The Communist Trolls Guide to Understanding the American Minimum Wage

The amount of confusion about a simple issue like minimum wage is astonishing. I don’t know how many people in the real world are confused about minimum wage, but many folks on Quora have very bizarre ideas. There are a lot of very simple questions about minimum wage with a lot of wrong answers.

The federal minimum wage is 7.25 per hour. At 40 hours per week, this equals about $1160 per month before taxes. Yes, people who earn minimum wage do get taxes subtracted from thier paychecks. In some cases, a low-wage earner may receive a tax refund that equals more than the worker paid in taxes. That is called an earned income credit. A person has to have qualifying dependents to receive an earned income credit.

Here is a sample budget for someone who earns the federal minimum wage.

Taxes $100

Rent and utilities $500

Bus pass $90

Food $200

Household supplies $20-$50

Personal Care $30-$80

Clothes $20-$40

Phone $40

Internet $40

Unexpected expenses./ Savings,$80

Some states have minimum wages that are higher than the federal minimum wage. Lower minimum wages are not relevant because the federal minimum outranks the lower state minimum.

Florida: $8.56

Montana: $8.75

West Virginia: $8.75

Ohio: $8.80

Nebraska: $9.00

Nevada: $9.00

Delaware: $9.25

South Dakota: $9.45

Michigan: $9.87

Minnesota: $10.08

Hawaii: $10.10

Missouri: $10.30

Alaska: $10.34

New Mexico: $10.50

Arkansas: $11.00

Illinois: $11.00

Rhode Island: $11.50

Maryland: $11.75

Vermont: $11.75

Connecticut: $12.00

New Jersey: $12.00

Oregon: $12.00

Arizona: $12.15

Maine: $12.15

Colorado: $12.32

New York: $12.50

California $13.00

Massachusetts: $13.50

Washington: $13.69

Cities and counties can also have higher minimum wages than the state minimum wage. Many cities in California and a few other places have higher minimum. Cities in Iowa and Kentucky are not allowed to set thier own minimum wages.


Birmingham $10.10


Flagstaff $15


San Diego: $14.00

Sonoma: $14.00

Santa Monica: $14.25 (1–25 employees), $15.00 (26 + employees)


Alameda: $15.00

Alameda: $15.00

Daily City: $15.00

Fremont: $15.00 (26+ employees), $13.50 (1–25 employees)

Half moon Bay: $15.00

Los Angeles $15.00

Malibu: $15.00 (26 or more employees), $14.25 (1–25 employees)

Pasadena: $15.00 (26 or more employees), $14.25 (1–25 employees)

South San Francisco:$15.00

San Leandro: $15.00

Petaluma: $15.20 (26 or more employees)

Richmond: $15.21

Novato: $15.24 ( 100 +employees), $15.00 (26–99 employees), $14.00 (1–25 employees)

Menlo Park: $15.25

Redwood: $15.38

Milpitas: $15.40

San Jose: $15.45

El Cerrrito: $15.61

San Mateo: $15.62

Santa Clara: $15.65

Los Altos: $15.65

Cupertino: $15.65

Palo Alto:$15.65

Belmont: $15.90

Berkeley: $16.07

San Francisco:$16.07

Mountain View:$16.30

Sunnyvale: $16.30

Santa Rosa: $14.00 (26 or more employees), $15.00 1-(26 employees)


Denver $14.77

District of Columbia $15


Cook County $13

Chicago $14


Portland County $18


Montgomery County $14.00


Minnesota $13.25

New Mexico

Albuquerque: $10.50,

Las Cruces: $10.50

Santa Fe: $12.10

New York City $15


Portland $13.25


Seattle $16.69

There are some legal exceptions to thefFederal minimum wage. The most notable is the lower minimum wage for tipped employees. An employee who earns over $30 per month in tips can be paid $2.13 per hour according to federal law. Some states have different regulations. Most Americans are satisfied with the lower wage for tipped employees because tips usually add up to more than the normal minimum wage and in the event that they don’t the employer is still required to make up the difference. So while servers can be paid $2.13 per hour they can also be paid more. There are other exceptions to the minimum wage. You can read all about them on this dull government website. The fact that there are exceptions to the minimum wage suggest that small businesses would not necesarily be hurt by a significant minimum wage increase. If a business owner were really desperate she could apply for a special certificate from the wage and hour division to pay certain types of workers less than minimum wage.

