, after writing all this, I have to ask: How does getting rid of the minimum wage contribute to the creation of jobs?
So, politicians, what say ye? What are your concrete plans to get companies, such as Hewlett Packard (which announced in May 2012 that it must cut 27,000 jobs) to create new ones? Forget about saying, "Trust me. I will do it." In my book, that just means you haven't a clue.
© 2012 Su-sieee! Mac. All rights reserved.