Sunday, July 26, 2009


I'm sure it's been all over the news. The third and final stage in increasing the Federal minimum wage has kicked in. With 30 states already above the federal rate, only 20 states will feel the affect, but it has real significance when it comes to feeding a family on minimum wage.

For over a decade, the leadership in DC has blocked the federal increase, claiming the increase would adversely impact manufacturing and small business in the states with lower rates. Not so, according to most
economic scholars.

Once the Democrats took control of Congress, they set in motion a three part program to increase the minimum. The first step went from $5.15 [frozen since 1997] to $5.85. Last year the rate went to $6.55 and now, finally, $7.25.

You realize that back in 2007, the Democrat controlled Congress had to attach this provision in the Iraq War spending package that President Bush desperately wanted. He also made it clear that he wouldn't accept it unless it h
ad a massive tax break for the wealthiest 5% and big business. Congress trimmed his request down to a mere $5 Billion in tax breaks where he finally broke down and signed it.

According to the details I've found, this raise will put an extra $2,000 a year into the pay-checks of a full-time minimum wage worker. According to the Economic Policy Institute, that increase will generate over $5 billion in consumer spending over the next year. At least that's the plan. How many of these workers were already so far behind on their bills that this will seem like a stop-gap measure to keep them out of the homeless shelters?

This is not money that will be saved for a rainy day or spent on lavish vacations overseas. But it will bring a small percentage of those affected back to the poverty line that they had fallen below during the last five years or so.

Now that we have placed a minimum wage to keep those with jobs - working with dignity, how about creating new ones?


fed up with the morons said...

Most of the pathetic people, old & young, that masquarade as clerks, in our local stores, are rude idiots that don't do enough work to earn .50 cents an hour, let alone the new wage.

They cant make change, form a complete sentence, look a customer in the eye, stop talking to their co-workers long enough to help a customer or any of the other accepted traits for QUALIFIED store help.

If they arent tatooed or pierced they are mostly unkempt & just plain stupid.

i dare you to disagree with my findings,, go to any store & see,,

Ulster County is staffed by idiots everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Sounds as if once again Bill Reynolds does not want to be part of the budget process. His ideas last year back fired so what are his ideasa for the 2010 budget process.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for this update. I was aware of the increase, but not as clear as to the process as it has unfolded.

I believe this is very important - and I'm in favor of taking this further - to a guaranteed "living wage" [a guaranteed minimum wage, so to speak, that puts every worker ABOVE the poverty line --- which has not (to my knowlege) been lifted (thus distorting all current poverty statistics) in a very long time...].

[This was true the last I checked - but I do have to update myself about it - so "hold it loosely..."]

As far as the previous poster's "morons" comment goes... I have met some wonderful employees (whatever their age) at local stores, offices, etc... and some that are stressed (?) - pressured (?) - rude - and perhaps... treated rudely??????!!!

Generally, I've found that if you treat people with respect you tend (true, this is not always the case...) to get respect in return.

I can't speak for everyone, for sure, for sure - but if I happened to be one of the employees targeted by the poster above - I would have to say "take it to the manager" and/or "why not take your business elsewhere?"

Why? Because this happens to be one of the most discriminatory [tattoos and piercings are a matter, for adults, of personal choice) and rude posts - regarding the general working public - that I have ever read on one of these blogs...

And that old Indian saying (I can't remember it exactly) ---along the lines of "don't judge another until you have walked a mile in their moccasins" --- comes to mind!

Perhaps that "rude" clerk (or whatever) is exhausted, stressed out, grieving, sick, facing eviction, facing foreclosure, spending the rest of their hours stuggling to raise children on their own, working 2 or 3 low-paying jobs with no benefits, attending college (more hopeful), etc...

Whatever the case, the words "pathetic" - "idiots" - and "unkempt and just plain stupid" are not very kind, respectful or constructive - are they?

Thanks again Mike! Did you get my email re the proposed Ward and Legislative meetings and debates?


Anonymous said...

If I had to struggle making minimum wage I might be a little discourteous myself. If you work a 40 hour week you'll get $1160.00 a month. Less social security and state and federal taxes, no one can live on that. Next time a clerk is a little rude think about trying to to pay rent and utilities when you bring home less than $1,000.00 a month. Maybe they haven't eaten in a few days that why they seem to be rude.