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How to stop it

April 27, 2014

What are the basic necessities: Food, clothing and shelter. People work to provide these things and also for self-respect....

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gavinf56

Apr-27-14 5:12 AM

"When I was in Switzerland I asked "Why does a coke from a newsstand cost $4" and the answer was "They have to pay the clerk $24 an hour."" - Josh Barro

So how many think raising the minimum wage like Frank proposes in his letter exasperates the problem Weldon outlines in his letter titled "Trying to Survive"?

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mikekerstetter

Apr-27-14 5:48 AM

Frank, I've told this story a few times. I took autobody repair in high school. After high school I learned welding at WACC. I worked a part time job while going to school and then worked at Grumman's during my last year in a work study program. I worked 66 hours per week there while I went to school full time. After getting laid off (they were retooling for the postal contract) I signed up for unemployment. I graduated, and ended up collecting 56 weeks of UC. A whopping sum of $70/week. I applied everywhere in the area, not just welding jobs, but everything. Restaurants, retail stores, manufacturing jobs, body shops, car dealerships, etc. I scoured the want ads, checked at the Unemployment office a few times per week, and couldn't find anything. Most of the factories that were screaming for welders when I started welding school had either closed up or were running skeleton crews. cont'd

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mikekerstetter

Apr-27-14 6:00 AM

My dad, uncle and aunt were in the same boat as me. They worked at Zenith in Watsontown, who also closed up. I took the first job that I was offered, which, fortunately for me, came on the same day that I signed for my last available unemployment check. It was as a short order cook making $4/hour, just over minimum wage. I worked that job for 4 years and never got a raise. I left there and went to Bucknell as a cook for $5.15/hour and benefits. After 8 years I was making $8/hour and left and went to my current employer for an increase to $9.65/hour. 19 years later, I make some decent money and benefits. I never did find a job in welding or autobody repair, I've been in food service my whole career. I took an entry level job and learned a skill. Then I looked for opportunity and took it when it came available. If someone spends their whole career at, or just above, minimum wage, they are doing it of their own accord, because people who want to succeed find a way to do it.

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Garben78

Apr-27-14 6:31 AM

I bet those dishing out the $ 6 dogs at the ball game never see $24 hour

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CaveFelem

Apr-27-14 7:24 AM

So, we can never raise prices again, but give annual increases to the minimum wage? Can the letter writer explain how businesses can account for this on their cost sheets? Eventually this would result in a negative gross profit to the business. Why would they continue producing goods and services for less than zero return?

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gavinf56

Apr-27-14 7:42 AM

"I bet those dishing out the $ 6 dogs at the ball game never see $24 hour" - Garben78

So do you think "dishing out a hot dog" is a skill that requires $24/hr wage?

* - profits made from stadium concessions sales help to pay players salaries.

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bobbae2

Apr-27-14 7:44 AM

Hey Frank, ever read a History book? Try FDR's 1930's.

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Premier

Apr-27-14 8:18 AM

Another socialist who doesn't understand economics but has the answers to everyone's woes.

Just like Obamacare we are suppose to change our entire economy because 4.7 percent of workers {those just out of high school} are making the dreaded minimum wage.

So many tongue in cheek moments reading this LTE!

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ericwilliamsport

Apr-27-14 8:20 AM

Lets just say, for the sake of argument, we raised the minimum wage. This doesn't fix the fact that a person is still working for minimum wage, and has settled for that position for one reason or another. Minimum wage jobs are just simply not around for someone to make a living off of. It can bridge a gap between jobs of higher value, extra money, part time jobs for teenagers and young adults.

So we make minimum wage $10. Now what. Someone who was previously making $10 which was 20% higher than previous minimum wage, is now making minimum wage. Do we give him/her 20% raise too? Does the value of my job go up as well because less skilled jobs now get paid more?

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underwood

Apr-27-14 9:25 AM

Something is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, and that includes wages. If you want to earn more, do what it takes to make yourself worth more.

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Alsever

Apr-27-14 10:45 AM

When I was in Switzerland I asked "Why does a coke from a newsstand cost $4" and the answer was "They have to pay the clerk $24 an hour.""

In the Cancun Airport a Hershey Bar costs $6 and the employees get $1 an hour for 12 hour day. All the money goes to the guy who owns the stand selling those Hershey Bars. That is a Republican's idea of Paradise.

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gavinf56

Apr-27-14 10:59 AM

So we pay the employees $11 an hour and charge $30 for the candy bar.

A Liberals idea of making things right.

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LauriH

Apr-27-14 11:07 AM

Mr. Underwood while I agree with your statement," If you want to earn more,do what it takes to make yourself worth more". I know numerous young adults that have done just that by going to college and getting a higher education and are now working at the "nittany mart" or " Dunkin Donut" because of the numerous applicants for that one job. Many more people who are working these minimum wage jobs have situations that may hinder their ability to go back to school. Take single moms as an example, how can she go back to school if she has no help from family for childcare? She would almost be dependant on gov't assistance to help her, isn't that what many want to end gov't assistance of any kind? It seems like a vicious cycle for some to try to achieve a better paying job.

