Opinion

First, learn the facts about minimum wage

An editorial from the Charleston Daily Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The House Democratic leadership wants legislators to impose a state minimum wage on employers in this year’s legislative session. It’s part of a legislative agenda they cleverly call FEED, which they say stands for Families, Education, Energy and Development.

A more accurate title may be Foolishly Eliminating Economic Development.

Who will this proposal help – and do they need it?

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled the facts about who earns the minimum wage or less:

In 1980, 15 percent of full-time workers in the United States earned minimum wages or less.

In 2012, less than 4 percent did.

80 percent of workers in this category are younger than 25.

In West Virginia, 26,000 or 5 percent of the 746,000 people with a job in 2012 earned the minimum wage or less.

Furthermore, a study by economists Joseph Sabia of San Diego State and Richard Burkhauser of Cornell universities showed only 6 percent of adults earning the minimum wage are the sole earner in their families.

For the most part, minimum-wage jobs are first jobs for young workers, who are developing their work skills. McDonald’s estimated that one in eight American workers has worked under the Golden Arches.

Most minimum wage workers raise their own pay without the help of legislators…

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