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Of course the minimum wage needs to be raised

By Dian Vujovich

There’s been a lot of discussions lately in Washington regarding the minimum wage and whether or not it ought to be raised. Some say yes, others no. For me it’s a no brainer—of course it ought to be raised.


The Obama administration has suggested our nation move from its basic $7.25 an hour minimum hourly wage, in place since 2009, to $10.10. Those opposing the hike reel about things like how much it will cost them, businesses might have to close their doors as a result of that hefty an increase, that it will encourage the lazy to be lazier and blah blah blah.


No doubt about it, there would be a cost involved and that a number of small businesses would find it onerous. But there comes a point in time when a living wage needs to be a living wage. And I doubt too many of us can live on basically seven bucks an hour.


So for those who think $10 an hour is outrageous, I offer this challenge: Go out and work 40 hours a week for the next 12 months at job paying $7.25 an hour and let me know who things turn out for you.


Forgetting taxes and any deductions, that $7.25 an hour translates to  $290 a week. Or, not enough to cover a one-night stay at The Breakers and surely not the cost of a family of four enjoying a Sunday brunch there.


Do the math and a minimum wage earner who works a full 52 weeks would have an annual income of $15,080.


Compare that annual income with what the uber-wealthy earned this year and the figures are staggering. According to Wealth-X, for instance, Warren Buffet has made about $37 million dollars a day so far this year and the year is not over yet.


Let’s see, that translates to about $1.5 million dollars an hour.


Yes, I know everyone is not a Warren Buffet but I also know that he is a fan of individuals earning a living wage income.


According to The Palm Beach Post, the average weekly wage in Palm Beach County is $892. That’s about $46,400 a year. Or, roughly three times what a minimum wage earner makes.


Hike the minimum wage up to 10 bucks an hour and a family’s income will still be hovering around the poverty level. But, it will be a heck of a lot closer to a living wage income than it is today.


So let’s make 2014 a merrier year for everyone. After all, the more money employees make the happier they are and the more they are likely to spend.


Business bottom line it and hiking the minimum wage by three bucks an hour, or more,  would be a win-win for every sector and segment of our economy from the retailers, to the manufacturers, the stock market, etc. And, Uncle Sam.


To download the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013, (data based on income from January 1 to December 11) visit www.billionairecensus.com .

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

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