2/15: Should Georgia raise minimum wage?

Moderated by Rick Badie
Georgia’s minimum wage for some workers of $5.15 an hour stands $2.10 shy of the federal wage, something state Rep. Rashad Taylor of Atlanta wants to change.

Advocates say workers deserve more, given inflation and basic living expenses.

The director of a state small-business association argues an increase would stifle economic momentum and even hurt hiring.

What do you think?

21 comments Add your comment

mike

February 14th, 2012
7:02 pm

How about jobs with no pay at all. The workers could become sharecroppers and Georgia could continue an old tradition. There aren’t any jobs here anyway unless you are related to the governor. And certainly there is no emphasis on education in this state so raising minimum wage really has no effect on the people here.

janet

February 14th, 2012
7:43 pm

Could this be one of the reasons that Georgia ranks first or last (however you want to see it) for financial security?. There is no way an individual can live in the Metro area working full time at minimum wage and pay for health insurance, food, rent, transporation .clothing..no way.

nelson

February 14th, 2012
8:07 pm

The wage should be lowered. That way the employer can hire more people, up production, make a bigger profit and can afford to give workers raises. Just raising the minimum wage does is fuel inflation.
My first job was $.50 an hour. The boss was paying me 2 cents less than minimum. What is a living wage? shelter, clothes,food. Get the clothes at Goodwill, living can be splendid on a “shoestring” Take me, my toilet is working poorly, I could call a plumber at $100.00 an hour or I can improvise.I can run down to the Y when nature calls. Got to go with the flow.

Once Again

February 14th, 2012
9:17 pm

A business can afford a certain amount for the tasks performed by an unskilled worker. When the cost of that worker goes up, either the worker is let go or a more skilled worker must be hired instead who can deliver the value equivalent to the higher wage. Those who support raising the minimum wage clearly wish to hurt unskilled labor. GA employment figures clearly arent bad enough for some folks who seem to care more about some arbitrary wage number than whether or not everyone has the ability to gain employment. Currently employment among young unskilled black youth is the worst it has ever been in this country. Raise the minimum wage and the rates will be even higher.

It would be nice to have your cake and eat it too, but the laws of economics are not altered by legislative decisions. While we are at it, why not $10 an hour or even $100 an hour. Clearly there is a limit. Since when does anyone think the idiots in the legislature have more economic sense than the businessman who must cover the rising costs of raw materials and everything else along with a now rising cost of unskilled labor.

Agregate labor rates may remain unaffected by a rise in the minimum wage, but the segment impacted by the rise will definitely show increased unemployment. Fantasy is certainly nice, but reality is what it is.

Old timer

February 14th, 2012
9:24 pm

No, every time the minimum wage goes ups…somdoesmunemployment..d

ted

February 14th, 2012
9:27 pm

Only if you raise the minimum wage for all employees in all businesses to the same amount.

Hillbilly D

February 14th, 2012
10:01 pm

in Georgia, tipped workers still earn just $2.13 an hour plus tips.

Few people know this. Few people also know that a percentage (8% for people I know personally), of each ticket with that worker’s name on it, is withheld for income taxes. So if the ticket is $20 and the patron stiffs them and leaves no tip, they actually lost $1.60 in the deal.

In my opinion, pay these people the minimum wage or better, drop the tipping stuff and raise your prices accordingly. Whether I pay $10 or $8 and a $2 tip, what’s the difference? It’s time we stopped having a sub-class of employees. If your business model depends on $2.13 an hour for workers, you need to be adjusting your business model.

You should get what you pay for

February 14th, 2012
10:44 pm

@HillbillyD Anyone who chooses to wait tables knows what they are getting paid… if you want to stay in food service with a guaranteed wage, I recommend you sharpen your “Would you like fries with that?” Or, develop skills more desirable in the marketplace.

There should be no minimum wage at all. Employers should hire/pay/fire employees as they value. Employees with valuable skills will be paid accordingly. Before I started my own company, a week didn’t go by where recruiters were not soliciting me with more lucrative opportunities. If you have the motivation & skillset of dryer lint, you should be compensated similarly.

Hillbilly D

February 14th, 2012
11:03 pm

You should get what you pay for

Bless your heart.

