New Hampshire Rep: Young People Aren’t Worth Minimum Wage


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 She sponsored the legislation that ultimately repealed New Hampshire’s minimum wage law—an effort Democratic Gov.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.

Fang writes:

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.


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Photo from troubalex via flickr creative commons


Jane R.
Jane R6 years ago

This is so stupid!! Weather a person is young or a little older they should be paid a descent salary for performing a job!!!!!!

Glenn M.
Glenn Meyer6 years ago

(continued from below)
minimum wage from their communist partners in China?

Now there's a thought Charles, you would really like the system in China, you wouldn't have to worry about minimum wage laws there.

Glenn M.
Glenn Meyer6 years ago

Charles T.,

So...You would hire someone with no skills, experience or proven work ethics if the price was lower than minimum wage? I hire thieves, rapists, and people completely lacking in moral virtue. They really are worth it. Children I don't even bother to pay.

I didn't see any facts in your response either, so I thought you would love to hear mine.

Minimum wage is called that for a reason, it is a reasonable consideration of what is minimally acceptable in this country and in a moral society for doing work for someone else. Each time it is addressed, or not addressed, society makes that decision of what is reasonable. Americans have determined that anything less is unreasonable.

Trust me, illegal aliens would demand a minimum wage also if they could. But they are stuck in a world of criminal status and criminal employers that don't care about their fellow humanity and don't care that someone is helping them do a job that is for their benefit.

Minimum wage laws were to provide some structure for those that should be protected, our children, knowing that most employers would be more like you and seek to pay them nothing if they could get away with it.

Of course that was before we out-sourced the American Dream and now minimum wage laws are meaningless. Don't want to pay it? Just out-source the job to China where they don't have such laws. Which begs the question, "Why are the Republicans complaining about minimum wage when they can get less than

Charles Temm JR
Charles Temm JR6 years ago

So where is this representative wrong Brian? Please show us the economic reasons (not your feelings based on self worth) of why an unskilled and inexperienced young laborer is worth a universal set wage?

Other than citing stats on the worth of earlier minimum wage rates (with the same deplorable youth employment stats as result) and quoting some guy on how "insulting" this is to the youth who support themselves, families etc etc, show us verifiable proof that young workers are worth the same wage as older workers with skills, experience and proven work ethics.

Of course you can't, nor can you you factually deny the minimum wages horrible effects on youth (especially minority)and single mothers-those who historically start out at the low end of the economic job pool. Labor is a commodity and its costs are relative to its availability. factor in lack of skills etc and you should see the problem for first time job seekers-especially in a tight market. Never mind the vast majority of youth employment is not for supporting a family but to make spending money/gain experience.

But looking over most of the comments, its obvious you are with the pack who think facts are irrelevant to any argument. Its the fantasy that in the labor field, all are equal regardless of experience, skills or work ethic that blinds you.

Duane K.
Duane Kimball6 years ago

Thank you for adding the word "regressive," Deborah L. Most folks don't stop to think that the opposite of Progressive is Regressive and NOT Conservative. Conservative makes adherents sound like they want to save something rather than tear it down. And, tear it down is what they are doing. Folks like Guinta, Bass, Ayotte and the national Republicans are Regressives and not conservatives. I hope we continue to use Regressive as part of the on-going discussions here and elsewhere.

Deborah L.
Deborah L6 years ago

Of course this came out of the mouth of a repukelicon. Many of these young people that Carol McGuire want to penalize with a lower wage are also parents who have young children to support. Do they plan on lowering the cost of everything that those people, who are at the bottom of the wage scale to adjust to the new lower wages that these greedy profit making companies begrudge paying their employees, so they can still afford to eat and have a roof over their heads?

If left up to the corps and other businesses, they would have people working for free, which is happening right now in this country so new graduates will gain experience for a job they hope to have someday. Good luck with that because once they can get free workers, there will never be a reason to ever hire people for money again. It is their ultimate dream come true and we can thank the republican party and the greed of their base for that. If they could get "we the people" to pay the big companies just to work for them, I bet they would try to charge us for working for them.

Something is terribly wrong with America when we allow this kind of regressive treatment to be forced unto the working people. If anything, it is the political hacks who are not even worth minimum wage, let alone all the perks and benefits that they DO NOT EARN HONESTLY AND THEY DO NOT DESERVE THEM EITHER. Let's see them try to survive and raise a family of lower than poverty levels.

Duane K: I know the amount of money you listed h

Victoria M.
Past Member 6 years ago

here is some perspective

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Linda E.
Linda E6 years ago

As to the min. wage hurting the economy...
check out these urls. is actually a good site for a lot of economy questions and answers. So is the Center for American
I think I saw some additional articles about how raising the min. wage helps, not hurts small business but I guess I didn't save them.

This is more detailed and has a video of the event

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

Doesn't matter, small or large business, principle is the same, you need customers, and customers need money so they need jobs.