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If You Work Full Time at Minimum Wage, You’re Not in Poverty

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President Obama recently declared: “It’s time to raise the minimum wage because nobody who works full-time should live in poverty.”

Actually, the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour means people who work full time have already risen above the poverty level. Sean Davis, of The Federalist magazine, points out that $7.25 an hour, 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, puts an individual $3,000 above the federal poverty line, while a couple with two kids, where both parents work full-time at minimum wage, will earn $5,000 more than the official poverty threshold.

The best way to help families escape hardship is to help them get full-time jobs, not to force up their hourly wages. A legal mandate increasing the minimum wage means higher business expenses, leading to more part-time employment—and less of the full-time work that families need in order to climb the economic ladder.

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Comments (3)

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  1. JGUY  •  Feb 26, 2014 at 3:18 am

    The biggent enemy of the worker and the “full time job” is the massive influende of this
    thing called the “Internet” which through computerized advance has made many of
    yesteryears entry level jobs disappear…or has greatly diminsthed their presence.
    Most conservative talk show personalites seem to be blind to this and live in the delussion
    that employment will someday return to the pre-internet norm. It will not happen…..thus
    minimum wage protection and adjustments in healthcare procedures will of necessity follow
    as we go to a leisure environment where those for which there are no jobs are also not
    the rich or the retiree but the emerging worker who has essentially been replaced by
    a thinking machine…..

    • JLee  •  Feb 27, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      JGUY, Please substantiate your claim. How does the Internet assault the worker or the “full time job”? Is it similar to Henry Fords assault on the buggy industry? You are simply wrong and you do not have any empirical evidence to back up what you are saying. Tech advances have improved the standard of living for the poor even more than the rich.

  2. ClearThinker  •  Feb 26, 2014 at 10:14 am

    As has been proven, time, and time, and time again, raising the minimum wage does not help those proponents claim it will help. The end result of raising the minimum wage is a temporary increase in unemployment and inflation.

    The same argument about the internet could be made about the automobile a century ago. Yes, the internet has changed the landscape. That’s irrelevant to the question of raising the minimum wage, just was much as it was a century ago.

    But let’s take the argument to its extreme. Assume the internet and automation takes over a majority of the non-thinking jobs. Prices of everything goes down through competition (if you don’t believe that, you have a very clear bias against proven economic principles).

    Three decades ago a computer cost as much as a car. Today, you can buy twenty high-end computers for the same money that you would would need to buy a low-end new car. How many could afford a microwave thirty years ago? Today, they cost less than a week’s worth of food.

    The internet and technology makes things BETTER for those below the poverty line, not worse.

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