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Minimum-Wage Hike Could Land on Missouri's 2012 Ballot

Categories: Bidness, Politics
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Change Missourians can believe in?
Missouri may be a red state when it comes to politics, but two initiatives that hope to land on the November 2012 ballot could bring the left-wing base out in droves next year.

On Monday it was a proposal to ask Missourians to legalize marijuana. On Tuesday it was a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $8.25 an hour.

Lara Granich, director of Missouri Jobs with Justice, tells Daily RFT that the time is ripe to increase wages for the state's working poor. "In this economic crisis, what the economy needs is more people with more money in their pocket," she says. "If you pay people making $290 a week another $40, they're going to spend it."

After ten years of no increase to Missouri's minimum wage, Jobs with Justice and dozens of partner groups successfully got a wage issue on the 2006 ballot. The measure, which hiked the wage to $6.50, passed by a margin 76 percent. The state's minimum wage was later raised to $7.25 -- the federal minimum. 

Granich says she expects some opposition to raising the minimum wage to $8.25 this time around, particularly from the Missouri Chamber, which last month came out against any such hike. Still, she's optimistic that her group and its many supporters will have no problem beating the May 2012 deadline for providing enough signatures to get the issue on the November 2012 ballot.

"Last time around we collected twice the number of signatures we needed in just six weeks," she says. "This is the kind of thing where people are grabbing the clipboard out of your hand."

Currently 18 states plus the District of Columbia have minimum wage rates above the federal minimum. 


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19 comments
Jackie Jack
Jackie Jack

The reality is every increase in the minimum wage means fewer jobs available or fewer hours available.  I work for a locally owned small business that employs about 100 people at 3 different locations.  15 of those 100 are full-time paid well managers/assistant managers.  The others are high school employees or others looking for a fun side job to make a little extra spending money. 

When the last increase in the minimum wage went into effect, we did two things.  We increased prices and we took a much harder look at our payroll.  Where previously, we might let an employee skate with an extra hour or two, we didn't anymore.  The result?  Business increased and our payroll went down.  So, in reality, when minimum wage was $6.50/hour the employees were making more money than they are now at $7.25/hour.  Why?  Because we had to trim the fat and we made a concerted effort to crack down.  We then cracked down more in the second year and payroll is down again.  We found out we didn't need as many people working and we could use technology to our advantage.  We never fired anyone, but we didn't replace them if they quit or were let go with cause.

I know many other business owners who did the same thing.  So...increase it again, and we'll find more things to cut, I'm sure and we'll raise prices again.  So, the "extra $40" won't mean anything because things will cost more.  The $330/week with the increase will have the same buying power as the $290/week before.  It's simple economics.

Yvonne Leehelen Dowell
Yvonne Leehelen Dowell

I don't hate anyone and I think using curse words to get your point across is so immature.You said the minimum wage is not supposed to be a living wage.That is a rich Republican talking. This  is the accepted wage  across America. Everyone is not college material. College graduates can't get jobs. There are a lot of homeless people, including college graduates living on minimum wage. They  can't possibly  pay rent and utilities, in the last few years  heat bills have doubled in all cities and towns. These people are real human beings not allowed to get sick. These people  who flip the hamburgers are paying  ten million dollar or more salaries to the CEO'S. The real world is a 70 year old grandma trying to keep her fast food job, trying to pay for prescriptions, and keep up an old car.

Calvin of KU
Calvin of KU

You give people an extra $40 and they are going to spend it.  What about the people you took that money from, weren't they going to spend it as well?  They may have spent it on new furniture, a used car, or tuition for a college class.  What do you get with $40?  Slim Jims? Pampers?  Cigarettes?  Even the KC Star printed a story AFTER the election of 2006 saying that increasing the minimum wage would cost jobs in the state.

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Fundoo Marketing

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Yvonne Leehelen Dowell
Yvonne Leehelen Dowell

The minimum wage should be at least $12.00 AN HOUR and this will still  not bring the working  poor out of poverty. Do you think the working poor have a hard time paying $200.00 OR MORE a week  FOR child care?

Boulevard Heights
Boulevard Heights

Sorry, but any first-year economics student can tell you that raising the minimum wage in a depressed economy is a bad idea.  The fact that large numbers of people might sign the petition doesn't mean it's a good idea, it just means large numbers of people are stupid.

Jackiejack
Jackiejack

Jackie Jack,Why wouldn't you have been looking at payroll to begin with? And business went up you said with a price increase. Sounds like it didn't have a negative effect on your business, which is interesting.

