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Random Thoughts About Jobs & Money

Last November, the majority of voters in Ohio adopted an AMENDMENT to the Ohio Constitution regarding Minimum Wage Increases. (This bill also held a provision allowing pretty much anyone to have access to your employment records, but very few of these yae-sayers took the time to actually read what they were so eager to vote for. They have no one to blame when their records find their way to the ‘net) While searching for a cliff notes version of how they compute the increases each year for my S.O. who runs a restaurant and is pretty much getting his ass handed to him because servers (who can sometimes make more money than he does, compliments of tips) have gotten such a HUGE increase, I ran across this: http://www.epionline.org/study_detail.cfm?sid=96

An analysis of the amendment by economist Dr. David MacPherson from Florida State University. You can download the entire thing in .pdf, but the highlights are as follows:

– The mandate would result in a loss of almost 12,000 jobs and impose a $308 million hit on the Ohio economy.

– A significant portion of that – $105.9 million — is the result of lost income for the almost 12,000 employees who will lose their jobs.

– More than half of the job losses fall on those under 25 and nearly one-third on those earning less than $25,000 (oh sweet irony!)

– This report found that families with incomes below $15,000 would experience only a $63 increase in annual income. It’s the amount they work, not the wage they work at, that is the critical determiner of their economic situation.

And then there are these little tidbits:

– Less than 10% of minimum wage earners are the sole earner for a family with kids.

– Almost two-thirds—62.7%—are under 24 and 48.3% still live with their parents.

– Almost three-quarters, 73%, are part-time employees.

– This study found that the average family income of affected employees in Ohio is just over $52,000 and that almost 80% of the benefits of the wage hike go to families that aren’t poor.

For a state that complains about Brain Drain, and for a country whose future is heavily reliant on small businesses, all of this is about the worst news possible. When minimum wage goes up, so do prices. Does anyone really believe that companies will take that kind of a hit to their profit margin? Did anyone really and truly believe all those over-paid executives would take a cut in their compensation to help “the little guy”? The only thing minimum wage increases serve to do are squish more Americans near the bottom of the pile, and this study proves it.

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On a related note, most of you know that in my former life I was employed at a number of non-profit organizations. Not hospitals or churches or universities, but various social service agencies and community mental health clinics.

Recently I saw an ad for the Summit County Humane Society, looking for basic kennel help. The pay – $7.50 hr.

Yesterday, I saw an ad for the Wayne County Humane Society. They need a Director. The pay? $25,000 to $35,000 year.

Let’s compare, shall we?

I can feed critters and shovel poo, earning $15,600 a year before taxes.

Or….

I can manage an entire shelter (and the grief and responsibility that comes with it), spend a HUGE amount of time locating and applying for grants (few and far between, compliments of W.), sit in meetings and listen to people tell me what I’m doing wrong or what I should be doing, spend another huge chunk of my time planning events where I beg people and organizations for money, schmooze the hell out of media-type people in the name of PR and marketing…

For how much – $30,000?

That’s why I got out of non-profit work.

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