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mikekerstetter

Apr-27-14 11:31 AM

LauriH-"I know numerous young adults that have done just that by going to college and getting a higher education and are now working at the "nittany mart" or " Dunkin Donut" because of the numerous applicants for that one job."

I agree, and that is one of the big reasons I believe that we, as parents and society/employers are burdening our kids with unnecessary debt by requiring a college education for most jobs. Doctors, Lawyers, Nurses, etc., should have a college degree. Most everything else can be taught on-the-job. Our son is not college material; he struggles in high school. We're not pushing him, nor encouraging him, to go to college. 1st, he has no idea what he wants to do, and 2nd, he'll be better served by either going into the military and/or taking up a needed trade. He'll be much further ahead rather than going into debt to get an education, much of which he'll never use in the real world.

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gavinf56

Apr-27-14 11:45 AM

Sometimes it helps if the degree you get from college has some real world usefulness. Last year when our daughter changed apartments (once again), she hired 2 young men who would do odd jobs to make money because they couldn't find any work. They both had college degrees (one guy had his Masters) in Labor History.

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Ritty77

Apr-27-14 12:05 PM

As I earned my Associate's Degree in IT, I was required to take "World Religions," "Multiculturalism," and "Environmental Science." I also had a math course and multiple "communications" courses. I'm not saying that these courses where worthless, but fully half of my tuition paid for courses unrelated to information technology. Better to attend a technical/trade school, especially later in life.

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0futm2

Apr-27-14 12:11 PM

"I was required to take "World Religions," "Multiculturalism," and "Environmental Science." "

How else will these do nothing know nothing college profs, such as Wendy Lee, eat?

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sideliner

Apr-27-14 1:00 PM

Those who refuse to raise minimum wage to match the rate of inflation have no problem with paying millions in executive bonuses, billions in subsidies, tax breaks to mega-profit taking corps, all of which or so out of line when compared to what the majority of people make. It is absurd, obscene and morally wrong.

The right says all those on the left vote that way to maintain entitlements. Nothing could be further from the truth. The majority on public assistance, food stamps, etc do not vote. Those most effected by corporate greed and out of control capitalism do not vote.

No longer is it out of high school kids filling min wage jobs. Families are now being supported with those jobs. They are no longer the means to higher paying jobs. There is no advancement any more. The labor market has changed but the method of compensation has not, and apparently neither have some pretty backwards thinking.

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underwood

Apr-27-14 1:23 PM

Companies are willing to pay those executive salaries and bonuses because they believe the executives are worth it. The same goes for sports and entertainment salaries.

Here we go again with out of control capitalism; of course the usual leftist fix is more government control which is the reason for the out of control crony capitalism in the first place.

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underwood

Apr-27-14 1:33 PM

Lauri, our dismal rate of economic growth is limiting opportunities for the people you talk about. The catch 22 is our desire to help the unfortunate is drawing ever more wealth from the economy, which limits opportunities for the ones we’re trying to help even more.

Again, you keep saying eliminate these assistance programs, when in reality we’re only talking about limits on them.

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LauriH

Apr-27-14 2:05 PM

Mr. Underwood you are correct in saying we are experiencing dismal economic growth,so my question to you has always been why now should any of those programs be limited? If someone is in therapy to help them recover from having 2 broken legs do you cut back on therapy because they learned how to stand in place on their own? My answer would be no, they need more therapy because they could not yet walk on their own without assistance but one day will walk without help. It sounds alot like our recovering economy. I do recogonize the need for limits, my only real problem with it was the timing and the constant attack on programs that help the poor and underemployed.

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LauriH

Apr-27-14 2:09 PM

I thought some of you with a sense of humor would enjoy this: I am going to go fly a kite (with my daughter) LOL! What a beautiful day, hope you all enjoy it.

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underwood

Apr-27-14 2:39 PM

Lauri, I can only refer to the catch 22 I mentioned; the more government takes from the economy to help people, the slower the recovery they need will be. Your timing argument doesn’t address that conflict.

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LauriH

Apr-27-14 3:35 PM

The government already booted 3.7 million (maybe more) people off the unemployment extensions of any kind, so many have no or very little money to put back into the economy. So how does the timing of not extending emergency benefits help the struggling economy? It must have some type of reflection on our economy correct? When people are working they put money back into the economy, economics 101. Timing is everything in many things in life, you know that Mr. Underwood.

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rick424

Apr-27-14 3:44 PM

Conservative 101. Give more money to the rich. That way they create jobs, even though no one has any money to buy anything.

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