Written by Brian Stewart, a Campus Progress blogger
One New Hampshire lawmaker verbally insulted thousands of hardworking young Americans in a recent statement, saying they aren’t worth the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
State Rep. Carol McGuire made the comment in a statement that called a minimum wage requirement “discriminatory” and argues that young people would take $5 per hour work if offered.
“It’s very discriminatory, particularly for young people. They’re not worth the minimum,” the Republican legislator said.
The pre-tax annual salary of a person working 40 hours per week at $7.25 per hour is roughly $15,000. Drop that to $5 an hour and the pre-tax yearly income falls to $10,000.
McGuire is an advocate of overturning all minimum wage legislation and allowing business to compensate employees on their own terms. She sponsored the legislation that ultimately repealed New Hampshire’s minimum wage law—an effort Democratic Gov. John Lynch attempted to veto. Republicans also defeated a Democrat-sponsored bill to up the state’s minimum wage by 75 cents per hour—a hike that would mean an extra $30 a week for New Hampshire’s 4,000 lowest-wage employees.
Republican House Speaker William O’Brien called the minimum wage a “job-killing regulation” and took his own jab at young Americans:
“Minimum wage jobs are often filled by younger workers with no job skills,” he told the Associated Press, arguing that a higher minimum wage would “take an axe to the bottom rung of the career ladder and deny many of those entry-level workers the chance to develop the job skills to have success later in life.”
As ThinkProgress’ Lee Fang notes, the $7.25 federal minimum wage is already low — the minimum wage in the 1960s was more than $9 an hour when adjusted to 2006 dollars.
McGuire’s accusation that “young people” are “not worth the minimum” is a slap in the face to youth around the country who work minimum jobs to support their families, save for college, or are forced to survive without the privileges of inherited wealth or their parents’ income.
This post was originally published by Campus Progress.
Photo from troubalex via flickr creative commons