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View Diary: Why $17 an Hour Should be the Minimum Wage (95 comments)

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  •  yes, people need skills (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, coffeetalk, Hirodog, nextstep, VClib

    I respect labor, but the goal shouldn't be paying a living wage for completely unskilled labor.  It should be in ensuring that all have an opportunity to learn skills that make them competitive in today's economy.

    Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are not where they are because of a high minimum wage, but because they use their social capital to educate and train their citizens to be valuable contributors in their economies.  

    Would love to see  public/private vocational programs like they have in Germany here in the US.  It would be great if a 16yo kid here in the states could find an program that would bring them on as an apprentice, teach them to be a machinist, and by the time they are 19 or 20 they have a skill that is valuable and worthy of $80k a year...instead of an $36k minimum wage job.

    •  Wish I could rec this 1000x (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, VClib

      this is EXACTLY correct:

      It should be in ensuring that all have an opportunity to learn skills that make them competitive in today's economy.
      I remember 30 years ago some high schools in this area had vocational training for high school juniors and seniors -- they'd go in the afternoon and take a trade instead of electives.  They'd graduate with the ability to become a mechanic, or an electrician, or a welder, or a plumber, or an AC repair person, or a number of different skills that did not necessarily require a college degree, but could make them far more marketable at far better salaries than simply being an unskilled laborer.  

      I have a friend who graduated from high school  -- well, I don't want to say exactly how long ago.  He worked for another plumber for a while, started his own plumbing business, and now employs a bunch of other people as plumbers.  He and his wife (she manages his office and does his bookkeeping) are the "small business owners" that both sides talk about so much today.  

      That's exactly the kind of thing I meant when I said above that people who want to make a good living need to be encouraged to learn a marketable skill.  

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