Steak-n-Shake Coupons
  9911 Seminole Blvd. Seminole, FL 33772       Ph. 727-397-5563   View TBN's FREE e-Edition today!  
Click here to learn more
Minimum wage should be raised
Article published on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013
  Print E-Mail
Let’s bring the spirit of Christmas to Congress. The last time the minimum wage went up was in 2009, and, as the owner of a Christmas tree farm and other businesses, I think it’s time for another raise.

Today’s $7.25 an hour minimum wage befits Scrooge – before he saw the error of his ways. It amounts to just $15,080 a year for full-time workers.

Workers shouldn’t have to depend on food stamps or food banks to put Christmas dinner on their tables.

In my state, Louisiana, which is not a high-cost state, a single adult needed income of $19,256 to afford basic expenses such as food, housing, transportation, health care and taxes in 2012, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator. That’s $9.26 an hour at 40 hours a week year-round, which is $2 more an hour than the current minimum wage.

McDonald’s made waves this year by recommending a sample monthly budget to its employees – many of them earning at or near minimum wage – that assumed they needed a second job to make ends meet. Most McDonald’s employees, like most minimum-wage workers, are adults. The budget had them working at McDonald’s for $1,105 a month after taxes, and then a second job for $955  – for a total of $24,720 yearly after taxes. McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson, meanwhile, made $13.8 million in 2012. That’s $37,808 a day, every day of the year.

Most Americans agree that if you work full time you should not be living in poverty. Today’s miserly minimum wage doesn’t just impoverish workers, it hurts our economy.

If I don’t pay my employees a decent wage, they won’t have money to spend at other businesses. And if other businesses don’t pay their workers a decent wage, they can’t afford to buy my trees, and I can’t afford to hire more employees. That’s a negative cycle, instead of a positive one.

At 4 Seasons Christmas Tree Farm, our lowest paid employees earn at least $10 an hour and we provide a better product at competitive prices with big box stores. Raising the minimum wage makes good business sense.

A recent national poll shows that 67 percent of small-business owners support increasing the minimum wage and adjusting it yearly to keep pace with the cost of living. The small-business owners were predominately Republican in the poll commissioned by Small Business Majority.

Sixty-five percent of small-business owners in the poll agreed that “Increasing the minimum wage will help the economy, because the people with the lowest incomes are the most likely to spend any pay increases buying necessities they could not afford before, which will boost sales at businesses. This will increase the customer demand that businesses need to retain or hire more employees.”

That’s right. Increasing the minimum wage will boost the sales that drive employment. And with increased wages, businesses also see lower costly employee turnover, increased productivity and better customer service.

No wonder the most rigorous studies of the impact of actual minimum wage increases show they don’t cause job loss, reports Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. For example, the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment compared all neighboring counties (we call them parishes) located on different sides of a state border with different minimum-wage levels between 1990 and 2006 and found no adverse employment effects from higher minimum wages.

There’s a proposal in Congress to raise the minimum wage by 95 cents a year for three years to $10.10 an hour, and then adjust it annually to keep up with the cost of living.

If the minimum wage had kept up with the cost of living since 1968, it would already be over $10. In case you’re wondering, the unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in 1968 and 3.5 percent in 1969.

When families come to our farm looking for a Christmas tree, they seek out trees that have a strong, full base and are healthy from top to bottom.

Our minimum wage is the base of our economy. If it’s weak, our economy will not be healthy.

At the end of “A Christmas Carol,” Scrooge doesn’t just give Tiny Tim’s family a turkey. He gives his father a raise.

Camille Moran is owner and CEO of Caramor Industries, which includes 4 Seasons Christmas Tree Farm, in Natchitoches Parish, La. She is a member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage.
Article published on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013
Copyright © Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.
Printable Version E-mail article
Featured Print Advertisers
Florida Center for Back & Neck Pain
Dr. Greg Hollstrom
11444 Seminole Blvd.
(727) 393-6100

Web site        View Ad
Abbey Carpet & Floor of Largo
13120 66th St. N.
(727) 524-1445

Web site        View Ad
Custom Couture of Clearwater
(727) 735-8407
By appointment please.

Web site        View Ad
Flooring America of Seminole
9012 Seminole Blvd.
(727) 397-5509

Web site        View Ad
Oakhurst & East Bay Medical
13020 Park Blvd., Seminole
(727) 393-3404
3800 East Bay Dr., Largo
(727) 539-0505

Web site        View Ad
NuSmile Dental
13611 Park Blvd., Suite G
(727) 475-7866

Web site        View Ad
Tampa Bay Newspapers
Online Advertising
For information, e-mail
Online Services Directory
TBN 27/7
Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News