Increase New York’s Minimum Wage

   It is difficult to imagine anyone getting by on the New York State minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, or about $17,000 a year for a full-time job. This is why opposition to increase it for the first time in years, and by less than a dollar, makes little sense. State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who represents this district, is a co-sponsor of one of a number of bills that would push the rate to $8.50 an hour and from $5 to $5.86 an hour for food-service workers. If this bill or one of several like it is approved, future increases in the minimum wage would be tied to inflation, starting in 2014. This is the least New York legislators can do for low-wage workers.
    Among opponents of the change is the State Senate majority leader, Dean Skelos, who considers it a job-killer. He is joined by several Long Island Republicans, including Dan Losquardo, who represents the North Fork. Mr. Losquardo told The Suffolk Times that he believes low-paying jobs are intended for students and part-timers who live at home or are otherwise provided for. In a let-them-eat-cake moment of candor, the lawmaker told the newspaper, “These jobs aren’t intended for people to raise a family with.” A more cynical view of the work force would be hard to find.
    By itself, bumping the minimum wage up doesn’t pull people out of poverty. Nor does it do much to correct the fact that 60 percent of single mothers with children have the highest rate of poverty among demographic groups. That said, tying the minimum wage to inflation would help prevent the kind of permanent underclass Mr. Losquardo appears willing to tolerate in the name of free enterprise. Albany-elected officials should set aside ideology for a moment and approve these modest increases.


I am an experienced retailer in Greenwich Village NY. The entire tempest surrounding the minimum wage is just a lot of rubbish and here is why. The current wage is not enough to attract employees of any quality. I currently start employees at 10.00 per hour and the range goes up to 15.00. This is for counter positions. Unfortunately, and this is the truth of it, the quality of the available employable public for these kind of low paying positions is very very low. We often have to remediate applicants in such skills as reading,simple math, and even basic social skills. It is very hard to reverse the very poor job the schools have done in preparing these applicants for part time or even full time jobs. Over time it has forced us to look for applicants from the better colleges and universities in our area because we just could not keep up the level of training nesscsary to bring applicants we where receiving up to an employable level. So the issue isn't the minimum wage because the better qualified are attracted only by better pay. This self enforcing process is a natural one. The real problem is that we have allowed the very basic training of our children to fall to a level that has left them without the very basic skills needed to begin work and rise up the ladder of experience. No one can live on 7.25 per hour, nor can they live on 10 or even 15.oo an hour. Entry level part time positions are not meant to be a living wage. They where never pretended to be. All of this nonsense hides the true facts that we have failed the young and we have given the poor just enough to survive but never enough to become a threat to our middle class and upper middle class lives. And I find that personally disgusting.