Many state minimum wages also have exceptions. West Virginia has the longest list of exceptions but many other states have a few of the same exceptions that West Virginia has. These exceptions can include handicapped people aricultural workers, and full time students.

The minimum wage does not serve as a defacto maximum wage. Most employers pay considerably more than minimum wage for most jobs.

Jobs that don’t require previous experience are called entry-level jobs, not minimum wage jobs. Jobs that don’t require a degree can simply be called jobs that don’t require a degree. There is no need to refer to any job as a minimum wage job. Please don’t tell anyone that you are looking for a minimum wage job. That will make you sound stupid. You may be looking for a job that does not require a lot of education or experience but you should not purposefully try to make minimum wage. There are other ways to refer to wages other than minimum. If you want to how much money most people in America make you want to know what the average wage is; thats about $22 per hour. If you want to know how much a particular type of job usually pays you can look it up on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website or glassdoor. You don’t ask what’s the minimum wage for such and such job because there is no seperate minimum wage for each job. There are usual pay rates for each job but they are not laws or set in stone it just depends on the company and location.

It’s not hard to avoid making minimum wage unless you have no transportation or access to the internet. If you have transportation and internet access you can easily get a job making more than minimum wage right out of high school. Some of the most common places to find a job are indeed and linked in but they are not the only ones. There are thousands of job boards on the internet. Local governments often help people find jobs through the unemployment office. You can find a job simply by asking all your friends and relatives if they know of anyplace that is hiring. Most people will not recommend a job if they suspect it pays minimum wage.

Some large companies publicize the fact that they have their own minimum wages that are higher than what the law requires but the list of campanies that do this is very short. Since these comapny minimum wages are not legally binding there may be exceptions.

Walmart: $11

Target: $15

Best Buy: $15

Hartford HealthCare: $15

Facebook: $15

Wells Fargo: $15

Amazon: $15

Costco: $15

Google: $15

Aetna: $16

Huntington National Bank: $16

JP Morgan Chase: $16.50

Hobby Lobby $17 (for full-time workers)

Charter Communications/Spectrum: $18.00

Ben & Jerry’s: $18.13

Bank of America: $20

Only 2 percent of the population makes minimum wage. Most people who start at minimum wage get a raise after three or six months.

Most proposals for raising the minimum wage to $15/hour do not involve raising it all at once. The usual proedure is to raise it by $1 per year until it reaches $15.

Raising the minimum wage doesn’t usually have any effect on the wages of people who already make more than minimum wage. Some unions do have clauses that are tied to minimum wage so check with your union steward if you want to know if you have a raise coming due to a recent minimum wage increase. No one on Quora is going to have this information.

Welfare doesn’t really pay more than a minimum wage at full time. Many people will say it does because they are counting the estimated cash value of every available welfare program in existence. In reality very few people get every single benefit. If they did we wouldn’t have homeless people on the street. Food stamps are very easy to get but most of the other programs have a lot of stipulations and time limits. The waiting list for section 8 housing can be 5–7 years. Many programs require people to have jobs so comparing welfare vs a job and saying welfare pays more doesn’t really make sense.

There is no relationship between essential workers and minimum wage workers. Up to 80% of the workforce can be considered essential but only 2% of the workforce makes minimum wage. Doctors are highly paid in the U.S. and they are essential workers. Even if you are talking about a grocery store. Some of the employess my earn a rate that is only a little bit above minimum wage but the managers and accountants and other corporate officers in the company that earn large salaries are also essential. The truck drivers that bring the product in make considerably more than minimum wage. They are also essential.


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