Minimum Wage in Florida

Well…. It’s too damn low.  That’s it  Too low to live on.  Too low to even be considered a ‘starter job wage’.  Too low to be considered a summer job for students (Since they cannot afford tuition anyway).  It is simply too low.

Florida ranks at about $40,000/year (about $19.50) average annual salary if you look at all workers.  That puts Florida about 30th in the country.  Between 8.5 and 10 million people are in the workforce, depending on where you look (census data versus BLS data) and almost half of that workforce making less than $12/hour ($24,900/yr).

That also demonstrates a large divide between the wealthy and poor.  15% of Florida lives in poverty (talkpoverty.org) and we rank 5th in the country in wage inequality.

Blah Blah Blah… I can quote numbers all day long.

Raise the wages.  No, I am not talking about $15/hour.  I am talking about $11-$12/hour as a minimum.  Then index it every couple of years to CPI or inflation (Florida already does this – go Florida!)

Conservatives love to complain about the numbers of people on welfare, the numbers on food stamps, but many of those people ARE IN FACT, working full time.  We know that large corporations like Wal-Mart and Amazon have a marked percentage of their employees that still rely on food stamps to survive.

We are subsidizing corporation’s wages with tax dollars, while at the same time, cutting corporate taxes, and offering huge tax breaks for companies to build in local areas.  What happened to “trickle-down economics”?

This is pretty simple.  Either taxpayers pay for govt benefits or corporations pay enough money that the worker has less or no need for the benefits.

Food service workers particularly make about $10/hour, and we have an extraordinary number of them in Florida due to the hospitality/tourism industry that drives our economy.

I would rather pay the extra 25-40 cents for the burger than see my taxes bled off to subsidize food stamps in the many forms of ‘corporate welfare’ we have.

This does not hurt corporations, it drives more dollars into the economy which these people will spend on products at the very businesses where they work, like Amazon and Wal-Mart.

These wages also feed the tax system that they used to benefit from.  Government benefit dependency will decrease (food stamps and welfare programs), and the tax base increases.  That reduces the deficit and the debts of governments.

Bottom line?  There is nothing stopping us from doing this.  Well, other than flawed conservative ideology that drives policy.  Favored tax-cut lobbying that allows corporations to NOT pay their fair share into the very system from which they derived their wealth.  Corporations do not solely exist to draw from the overall economy or GDP… they owe it to the country to put something back into it.  It is an investment in their future as well.

‘Wealth redistribution’ is what they will call it.  They scream “Communism!”, “Socialism!”, to which I again say… Blah blah blah’.

Raise the wages.  Do it now.  Vote for people that agree with you on this issue.

 

Tipped Wages

Let’s scrap the tipped wage laws as well.  Pay your employees a respectable wage.  The USA is one of a handful of countries that still rely on this antiquated system, and for no reason.  It leads to inequality in pay, wage theft, it is impossible to accurately track, the govt loses income tax revenues due to undeclared tips.

I am not sure why I can arbitrarily decide that my server at a restaurant or bar should make less money just because I am pissed off.  My surgeon, lawyer, dentist, car mechanic, lawn care people, store clerk, barber does not receive the ‘benefit’ from me deducting some pay for poor work.

It is just dumping the cost of labor onto the customer, with no guarantee for the recipient of the tips.

Pay your staff.  It’s that simple.