Emailme
Emailme

I agree that the minimum wage exists for a reason. That is to be able to live on it if you work full time. Right now that is not possible. This makes people give up and go on food stamps and welfare. I hate people that spew bs about min. wage costing jobs. It cost big business prophet and less on there bottom line. If that makes them hire less people, that is ok. Because eventually they will need hire more as they grow from the business they get from people spending more money from a higher min. wage. It will all work out. It's called the economy. If someone can't get by on min. wage, they can't very well spend more money to grow the economy, and when they go on welfare and run up credit cards then file bankruptcy, the economy gets worse. I believe the answer is a slow raising min wage, but also a new law that required min. raises every year. That would motivate someone to stay on at a job to earn more, and if they quit, they are knocked back down to min wage. This would encourage employers to keep the good ones and pay a little more, yet still hire at min wage. Then the bad employees would get fired and always be getting a min wage job. Encouragement to keep a low paying job is what we need. One will get encouraged with the promise of a min raise every year.

Calvin of KU
Calvin of KU

Well hell, you're right.  $12.00 won't get the job done so lets set the mark at $25.00 an hour.

Boulevard Heights
Boulevard Heights

Hey, guess what, if the minimum wage goes up to $12 an hour, that childcare will probably start costing $700 a week.  Childcare is expensive.  That's why you're not supposed to have children unless you're prepared to properly take care of them.

Yvonne Leehelen Dowell
Yvonne Leehelen Dowell

We need to cut Congress salaries, and raise minimum wage to $12.00 or more an hour.

Yvonne Leehelen Dowell
Yvonne Leehelen Dowell

Reality is there are to many low paying jobs where big profit is made from these low wage earners. Home health workers, janitors, can't afford health insurance, and they work all work for about two dollars an hour  after they pay day care. You sir, are uneducated in the real world. The minimum wage jobs are run basically by BIG Profit Companies  who provide less  than 40 hours a week,no health coverage, and PAY CEO'S HUGE $. These national chain hamburger,  pizza restaurants get rich on starving people., Nationwide department stores are disgusting. A small business who can't pay a living wage does not need to be open.

Boulevard Heights
Boulevard Heights

You are obviously uneducated in basic business or economics.  Raising the minimum wage even two dollars, much less raising it to $12, would VAPORIZE thousands of jobs, probably overnight.  Is your aim to make it more difficult for people to find jobs?  Don't you understand that if a business owner can only afford to pay $7 an hour to an employee, and then the government says the owner can't pay wages that low, then the business owner has no choice but to eliminate the employee's position?  You don't have to be educated to get this right... just think about stuff before you speak on it.

Yvonne Leehelen Dowell
Yvonne Leehelen Dowell

I don't hate anyone and I think using curse words to get your point across is so immature.You said the minimum wage is not supposed to be a living wage.That is a rich Republican talking. This  is the accepted wage  across America. Everyone is not college material. College graduates can't get jobs. There are a lot of homeless people, including college graduates living on minimum wage. They  can't possibly  pay rent and utilities, in the last few years  heat bills have doubled in all cities and towns. These people are real human beings not allowed to get sick. These people  who flip the hamburgers are paying  ten million dollar or more salaries to the CEO'S. The real world is a 70 year old grandma trying to keep her fast food job, trying to pay for prescriptions, and keep up an old car.

Boulevard Heights
Boulevard Heights

Bitch, don't talk to me about what you think I don't know about the "real world".  I make less than $30K a year, I didn't finish college.  I still manage to live in a 900-sq.ft. house I bought myself, in a nice fucking neighborhood, because I live within my means.  For the first three years I lived in the house, I worked two jobs so that I could afford it.  Finally in 2010, I had my finances in order enough to stop working the evening job delivering pizza.  Nothing I have came from handouts or charity, family-based or otherwise.  

Like you, I wish I had more money.  But unlike you, I don't use that as an excuse to complain at & vilify people who are wealthy.  This is a FREE COUNTRY.  If a publicly-traded company, owned by shareholders, decides that a CEO is worth paying a hundred million dollars a year, or a hundred BILLION... that's THEIR BUSINESS!  You idiot!  Their business!  Don't hate because you're jealous that you can't find a better-paying job.  That's your fault that you're so unskilled that you can't get any job except minimum wage.Let me explain why you're stupid.  The minimum-wage is not supposed to be a living wage, understand?  Otherwise, high-school kids working after school would be like, 'Damn, I'm making enough money to live on now!  Fuck college!'  Any stupid motherfucker can flip hamburgers or answer phones at a pizza place.  It's not supposed to be a career. You don't pay someone enough to live on if the job doesn't require any real skills.  They're not supposed to be able to live on it.  They're supposed to have to work two jobs, or three, enough to make them hate the situation, enough to motivate them to RISE FROM THE SITUATION!  I did it.

So fuck you for trying to tell me about the "real world".  If you want the truth, here it is: a person advocating a $12 minimum wage can't possibly have their head in the real world - just the fairytale world where everybody's rich and happy and even the burger-flipper & the shit-shoveler owns a mansion and a boat.  

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