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Senate President Sweeney Hopes to Raise Minimum Wage in NJ – Do You Agree [POLL]

Double Down/NJ1015
Double Down/NJ1015

I would not expect to get by on 7.25 an hour.

I would hope to get by on perhaps 3 or 4 jobs paying 7.25 an hour, but were I to do that, I’d be 6 feet under by the time I reached my next birthday.

Steve has a companion blog up at about how many jobs you feel you need to get by with in NJ.

I say, as many as you can fit into a day, and still try to have a life!

But getting back to the question of the minimum wage, would an increase in the minimum wage substantially increase your quality of life?

Hard to say no to that, isn’t it?

However, and this is maybe more of a practical approach to it.

Were there to be a minimum wage increase, conceivably the business owners would cut back on jobs.

That’s the usual line of reasoning.

Were that to be the case, then those 2 or 3 minimum wage jobs that you’re now getting by on could possibly be diminished.

The loss of one of those jobs could hurt substantially…or at least I would think it would.

So, why, you ask, does the question of raising the minimum wage even come up.

It’s because of this:

As the state unemployment rate rises, state Senate president Stephen Sweeney is hoping minimum wage workers can get a pay increase to accommodate cost-of-living increases.
Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said he hopes to introduce legislation that would put a statewide cost-of-living increase to the minimum wage on the ballot.

“If we did the cost-of-living increase, the working poor wouldn’t have to worry about the whims of politicians every five to seven years to say, ‘Well, you know, we haven’t raised this in such a long time,’ ” Sweeney said. “And the states that have the cost-of-living increase? Their economies haven’t collapsed.”

The state minimum wage is currently mandated as $7.25 an hour. In May, by a 46-33 vote, the state Assembly approved a 17 percent increase, which would bring the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, but the bill slid off the Senate’s agenda as budgetary and higher education discussions ramped up.

Gov. Chris Christie said he would refuse to sign the bill, particularly an included cost-of-living provision, because of the effect it could have on business owners.
“Here’s what’s going to happen: They’re going to lay people off,” Christie said at a town hall in June.

He disputed the claim that “nobody is supporting their family on minimum wage.”
“There are lots of people supporting their families on minimum wage,” he said. “They’re working 18 hours a day just trying to keep a roof (over) their family’s head.”

I agree Steve…they are.

But if the minimum wage were to go up…chances are there’d be fewer of those jobs to go around…and fewer of those jobs to “cobble together” to keep one’s head above water.

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