And I’ve never worked in the food service industry, by the way, but don’t let that get in the way of your pre-conceived notions.

EJ Moosa

February 15th, 2012
8:42 am

You are joking right? How many jobs were lost at restaurants after the wages rose more than 40% thanks to George Bush and Ted Kennedy? The last increase went through even as the private sector was already shedding jobs?

You people have no clue how capitalism(real capitalism) really works.

williebkind

February 15th, 2012
9:24 am

Well, I am different than most of you when it comes to pay. I believe the minimum wage should be $20 per hr. If you can pay ceo’s millions of dollars for running a company and have losing income, then you can pay the workers a decent salary. If you are a mom and pop shop, get your own children to work for you not mine if your are going to pay minimum wages or run the company yourself. The idea of captialism does not include slave labor and any business person who says they can not afford the labor costs should become a laborer and not a business owner.

Ken

February 15th, 2012
9:27 am

Let the market decide. If I have a business and I cannot hire qualified workers for X amount per hr, I will be forced to raise what I pay per hr.
Are U.S. government workers worth an average $70,000. a year ????????????

Common Sense

February 15th, 2012
9:39 am

Do you actually know what slave labor is Willie? It would mean that labor is the “property” of it’s owner.

Is that how you define someone who takes a job at an agreed upon salary or wage? They have become someone else’s property?

“If you can pay ceo’s millions of dollars for running a company and have losing income, then you can pay the workers a decent salary”

A company can only do this when the government is going to cover the losses. See MARTA,Solyndra, GM, and Chrysler for examples of this.

zeke

February 15th, 2012
9:41 am

Willie- 5.15 or 7.25 IS NOT SLAVE LABOR! You can thank the union scum for the fact that $ 200 a week is not enough to support a family! Drop all minimum wages laws, outlaw unions, and, allow the market for labor determine the level of pay! Your CEO argument is not relevant! Flipping a burger is not the same as heading up a company with several thousand workers and millions of dollars in sales!!

Truth_Hurts

February 15th, 2012
10:27 am

If you are raising a family, you shouldn’t be making a minimum wage salary. If you are, then you made some wrong choices in your life. Minimum wage is meant for kids who are new to the work force. If you are a ‘baby daddy’ making minimum wage, I suggest you learn a trade or job skill that employers are looking for. Yeah, that means you have to ‘earn’ it.

Truth_Hurts.

guyonthissite

February 15th, 2012
11:03 am

Why are so many of you against freedom? I should have the right to take a job for $2.13/hour if I want to, but you are telling me I shouldn’t have that right, that my choices should be limited to only what you have decided is ok. Working in a job I chose to apply for at a wage I was willing to accept is my right, my choice. Slavery is you telling me what I can and can’t do, thereby taking away my freedom, and now you are telling me I can’t accept low wage jobs.

You know which city in this country followed pretty much every left wing ideal, adopted crazy union rules, high minimum wages, etc.? Detroit! Yeah, let’s all imitate Detroit! I wish the left would actually look at the results of their ideas… And Communists… Those guys are evil. If something has led to mass murder and mass imprisonment everywhere it’s tried, devastation for all, literally death for many millions, and you want to try it again, then I can only think you want millions to die, and I consider that evil.

hryder

February 15th, 2012
11:04 am

I agree with Zeke. Vote out all incumbents in November.

jm

February 15th, 2012
11:18 am

meno

February 15th, 2012
1:16 pm

Since you can always find desparte people willing to work for peanuts (look at the the Third World countries as well as places like China), I suppose you righties who are so against having minimum wage laws also would have no problem with reducing American’s overall standard of living.

Barb

February 16th, 2012
2:02 pm

Raising the minimum wage gives workers more purchasing power which creates more demand for businesses. More demand creates more jobs and everyone wins. It also makes Georgia more competitive in attracting workers which again promotes economic growth. Higher paid satisfied workers also create less turnover, which saves the employer the cost of looking for and training new workers.

Barb

February 16th, 2012
2:33 pm

As a taxpayer I also win with a higher minimum wage because better paid workers are less likely to use supplemental government programs to feed their kids. It’s only fair that if you work, you ought to be able to put a decent meal on the table for your kids. I’m tired of footing the bill of employers who refuse to pay their workers a liveable wage.