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Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes

Raise minimum wage? Almost everyone already makes more

The President called for a raise in the minimum wage during his State Of The Union speech and elicited the predictable cheers from Democrats and head shaking from Republicans.

I wondered just how many people actually work for the minimum wage to better understand the effect it has on workers. The results were nothing short of eye opening.

According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics from 2011), there are 73.9 million Americans who work for an hourly wage, making up 59.1 percent of the labor force. Of those, 1.7 million earned the exact federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which works out to 2.3 percent of hourly workers are paid "minimum wage."

This begs the question, why on Earth do 97.7 percent of employers OVERPAY their hourly workers?

I mean, the minimum wage is there to prevent slave labor and "evil" business from taking advantage of the "working man/woman," so why aren't they taking more advantage? Do you mean to tell me that some (read 97.7 percent) of employers voluntarily choose to compete for workers' labor and skills and do so by offering increased wages? You mean capitalism works, without government interference? Try telling that to President Obama and the Congressional Democrats who are trying to save the 2.3 percent of you being taken advantage of.

And if you are one of the 2.3 percent making $7.25 an hour, might I suggest asking your co-workers how they managed to create value for themselves in your employer's eyes, as opposed to waiting for government to save you.

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About the Author


I may not be a native, but I've been in Arizona long enough to forget what it's like back East. I moved to Tucson in the 5th grade where I graduated high school and attended the UofA. The radio bug hit me early and I was a DJ at the age of 17 in Tucson. Besides being on-air at times, my main career focus has been the behind-the-scenes programming of radio stations. I have an extensive background in music radio, in addition to working at and/or running some of the biggest and most influential radio stations in America. My radio career took me to Los Angeles, San Diego and then back to Phoenix. The chance to be back on-air, and to do it at 92.3 KTAR, was too good to pass upů so here we are! Weekends are usually reserved for racing as I own and drive my own dirt track Sprint Car all over the country. I am unmarried (never have been), childless (that I'm aware of) and don't even have any pets at this point. I do own 1 plant but the fact it has survived this long without watering leads me to believe it may be plastic. I love what I do and enjoy hosting a talk radio show for people who don't like "talk radio".

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